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Focusing While Playing Sports
"My daughter is a talented softball pitcher, but her performance is inconsistent. On her "off" days, the coach yells at her from the sidelines. He thinks it's a matter of motivation, but the shouting just confuses her. What should we do?"
Tell your daughter's coach about her ADHD. Explain that ADDers have difficulty processing verbal instructions. She's not intentionally ignoring or disobeying him - she just does not always understand when he yells instructions to her on the field. Ask that he draw or gesture while explaining plays, or at least try to make eye contact when telling her what to do.
Remember, the real problem for ADDers isn't paying attention. It's tuning out the world. To avoid becoming distracted on the mound, your daughter should try focusing on a mental image or silently repeating a motivational phrase.
Michael Stabeno is the author of The ADHD Affected Athlete. Stabeno lives in Beaverton, Oregon and has competed in, coached, and refereed everything from neighborhood soccer games to international wrestling competitions.