ADHD and Sport – Does having ADHD make you more successful at sport?

Simone Biles and Michael Phelps are elite athletes both with diagnosed ADHD. They may have started as a way to manage their symptoms but perhaps the slight edge of hyper focus, being able to manage distractions and persevere has created a greater likelihood of becoming an elite athlete.

Participating in sport or exercise increases neurotransmitters to the brain which can help reduce symptoms such as impulsiveness. It also supports better quality sleep which helps reduce ADHD symptoms. Practicing the skills of sport requires teamwork and cooperation and can improve confidence and communication.

A team of researchers claim that between 4-8 % of school athletes have ADHD. Dr. Han claims that symptoms of ADHD can enhance performance; quick movements and reactive decision-making due to inherent impulsivity required in sports such as basketball and baseball.

Exercise that increases the available neurotransmitters can improve symptoms. I have always participated in sport; running, netball, badminton, yoga and now coach football. I still exercise daily and find it’s one of the best ways to manage symptoms.

What’s your sport or exercise of choice and how does it help you?