PSYCHOLOGICAL POTENTIAL OF AN ATHLETE
 
Lozhkin, G., National University of Physical Education and Sport of the Ukraine, Ukraine
 
General psychological characteristics are not enough to evaluate abilities of athletes. One of possible approaches to resolving this problem is through evaluation of an athlete's psychological potential. Psychological potential is defined by the ability of an athlete to train and compete for many years. A successful sports career depends upon personal characteristics, which make up the psychological potential of an athlete. If the psychological potential is realized, sports activity can provide deep satisfaction. Psychological potential of an athlete can be affected by the psychological burnout syndrome. Its main symptoms include emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, loss of interest to personal achievements, and increased number of interpersonal conflicts. By analyzing these qualities we can observe the changing psychological potential of an athlete. The burn out syndrome appears after a long-term physical activity and is defined by changes in cognitive, regulative and communicative psychological characteristics. The syndrome decreases athletic results. There are five main factors, which influence the burnout development: 1)Variety of behavioural activity; 2)Accumulated effect of long-term psychological tension; 3)Premature psychological demobilization; 4)Deterioration of physical state after a sports injury; 5)Disparity between psychological and biological ages. These factors can occur in different combinations, which makes it very difficult to diagnose and prevent burnout development, and to preserve the psychological potential of an athlete.