Athletes with ADHD

Posted on November 20, 2017

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A new study published by the Ohio State University finds that athletes with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have a higher tendency to compete in team contact sports rather than individual sports, and this could potentially increase their risk of injury.

In this study, more than 850 athletes competing in a variety of sports over a 5 year period were analyzed. It was expected that athletes with ADHD would be more likely to participate in individual sports, such as tennis or golf, where the player has more control and there is more repetitiveness without having to worry about the roles of a teammate. However, it was discovered that - contrary to the belief of the researchers - these athletes who had ADHD were doubly as likely to compete in team sports, and their rate of participation in contact sports, such as football, hockey and lacrosse, was a whopping 142 percent higher.

Although there is no direct correlation between ADHD and certain types of injury, there may still be an increased risk of injury. Dr Trevor Kitchin who is involved in primary care sports and the research stated that "we're not saying that ADHD led to injury, but given it's known characteristics, it may be putting these athletes are higher risk, especially in contact sports". Young people with ADHD do have a tendency to be more impulsive and slightly more reckless. While research has shown that participating in sports can help mitigate the symptoms of ADHD in children and doctors do encourage parents of children with ADHD to let them try any sport they are interested in, the act of trying and participating in sport to help with any issues arising because of the ADHD should not be taken lightly either.

One of the key things to note is to have "an open dialogue between the athlete, parents, coaches and athletic trainers so that they can work together" and provide the child the necessary resources in being successful in their chosen sport, as Kitchen suggests.

Category(s):Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Sports Psychology

Source material from Science Daily

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