4 Fun Sports for Kids With Attention Issues

By Erica Patino

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Team sports aren’t always the best for kids with attention issues. Especially sports with lots of rules and strategies to remember. But kids’ interests matter, too. See what these sports have to offer.

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Two young boys wrestling on mats
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Wrestling has advantages beyond just learning technique. As kids are mastering different moves, they’re also learning discipline and how to stay on task. While it’s a team sport, wrestling doesn’t require teamwork. The actual competition is one-on-one. And the matches are over quickly, so kids don’t have to hold their focus for long.

Basketball coach giving a player one on one help in the school gym
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For a kid who loves basketball, this can be a good choice for a team sport. 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 team sports seem like a real challenge, don’t automatically rule it out. The love of the game can be a deciding factor in whether a kid succeeds at it.

Middle school boy swimming in a competition at an indoor pool
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Michael Phelps is a great role model for kids with attention issues who dream of winning gold. Phelps won 22 Olympic medals despite having attention issues and hyperactivity. 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.

Middle school girl running in a track event
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Track and Field

Track is an ideal marriage of individual and team sport. Kids only need to compete with themselves and their best performance. But there are teammates to hang out with in between races, so there’s opportunity 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!

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5 Fun Sports for Kids With Listening Comprehension Issues

Kids with listening comprehension issues may have trouble understanding what coaches or teammates are saying. But there are many sports that don’t require much coaching or listening. Here are some good options to consider.

5 Fun Sports for Kids With Social Skills Issues

Kids with social challenges may not enjoy sports with a lot of team interaction. That doesn’t mean they can’t participate in athletics. Many sports have little social pressure but still let kids build social skills.

About the Author

Portrait of Erica Patino

Erica Patino is an online writer and editor who specializes in health and wellness content.

Reviewed by

Portrait of Elizabeth Harstad

Elizabeth Harstad, M.D., M.P.H., is a developmental behavioral pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital.

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