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ADHD and Youth Sports: Benefits and How to Choose – Healthline

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common childhood neurodevelopmental disorders, affecting around 8.8% of children and youth under the age of 17. It’s often characterized by inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity (1, 2).

Though these symptoms often occur together, not all children will exhibit all three. Many times ADHD can lead to an array of challenges such as low self-esteem, poor academic performance, and difficulty socializing (2).

That said, many children with ADHD are interested in participating in sports, which may help mitigate some of these issues. Though, you may wonder which sports are most suitable for children with ADHD and how to pick the right one for your child.

This article tells you all you need to know about ADHD and sports for children.

ADHD is a disorder that affects children differently, meaning an intervention or treatment that may benefit one child may not serve another. The same applies to sports, where one child may excel playing a specific sport, yet experience difficulties with another.

Team vs. individual sports

Some children with ADHD that are hyperactive thrive with sports that require individual focus, such as solo sports where the coach can dedicate more one-on-one attention and help them focus on one task. Examples include wrestling, track and field, tennis, swimming, and martial arts (3).

Though more one-on-one time may be helpful, your child may miss out on some benefits of team sports, such as socialization, teamwork, and making friends. Still, if your child becomes easily distracted in a group environment, then solo sports may be best.

But, if your child is interested in playing a team sport, you should encourage them to do so. Team sports offer practice with many of the social skills that are challenging for some kids with ADHD. Researchers have found that for some individuals with ADHD, team sports improve social skills defecits (4).

Open-skill vs. closed-skill sports

Sports that are fast-paced and require adaptation during dynamic gameplay are known as open-skill sports (5). Closed-skill sports, on the other hand, are sports where the skill required is consistent, predictable, and self-paced, like running or swimming (5).

Research has found that open-skill sports such as basketball, tennis, or soccer are often beneficial for attention problems, whereas closed-skill sports are helpful for hyperactivity or impulsiveness (6).

Indoor vs. outdoor sports

While there are certainly benefits to both indoor and outdoor sports, some research has suggested that individuals with ADHD benefit the most from exercising in outdoor “green spaces” (4).

For example, soccer and basketball are team sports that involve constant moving and gameplay. In contrast, baseball can involve a lot of standing around between plays, which increases the odds of distraction.

Sports that require a lot of rules, strategizing, and plays may be overwhelming for your child. Often, kids with ADHD do best when there is a specific goal (e.g., swim to the end of the pool) rather than situation-based sports (e.g., changing plays during football) (<hl-trusted-source …….

Source: https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness/adhd-and-sports

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common childhood neurodevelopmental disorders, affecting around 8.8% of children and youth under the age of 17. It’s often characterized by inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity (1, 2).

Though these symptoms often occur together, not all children will exhibit all three. Many times ADHD can lead to an array of challenges such as low self-esteem, poor academic performance, and difficulty socializing (2).

That said, many children with ADHD are interested in participating in sports, which may help mitigate some of these issues. Though, you may wonder which sports are most suitable for children with ADHD an…….

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common childhood neurodevelopmental disorders, affecting around 8.8% of children and youth under the age of 17. It’s often characterized by inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity (1, 2).

Though these symptoms often occur together, not all children will exhibit all three. Many times ADHD can lead to an array of challenges such as low self-esteem, poor academic performance, and difficulty socializing (2).

That said, many children with ADHD are interested in participating in sports, which may help mitigate some of these issues. Though, you may wonder which sports are most suitable for children with ADHD an…….

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