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Quest for perfection harms young football players: British report

Published on Jan 31, 2013 5:27 PM

LONDON (AFP) - School-age footballers are at risk of burn-out due to the overwhelming demands of coaches, parents and team-mates, according to a report published by British academics on Tuesday.

Researchers from the University of Leeds found that some youngsters were showing signs of chronic stress, exhaustion and disillusion with the sport due to demands for perfection from those overseeing their development.

The researchers studied 167 junior male players in eight academies and centres of excellence attached to English professional clubs and found that a quarter reported symptoms of burn-out.

The players most at risk from burn-out were found to be those who said they felt under pressure from others not to make mistakes.

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