What about using all that ADHD energy towards playing ball? Here are the pros and a few things to watch.
Use that energy!
The nonstop energy of kids with ADHD can be an advantage on the ball field. Coaches love those players who seem to never tire and have ————enthusiasm for the game.
Some kids with ADHD find that they excel in sports, and so playing ball may be a way to build that all important self esteem. Playing catch with Dad or a sibling is fun. However, the advantages go a step further. If your child joins a team, he may excel when he struggles in other areas (for example, school). As parents we are always looking for and encouraging our kids in those esteem building activities. Softball or baseball may provide a source for that boost for your child.
Develop focus and coordination!
The skills required to play ball (running, catching, and throwing) are great for focus and coordination. Extra practice and encouragement are important. Try adding some verbal prompts for added success:
- The runner is on third. Watch him when the batter hits the ball.
- Get in position and look at where your teammates are.
- What kind of ball does this one normally hit?
Think of a few verbal prompts that are like thinking out loud. What do you do, watch, etc. when you play ball? Help your child develop these focused thought patterns. These are no different than what you would usually say. There are just more and follow a logical sequence. If you make them encouraging in your tone and expression, your child will find them helpful.
Practice social skills!
Team work, turn taking, and good sportsmanship are the fabulous social skills that come with playing ball whether in the backyard or at the ball diamond.