973741 tn?1342342773

ADHD/ADD kids, which sports are best for them?

My friend's son was recently diagnosed with ADD. They are a very sporty family.  She brought up a good point that some sports are not idea.  I have a son who has great basketball skills but sometimes is a beat behind. He has a processing issue from ADD/ADHD's cousin, sensory integration disorder.  When she mentioned this, it made perfect sense.  There is strategy in basketball, plays, fast pace and skills all used at the same time.  The processing is hard for a child that has a neurological delay so basketball while doable is not a great sport for a kid like my son.  

Was wondering thoughts on this and maybe a discussion on sports best and worst for ADD/ADHD kids.
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189897 tn?1441126518
There are several things going on here.   First some sports due to their required level of fitness will help a child for hours afterward stay focused.   Sports like swimming (Michael Phelps), Cross Country, (and depending on the event) track, and  Gymnastics all fit into this category.   Also, in all these sports, you are competing against your self and usually don't have to worry about riding the bench.

Then the age of the child is important.  Typically, the older the child, the better the ability to focus, to a certain extent.   So while Soccer might not work for an 8 year old, it might for a 13 year old.   Of course, if the child loves the sport and goes into hyper focus everytime they play, that can make a huge difference.

Any team sport where there is much stand around time is not good....so a lot can depend on the coach.   On my soccer teams for example, every kid had a ball and never stopped moving.   But, I don't think I would have wanted a goalie with adhd.....too much down time.

Basketball, with the right coach should be ok.  Constant movement and conditioning is important.   Its also something that a kid can practice in the backyard for hours on end.

Baseball, I think would be difficult.   Tennis would be good.  Football, could be iffy.  Probably depends on the position and the age of the player....as well as how excited they are about the game.

Interesting article below,  I don't buy into all of it, but its about all I have on a short search.

   Hope this helps.  Any questions?
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Avatar universal
I've read that martial arts are good for kids with ADHD. I've recently put my son into karate (he requested to join). I don't know if I've really seen the benefits yet, but it's getting him moving twice a week, he's doing something he's interested in- so the focus is there, he's with a mix of kids and they all work together to help people learn the moves, and he's learning self control and discipline.

I like it too because the focus is not on how fast you can run through the katas , rather it's about how well you are executing the moves.
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That's awesome!  I've heard martial arts are good too and exactly for the reason you say . . . discipline and self control.  That's also what can make it a bit challenging though I'd imagine. I think that it is something though, karate, that can really in the long run build confidence. So, that's great you started your son in it.  Does he have add/adhd?  
Yes, my son was diagnosed in March with ADHD. I take him and watch (his request), and if I notice his attention is wandering or something, I'll just let him know at water break. Nothing over the top, just a little reminder to him to remember to pay attention to the sensi so he can learn the moves to move onto the next belt. The karate school is also aware that he has ADHD.
That's great.  You sound like a smart mom!  I called that "giving a que".  We even had code words and phrases to my son stay on track.  It's great he is learning the art of karate.  What grade is your son in?
Sometimes I don't even give verbal ques, I'll just tap my ear for listening, or point to what he should be paying attention to. I'm sure by now he's pretty tired of me always saying something LOL
He's in grade 2.
Your son will appreciate it.  All of the que's you give him now are so that he eventually takes over and does it for himself!  
973741 tn?1342342773
Thanks Sandman!  I think where adhd/add and executive function issues (and sensory) might play a role in something like basketball is the fast processing required for the 'plays' and switching offense to defense plays that happen in the fast game.  My son is a great defender in basketball and can shoot.  But he is like a beat behind if that makes sense on what he needs to do. And a beat behind in basketball is disastrous or at least, can be.  His body can run back and forth with great stamina and endurance but his brain has trouble with the quick switches needed as the game goes on.

In soccer, I'm wondering if that is also not the case for some kids.  My younger son is a soccer guy.  He does well because he is a very fast thinker. When he was younger, less of this was required but now that he is older, the speed of play is very fast.  He's constantly having to keep control of the ball, keep an eye for his own teammate as the opponents are creating absolute chaos around him (he's a striker and literally usually has 2 to 3 guys right on him at all times), problem solve for where to send the ball or to go with it in order to move it forward to goal.  A lot going on in any single instant in his game. LOL  But he can quickly do that.  I think my older son would have trouble.  He'd be better in the back on defense where he just needed to clear the goal area and make a good pass to someone (or even just kick it out of bounds as a last resort).  Not as much heavy thinking--- just get there and protect the goal.  ?

Anyway, it is fascinating to me because the mind and how it can get jumbled with add/adhd or sensory can play a true role at what you might or might not be good at or best suited for.  
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This was interesting...,
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