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ADHD and Sports

Hockey practice mom would like advise

just looking for advise on how to handle a situation my son had at hockey practice.  He is 10 and has adhd he is not on any medication.  He does love hockey and doesn’t like to miss it at all.  I figure it would be a good sport - well he made the best team in his level which means he is playing with the best kids in his age group.  They expect more from him.  Well the coach kicked him off the ice at practice and approached me after practice in front of all the other parents and said he doesn’t know what to do he asked him to do something many times and he wasn’t doing it correctly.  I am not sure if it is just my son not listening like he should, or he not being able to focus.  I did ask the coach if my son is not understanding - he said he was not sure, but he wasn’t happy with him.  I get upset with my son, but I also feel for him - any advise would be great how to help my son have a successful hockey year


You really need more information to formulate an effective plan from here. If his ADHD symptoms are getting in the way, and treatment isn’t an option, then he may need to join a team at a lower level.

A somewhat similar example is that my son has a gifted IQ, but he cannot meet the expectations of teachers in gifted level classes due to his ADHD, Asperger’s, and learning disabilities. He absolutely could not succeed at that level and it was ramping his anxiety up to unsafe levels. And that only made his academic performance (and behavior) worse.

It could also be that your son is feeling a lot of pressure being on the top level team. Playing that down and helping him manage that stress might help.

Here’s some tips to help kids with ADHD succeed at sports too.

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

Posted by adhdmomma on Oct 22, 2015 at 2:02pm

I think the coach plays a vital role in any kid liking the sport he is in.  It may be that this coach isn’t cut out for dealing with a kid who may need a bit more understanding and patience.  I think it’s more important for your son to enjoy his sport rather than what league or level he is.  Find what works.  If this coach isn’t the answer, then find one who will work with him.  Our world is full of people who need a leg up, the coach needs to get on board with that. Sports are critical, I think, for our ADD sons.  It helps them in many ways.  Keep at it and good luck!

Posted by ToniC on Oct 23, 2015 at 3:02pm

Ask your son what happened, if he said he didn’t understand, or it was a new drill, maybe your son could get that information before practice. I find when people are explaining things out on the ice it is very hard to follow what they are saying.You are really going to have to advocate for your son to find solutions for this, I’m afraid

Posted by Anna from toronto on Nov 26, 2015 at 6:08am

We ran into this with my son too. He is also 10. We do not medicate him for games, only school days. He made a top level team, but clearly did not have the same skill level as the other kids. They had very high expectations since he was on a top team last year but really struggled to keep up. We did not want a repeat of that this year. We requested to move him down to the second tier and now he is one of the better kids with comparable skills and understanding. It has done a lot for his self-esteem, which he does not have very much of at school. So it is good to see him enjoying some success in another area. He still has his moments of not listening, and his coach expressed some frustration with it but after I spoke with my son, it seemed to get better. Best wishes.

Posted by CathyC on Dec 02, 2015 at 4:15pm

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