Over training - Causes of Sports Injuries

What is over-training?

Over-training is a condition which involves applying too much stress to the body by means of physical activity. Training is an integral part of an athlete’s success and in most cases, training will enhance an athlete’s performance; however, if the body is stretched too far, performance will almost always decrease.

Causes of over-training

The most common causes of over-training are a lack of recovery time and an increased intensity of training; over-training is common in the lead up to big events and after injuries.

Signs of over-training

Common signs of over-training include fatigue, disturbed sleep, a loss of concentration, an increased number of mistakes and a disruption in natural rhythm and technique. An athlete’s heart rate is usually a good indicator of over-training; the resting heart rate will usually increase if an athlete is over-training.

Effects of over-training

Over-training may lead to a decreased level of performance as it increases recovery and reaction time, decreases endurance and strength and impacts upon an individual’s mental strength; often, athletes that over-train become irritable, stressed and emotional.

Measures to address over-training

Reducing training

If an athlete feels they may be over-training they should reduce the intensity and duration of their training sessions as quickly as possible; this need not be drastic but should ensure the body can cope with the demands of the activity undertaken.

Increasing the range of training activities

Increasing the range of activities undertaken in training will help to ensure the whole body is conditioned rather than certain parts; this will reduce the risk of overuse injuries and help to make training more varied and interesting.


Rest can help to heal many injuries and will enable the body to be fully prepared for the next session of physical activity; rest will also help an athlete to feel mentally alert and ready for the session.

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