Swimming Activities for Kids with ADHD


"I have a fourth grader with ADHD who has done well on his summer swim team, and want to ask our school board to consider adding swimming as an athletic program. Is there research that recommends it for ADHD children?"


ADDitude magazine recently interviewed parents, children, gym teachers, counselors and coaches to determine which sports are best for ADHD kids. They ranked the sports according to the following criteria:

  • Opportunities for distraction
  • Level of physical contact
  • Complexity of rules/strategies
  • Use of gross motor skills

Swimming and diving were highly recommended for children with ADHD and learning disabilities that affect organization, spatial awareness and difficulty with game concepts and strategies. Exercise creates a sense of well-being, something crucial to all those coping with ADHD. Kudos to you for advocating, not only for your child, but the many others who will benefit from a junior high swimming program. Keep up the good work!

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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