How To Prevent Burnout In Elite Professional Football To Maximise Performance

How To Prevent Burnout In Elite Professional Football To Maximise Performance

Dr Andrew Shafik is a doctor working in football as Lead Academy Doctor at Millwall FC and a doctor at Chelsea FC. 

He was educated at the University of Aberdeen where he graduated with a Medical degree and Sport & Exercise Science degree.  Andrew also pursued further studies achieving a distinction in an MSc in Sport and Exercise Medicine at the University of Leeds where he was awarded the Sport & Exercise Medicine prize for 2020/2021.  He also holds a Diploma in MSK Medicine and is a Member of the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine.

Andrew has a special interest in football medicine and performance education with roles as Senior Editor and Podcast Lead at the FMPA and Assistant Secretary at the FA Medical Society.

If you’ve got to the point where you’ve experienced physical, emotional and mental exhaustion you may have experienced burnout.  This can happen to people who are subjected to high levels of stress and pressure over a sustained period of time. In elite sport prolonged and intense involvement as an athlete, coach or support member can push you in this direction where your motivation and performance levels can naturally decline.  In addition, your psychological well-being and mental health can also be a cause for concern where you can lack enjoyment in what you do, become more irritable with others and have difficulty sleeping at night.

In today’s episode Dr. Andrew Shafik, a club doctor at Millwall and Chelsea Football clubs goes on share some fascinating insights where we chat about what players, coaches and support staff, can go on to experience. We also share solutions to some of the challenges that people face.

Key Learnings

  • Sports medicine side is connected with understanding injuries and illness.  As a doctor of performance medicine, Andrew seeks to work out how we can utilise our experiences of working within a multi-disciplinary team to maximise the performance and well-being of athletes, coaches or staff.
  • Sports psychologists can be very helpful in assisting medical staff to manage players to an optimal level during their rehabilitation and recovery.
  • Recent research tells us in the NHS, in healthcare settings, one in three practitioners at any one time often experience burnout due to the demands put on them.
  • Culture and the environment can play a huge part in burnout and the well-being of staff.
  • Your age, stage of career, gender, culture and relationships can impact your mental health.
  • Understanding your levels of mental toughness and other characteristics can be helpful from a self-awareness angle and ensure that you make smarter decisions.

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Football Medicine and Performance Association Podcast with Steven Reid

Burnout and well-being in football online event – 06 March 2023

Relevant Podcast Episodes

Ep065: Dr Amy Izycky – Encouraging Mentally Healthy Cultures in Sport

Ep066: Marilyn Okoro – Mental Health and Resilience: Lessons from an Olympic Medalist

Ep113: Polly Brennan – The Relationship Between Mental Fitness, Mental Health and Mental Toughness

Ep123: Richard Dorney MBE – Supporting People: What Can You Learn About Resilience From The Military

Ep158: Dr Paul Gorczynski – How to Develop and Implement Mental Health Literacy Strategies

Relevant Blogs

Blog – Make Better Decisions to Help Your Sport Performance

Blog – 5 Ways to Create a Psychological Safe Sporting Environment

Blog – 3 Tips to Deal with Bullying in Sport

Blog – Creating a Mentally Healthy Sporting Environment

Blog – Life After Professional Sport and its Challenges



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David Charlton

Best Wishes 

David Charlton

Global Sports Psychologist who is located near Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK and willing to travel Internationally.  David also uses online video conferencing software (Zoom, Facetime, WhatsApp) on a regular basis and has clients who he has supported in USA, Canada, South America, UAE, Australian and New Zealand.  

Managing Director – Inspiring Sporting Excellence and Founder of The Sports Psychology Hub.  With over 10 years experience supporting athletes, coaches, parents and teams to achieve their goals, quickly. 

T: +44 7734 697769

E: [email protected]

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