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ADHD and Sports

ADHD and Hockey


I have an 11 year old son who was diagnosed with ADHD in 2nd grade. I tried medication and didn’t like how it made him irritable and zombie-like. Therefore, he hasn’t been on meds since about 3rd grade. Well his transition to middle school has been a MAJOR struggle for him so I now have an appointment to put him on meds but can’t get in until January. Anyway, my post isn’t about debating about meds- just giving some background info. At this point I am doing it because I can’t watch him struggle anymore and the benefits will outweigh any side effects. He has played hockey since age 3 and has always been one of the best players on any team he has been on. This year he made the team he was going for and with making that team there are certain expectations the coach has for him. Since his academic and social struggles at school began a few months ago they have only been getting worse by the day. Now, for the first time ever, he is not playing his sport very well. He will have a great game and then the next game he will be so off with everything. An example is the other day he just skated off the ice in the middle of the game to get water and the coach and his whole team started screaming at him to get back on the ice. I feel for him because I know he has been struggling. The coach told him yesterday he had a TERRIBLE game. His self esteem is almost to 0 between this and school. I I try my best with the pep talks but he is just starting to really give up. Anyone experience this same thing? Like I mentioned, our apt for meds isn’t until January so I need to get his self esteem back before it is to late. Also not sure what to tell the coach because he is just baffled by my son’s performance. Any tips or has anyone experienced anything similar? I am so sick over watching my son struggle- it is awful.


Puberty can wreak havoc and make ADHD symptoms worse.

You are right to revisit the medication option. Here’s how to get it right this time:

As for hockey, maybe let the coach know he’s going through a tough transition period and not quite on top of his game, but you are working on it.

ADDconnect Moderator, Author on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen boy with ADHD, LDs, and autism

Posted by adhdmomma on Nov 23, 2015 at 3:19pm

Does he always want to go? If he’s having a bad game does he want to keep playing? I would follow his lead with these issues for now, and definitely talk to the coach about how to mange him. Ask your son privately, ‘when you are having a bad game what you you like the coach to do?’
All that depends on a certain amount of self awareness though.
Watch his blood sugar too. I coach a team, last week everyone showed up for the game and the kids were complaining not enough ice time, this week 3 players out and by the 3rd period, one kid was like a zombie.
About the appointment, call every morning see if there has been a cancellation, make sure if there is any paperwork, get it now, so it is ready to go in January, and remember, even if he misses a couple games in December, it’s a short month so he won’t miss much. My son was quite sick for the last month but still wanted to play, so he only went to games, no practices, maybe you can come up with a strategy with the coach, and if not, you may need to start scouting for a new team for next year now.

Posted by Anna from toronto on Nov 26, 2015 at 6:00am

Hockey games are one of the few times we do not medicate our 10 year old. The activity seems to be enough to keep him focused. This year he made a high level team but after a few games it was apparent it was not his skill level. We asked for him to be moved down into the second level group and now he is one of the better players. It has boosted his self-esteem since he felt that he was one of the worst players before. For a kid that doesn’t enjoy much success at school, it has made a big difference for his self-worth and self-esteem. He is just playing in a rec league, it is not travel, so luckily we had the option of moving around. Would changing teams be an option?

Posted by CathyC on Dec 02, 2015 at 4:09pm


Im 14 and i have ADHD aswell. I joined my school’s junior hockey team 3 years ago and i was apparently the best player on the team and they even put me in the seniors team with 15 year olds while i was 11. But for some reason ive started playing differently, i seem to be distant during the game sometimes and i just leave the pitch so i understand what your son is going through. Im not on meds either. I dont really know how i work through it, but i know for one that the pep talks dont work, it goes in one ear and out the other. I suggest maybe you should ask him to try and figure out what he wants out of hockey because thats what i do and it gives me dome sort of goal to reach.

Im sorry for your struggles your facing trying to help your son, im sure it will get better with time and soon you wont have to worry much. smile


Posted by Sarafina Rule on Apr 12, 2016 at 5:14pm

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