Volleyball and ADHD


"My daughter is 12 years old and a 7th grader. She is very athletic and very AD/HD. Is volleyball a good sport for children with this disorder?"

Sandy Maynard

There is no one rule that applies to AD/HD children when it comes to sports because each child is so different. The most important factor is that they enjoy the sport and feel supported and encouraged in their endeavors. That is where you as a parent can play a very important role. When they can feel good about participating, regardless of who wins, is when the sport will benefit them the most.

Typically AD/HD children are more likely to succeed at individual sports where they get a lot of one on one attention from the coach, such as swimming and gymnastics.

Team sports requiring the individual to not only focus on what they are doing, but to focus on the rest of what the team is doing, can be very difficult. Sports that require children to use executive functions such as strategizing and anticipating plays may also be difficult for some AD/HD children. Sitting still to wait for their turn may be a problem in sports such as baseball, and the outfield could be disastrous due to an inability to stay focused on the batter and the ball.

I often recommend martial arts since it is all about learning how to focus and maintain mental control as well as body control. Each move is learned step by step and it is very structured.

Sandy Maynard lives in Washington, DC where she operates Catalytic Coaching. She was instrumental in the development of The National Attention Deficit Disorder Association's Coaching Guidelines and a founding board member for the Institute for the Advancement of AD/HD Coaching (IAAC). Sandy lectures internationally and is a regular contributor to ADDitude.
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