Monday, 14 October 2013

Why The ADHD and Sports Combination Always Delivers

 Why should you ask your ADHD child to take part in any sport?  Can they always deliver as the headline claims?  The answer is always yes, provided that you choose the right sport for your child.  You also need to keep a few things in mind.

Problems to bear in mind

The first thing to bear in mind is that your ADHD child is having problems in the following areas:-
  • difficulty in paying attention
  • easily distracted
  • short attention span
  • finds it difficult to focus
  • may have problems in concentration
  • finds it difficult to follow instructions.
  • prone to impulsive actions
  • is hyperactive
In any team sports such as soccer, basketball and baseball, the team members really have to concentrate and focus. They also have to be alert at all times. They cannot easily be districted and if they are, the team may well lose!  This could lead to social exclusion and this happened to me as a child because I was simply no good at all at sports and I was ostracized.

As if that was not enough, there is a higher percentage of injury as well because lack of focus exposes the child to greater risks. These tend to be collision prone sports too. It is also well documented that ADHD children take longer to recover from injuries such as concussion. 

Which sports are best and why?

Those individual types of sports will usually suit an ADHD child better. We should always bear in mind what the child would like to do too as involving him in a decision like this is of paramount importance.
Generally, the sports which emphasise the individual as the participant and at the same time offers a competitive element are real winners.

Also, sports which allow plenty of contact on a one to one basis with an instructor or coach are also great. The list of sports which fulfil these criteria are:-
  • swimming
  • wrestling
  • martial arts
  • diving
  • horse riding
  • weightlifting
  • running
  • tennis
They have the added advantage of giving the child with ADHD a sense of intense satisfaction and gratification. The child can see the results very quickly and there is no long term goals such as waiting for a baseball match to finish to see whether they have won or not.

Choosing the right sport is always a winner.

Once we have chosen the right sport for our ADHD child, then we are on to a winner. The following benefits will start to kick in and your child and the whole family will benefit.
  • great outlet for excess energy connected with hyperactivity
  • children concentrate better after doing sports
  • any exercise will mean less chance of obesity
  • exercise will lift their mood as the endorphins start to kick in
  • children who do sports are less likely to suffer from anxiety and depression
There are also lots of benefits such as social inclusion and sports always help kids to make friends. In addition, parents can be more involved too.

Sports and physical exercise always need to be a part of the whole ADHD treatment plan.

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