At a glance
Kids who struggle with focus can still enjoy participating in sports.
There are many sports that don’t require as much focus and strategy.
Being part of a team and learning a sport can help build confidence.
Team sports might be harder for kids who struggle with focus. This is especially true for sports with lots of rules and strategies to remember or that require learning how to use special equipment. But kids’ interests matter, too. And participating in a physical activity can be very beneficial for kids. Here are some sports that might be a better fit for a child who has trouble focusing.
Wrestling has advantages beyond what kids learn while doing it. As kids master different moves, they also learn discipline and how to stay on task and keep at something that feels hard. But while it’s a team sport, wrestling doesn’t really require teamwork. The actual competition is one-on-one. And matches are over quickly, so kids don’t have to hold their focus for long.
If your child loves basketball, this can be a good team sport to choose since the rules aren’t as complicated as they are in other sports. Players are constantly moving, so there’s less chance of being distracted. Even if it doesn’t seem like your child will thrive at basketball, don’t rule it out. The love of the game is often a deciding factor in whether a kid gets better at it.
Michael Phelps is a great role model for kids with attention issues who dream of winning gold. Phelps won 28 Olympic medals even though he struggled with focus and is hyperactive. It’s not surprising that swimming was a great sport for him. It requires intense concentration and energy. And there are few outside distractions when you’re in the water focusing on your speed and technique.
Track and Field
Track is the perfect combo of individual and team sport. Kids only need to compete with themselves and their own best performance. But there are teammates to hang out with between races, giving plenty of opportunities to stretch social muscles, too. Plus, there are no real rules to remember or lengthy instructions to focus on. Just the runners in front of you and the finish line at the end.
Kids who struggle with focus might benefit from a sport that doesn’t demand as much strategy or have lots of rules.
Talk to your child about sports they enjoy. Love of the game is important.
Being part of a team can also help build up your child’s social skills.
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About the author
About the author
Erica Patino is an online writer and editor who specializes in health and wellness content.
Elizabeth Harstad, MD, MPH is a developmental-behavioral pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital.