Burnout, a commonly studied phenomenon in college athletics, has been a major concern college athletes while overtraining, also a frequent concern in athletics, lacks specific research and connection to burnout. The purpose of this study was to see if overtraining or burnout occurred in D1 female soccer players and the possible factors/trends that might contribute. A self-report survey was completed weekly by the 34 D1 female soccer players, which assessed sleep quality (SPQI), quality of life (QOL), academic load, soccer evaluation (ABQ), and mood states (POMS). Bi-weekly heart rate variability (HRV) was assessed for 3 minutes at rest, and a self-logged breakdown of exercise volume was completed daily for practices and games, throughout the Fall 2023 Season (8 weeks). Athletes were separated into starters vs. non-starters, with >63 game minutes played as a starter. There was a significant difference in exercise volume between starters and non-starters (F(1,270)=77.64, p<0.01), where starters had greater MET-hr per week (46.5(10.5)) than non-starters (30.7(12.0)). HRV was higher for starters (lnRMSSD (ms)) compared to the non-starter group (F(1,95)=4.71, p=0.03) throughout the season. There was a significant difference in the lnRMSSD for non-starters from Week 1 (4.03(0.31)ms) to Week 7 (3.75(0.38)ms); F(1,35)=5.67, p=0.02), decreasing over time. Every other variable showed no significant change over the data collection period. The soccer season did not appear to promote or exacerbate burnout. Although no signs of overtraining were examined, there is a trend occurring that might signify de-training among the non-starters group over time that may be worth noting or need to be examined more in the future.
Forst, Catharine, "Burnout and Overtraining in Division 1 Female Soccer Athletes" (2023). Longwood Senior Theses. 30.
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Laura Jimenez
Committee Members: Dr. Robert Blaisdell (Longwood University), Dr. Tim Coffey (Longwood University), Dr. Jo Morrison (Longwood University)