You don’t have to go for the gold to benefit from sports. For teens with ADHD, the payoffs can be immediate and long-lasting:
The classroom is tough for many teens with ADHD. Shifting focus and hyperactivity rarely come in handy in school. On the athletic fields, though, those qualities are often assets, allowing a child to excel at a sport.
Exercise sharpens cognition. Physical activity helps the brain focus. According to , author of Spark, 30 minutes to an hour a day of physical activity helps kids manage ADHD symptoms. An after-school soccer practice will meet or exceed those recommendations.
Children who are part of a team have a group to hang with and something in common to talk about.
Being part of a school team provides incentive to do well academically. Kids have to maintain a certain GPA to be eligible to play.
Athletic talent and achievement in high school may help a teen get into college -- sometimes with a scholarship -- when his test scores and GPA are less than stellar.
When Jarryd entered college as a Division I athlete, he was required to put in 20 hours a week of study time — in the college athletic office. The office had a study area with on-site tutors and academic advisors to assist him.
This article appears in the Winter 2011 issue of ADDitude.
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