Team sports can help your children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), especially with their social interaction among their teammates. It will be teamwork with the coach, parents, and kids themselves, but the results will be wonderful when they can integrate with the rest of the team.
A coach will be the backbone of a kid with ADHD that want to practice a team sport, keep in mind that the coach will also need your help as a parent, so be the best supporter who is always going to be there for them. You need to understand that maybe a sport could be overwhelming but with your love and the coach’s guidance, it could be an experience to remember or their future professional career.
Coach and parents: follow the next points!
- Never humiliate a child: if you want kids with ADHD to improve their social interactions, NEVER punish them. For the trainers is normal to punish their athletes, like running 30 laps if a play goes wrong, but with ADHD that doesn’t work. It would be better to talk with the kids and pair them with a buddy that will help with the plays and routine inside the practices. That way, both parents and coaches can help to nurture their social interactions.
- Drill all that you can: kids with ADHD get bored quickly, so change your practice routines and push them to move around until they get exhausted. Parents can work with the coach a routine at home, to help to burn that energy and keep up with practices.
- Go one-on-one: kids with this condition struggle with group directions, but if the parents take time to explain the coach, and together make a new plan for directions, everything will go incredibly.
- Do a double-check: as a parent you know that your kids will need more attention, so ask the trainer to make a casual conversation with them alone, that way he will know if they fully understand the practices and the instructions. Because, if the child feels disengaged or confused, could lead to a communication breakdown, and parents and coaches would have to work hard on that situation.
- Win or lose as a team: kids with ADHD will take too serious winning or losing, so teach them that you lose or win as a team, that a game is a team effort, and never will be their fault because they have ADHD. This is known as sportsmanship values and can be instructed in all the players.
- Make them know the game well: kids need to burn out all that energy, so move the player around, teach them all the positions and plays, so that the little ones will feel integrated with the team. And parents, practice with your kids those positions and plays, so they will be excited to return to practices.
- Excitement: kids with ADHD get over excited with the action of a game, forgetting about teamwork and strategies, and that can cause the loss of the team, so parents help the coach to be ready for this, and get the excitement to a normal level.
- Make a resting plan: when they get overwhelmed and tired, it would be great to let them rest, so design with the trainer a resting plan, inside the practices and in real games. That way your kid won’t be exhausted and down.
- Enroll them young: kids with ADHD tend to think and act socially and emotionally younger than their age, so paired them with a group one or two years younger probably would be the best.
- Think in the best: please ask the coach to evaluate your children to know what is the best position, and best course of action for them, that way the coach will be looking for those strengths, that way both of you can look out for the child.
Remember that coaches can make an impact on a child life, they can change how the child sees itself, so make them your best ally in this new step on your child life. They can help children with ADHD to learn that they have a value as a member of the team, and inclusive can define their future career, with your help and guidance, of course. So, let your kid try a team sport and see the differences at the beginning and after a time practicing it. Come to Autism Soccer and get the right opportunities for your children, learn more about team sports and make them happy.
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