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Why Playing Team Sports Is Good for Kids With ADHD

New study finds that team sports like soccer with constant action and movement may be better for children with ADHD disorders than sports with more downtime such as baseball or softball.

“The results surprised researchers, who expected the athletes with ADHD – which is characterized by symptoms such as inattentiveness, hyperactivity or both – “to gravitate to individual sports that allow them to have more control and repetitiveness, like golf or martial arts,” says Dr. James Borchers, one of the researchers and director of the division of sports medicine at the medical center. “In sports like these, they don’t have to worry about their own responsibilities in addition to the roles of teammates and opponents.” Instead of being drawn to individual sports, athletes with ADHD “were twice as likely to compete in team sports, and their rate of participation in contact sports, like football, hockey and lacrosse, was 142 percent higher,” Borchers says. He and fellow researchers presented the study recently at the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine’s annual meeting; it’s an analysis of more than 850 athletes who played an array of sports at The Ohio State University. Nearly 6 percent of the athletes in the study were diagnosed with and treated for ADHD, which closely mirrors the percentage of ADHD found in the student population at large.”

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