Get Ready...Get Set...Play
Finding the right sport for your child takes time. Here are four steps that will get you moving:
1. Find a sport that matches your teen's interests and attention levels. Sports that our older, non-ADHD son enjoyed were not for Jarryd, whose attention span was shorter. To Jarryd, baseball was slow and boring. Soccer couldn’t contain his high energy level. He needed a fast-moving sport — basketball or football. Community teams that emphasize fun over winning may be a better match for your teen than a school team.
2. Find a coach whose philosophy matches yours. Coaches who are focused only on winning play their best players more than less-gifted athletes. And those coaches may be more critical of ADHD symptoms on the field. Find a coach who makes sure that everyone plays, develops skills, and has fun.
3. Stay positive. All athletes need positive reinforcement, especially those with ADHD, who often have low self-esteem. locala:/adhd/article/1864.html:"Praise is critical" when a child lacks confidence in a sport he hasn’t played before.
4. Go the extra mile. Help your child raise his skill level by arranging for practice sessions, sports camps, or a coach outside of regular practice. Extra help builds skills and, more important, confidence.
This article appears in the Winter 2011 issue of ADDitude.
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