Why should you ask your ADHD child to take part in any sport? Why should it be such a challenge and is it really so easy as the title claims? The answer is always yes, provided you choose the right sport for your child. You also need to keep a few things in mind.
What are the benefits?
Once kids with ADHD start doing sports, you notice there is a positive uptick in their:-
*morale and self-esteem
*release of excess energy
Research carried out Vermont University supports these claims and there are many other studies too numerous to mention here.
More research needs to be done on this. But several prestigious medical sites such as WebMD are very much in favor of integrating this with whatever therapy or treatment your ADHD child is prescribed.
How do I choose the right sport?
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
- 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 distracted 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 they ostracized me.
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 is crucial. We must involve them in a decision like this. This is so important.
Generally, the sports which emphasize the individual as the participant and at the same time offer a competitive element are real winners.
Also, sports that allow plenty of contact on a one-to-one basis with an instructor or coach are also great. The list of sports which fulfill these criteria are:-
- martial arts
- horse riding
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 are 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 (eg. homework!)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.
What happens in Scandinavia
Why have the Swedes and Finns got it right as regards giving kids more recesses in the open and getting them out of the classroom? Is it just a coincidence that Finland has one of the lowest rates of child ADHD in the world? You can read all about it in my post here.
Why Aren’t Our Kids Playing Outside? — Time For Us Parents To Take Action.
What’s wrong with kids today? They never play outside. Time to change all that!
The takeaway message.
Any physical activity like playing in the open air in natural settings or taking part in sports is crucial.
Sports and physical exercise always need to be a part of the whole ADHD treatment plan.
Kids with ADHD need this even more and we should help them rise to the challenge and do it smart.
Originally published at https://problemkidsblog.blogspot.com.