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Balance or Burnout?

Mindset Made Simple Tip #48

After a long COVID year, are you working in BALANCE or feeling a little BURNOUT?

Each morning (except for the past few weeks where I caught up on WCWS games I missed throughout the day), I listen to podcasts related to mental performance during my workouts. I have a notebook in my home gym to take notes on ideas that impact me or will have an impact on those I coach.

Last week something hit me right between the eyes.

I heard author Jon Gordon say that it isn’t what we do that burns us out. It’s the fact that we forget WHY we do what we do that does!


So leading, coaching, teaching, selling, counseling, strategizing is not the cause of BURNOUT!

It’s not COVID (although I am not sure it helped). It’s not the fact that the people we lead get younger as we get older. It’s not that we have more pressures and expectations. It’s not parents.

It’s not the transfer portal. It isn’t winning or losing.

We lose balance when we FORGET WHY we do what we do…the things we once LOVED (and deep down still love) doing!

I want to tattoo this in the underside of my eyelids. Our WHY is SO IMPORTANT!

Summer is a great time to recalibrate and find our BALANCE – and reflect on our WHY!

Why work so hard that we often neglect our health, sleep, families, social lives, etc. to do what we do?

The next question is, should we so often neglect these things or are there ways to find better BALANCE to avoid BURNOUT?

COVID gave us an unexpected opportunity to STOP the rat race and sit and evaluate.

Although COVID was no gift, the fact that it forced us to prioritize and take a breath can be used as a huge benefit to our future productivity and effectiveness as leaders. It made me wonder why coaches don’t get a sabbatical like professors. Even my friend who is a Rabbi is currently on sabbatical and traveling with his family for 5 weeks! (Wouldn’t that be awesome 😊!)

Just as success sometimes breeds complacency in teams, successes, failures, pressures and change can stop us from doing what we did to get there once we “get there.” We stop doing things that remind us why we love what we do.

After leaving coaching I realized that I would have been a much better coach had I stepped aside for a minute to recalibrate and evaluate. I realized that I stopped doing some of the things I loved through both successes and failures and things I did when I had less help, less pressure, less change, etc.

Every year it seemed as if I had less time and more to do. For those of you who added COVID protocols into less time…holy cow!

Every year comes with its own excitement, challenge and expectations. How we balance these make a difference on whether we are balanced or headed toward burnout.

Shawn Achor, in The Happiness Advantage, tells a story about people who work in the White House where long hours are the norm and missing out on everyday life is common. As I read this story, I thought of all those weekends driving around from field to field to recruit, watching families play at parks, ride bikes and look like they didn’t have a care in the world (not feeling jealous at all).

But Shawn’s story reminds us of why we miss out on some things and how we can recalibrate and increase our well-being and find more BALANCE before we BURNOUT.

He contends that we miss out on some things because we GET TO DO other AWESOME THINGS.

His story talks about how White House workers increase their happiness when they take outsiders on tours of the White House grounds. The tour takers are in awe of the experience!

This reminds the White House employees of the great privilege of working in the most powerful building on Earth.

We, too, can increase our happiness by looking for similar opportunities to remember the AWE that goes along with what we do.

When I was at Cleveland State University, I gave every recruit who visited us a tour of campus myself. I got to share with them all the great things we had to offer. I talked to people all around campus…even if it was just a hello! I was reminded each time of the privilege of being a part of such a great place (and so many had no idea what a great place it was!).

By the time I got to The University of Akron, I had more people on my staff, the campus was bigger, I was “busier” (self-imposed) and I passed the touring job onto other staff and athletes.

I now know that I did myself a HUGE disservice by “saving my time” for other things on the visit.

I deprived myself of the opportunity to relive our awesome campus. I wasn’t talking to others outside or our department. I wasn’t feeling the AWE of the recruits and experiencing it through their eyes.

What a mistake!

No reminders…AND no relationship building.

BOTH are HUGE in finding BALANCE and creating opportunities to remember and share our WHY!

Those of us who coach do it for many reasons, but on the top of all of our lists is to help young people grow.

And yet, as we feel pressure or BURNOUT, we spend less time with people building relationships. We spend more time in our offices planning perfect practices to circumvent our issues and doing other work t we think will help us balance it all, when in fact, the opposite is true!

Maybe I am only speaking for myself here, but I am pretty sure that human nature leans toward social and emotional isolation when pressures mount. And since our WHY is normally connected to relationships, this is the exact opposite of what we need.

So, take a minute or two this summer to evaluate your BALANCE and BURNOUT. What can you do or start doing again that will help you connect to your WHY?

Have you passed tasks off to your staff that you used to do that will help you reconnect or recharge? Can you swap those out for other things that will free up time and allow you to get back to whatever it is that makes you tick?

Do you need to establishing boundaries and set aside time for your specific things to help you find your BALANCE?

I don’t know what balances you, but I do know we often need an adjustment, even if it is ever so slight, to keep us on track.

I lost my WHY a few times in my career. It is awesome if we can find it before someone hits us between the eyes with something that forces us to find BALANCE or we drive ourselves to BURNOUT!

Here’s to a recharge this summer and BALANCE all around!

Have a great week!


P.S. No matter where you finished this year, implementing a mental performance training plan can help you get to the top or stay there! I would love design a program to fit your team’s needs. Let’s set up a time to talk about how we can build your team’s mental toughness. Give me a call or text at 234-206-0946 or send me an email at

Certified Mental Performance & Mindset Coach

SSB Performance • 234-206-0946



Be strong and courageous. Joshua 1:9


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