Before I go into why Taekwondo helps children with ADHD, it’s important to understand what ADHD is. To help with this, I’ve extracted text from the NHS website.
“Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a group of behavioural symptoms that include inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness. Symptoms of ADHD tend to be noticed at an early age and may become more noticeable when a child’s circumstances change, such as when they start school.”
To expand on the text above, this is what we usually see when a child with ADHD comes into our club for the first time.
- He or she talks over our coaches.
- The head keeps moving frantically.
- Eyeline is directed to irrelevant objects.
- The child randomly throws him or herself to the floor.
- Frequent running around in his or her space during class.
This fades out quickly. On many occasions, this behavior fizzles out within a single class. So why do these changes occur?
Structured Session Plans
The beginner practices a set series of movements in small combinations. Overtime, the student learns to put these combinations together into a fluent Taekwondo pattern. This teaches the student patience, discipline, structure and long-term-gratification. It also improves their concentration and listening skills.
As your child kicks and punches the pads, you will see a great development in his or her self-control. Your child will develop an understanding of his or her strength, improve accuracy and expel energy in our class so that they are more relaxed at home.
Setting Attainable Goals
The majority of sports only offer an external award that is based on being competitive. Although exposure to competitions can be a fantastic thing, many children with ADHD often believe that they never win at anything. By bringing your child to West Coast Taekwondo, they can earn a belt every three months without competing with other children. Many of my students with ADHD have also won the “Student of the Week” award on multiple occasions.
A Focus on Individual Growth
Taekwondo is a fantastic substitute for team sports. Team sports are highly competitive and your child may struggle with the pressure of failing his or her team. Taekwondo develops the child by placing focus on self-improvement.
Making Friends and Building Confidence
I guess I cheated on this one but even though this post is called 5 reasons why Taekwondo helps children with ADHD, friendships and confidence go hand in hand so it made sense to double up on this point. West Coast Taekwondo is a community of optimistic minded people. Our coaches and students are forever supporting each-others development in the sport and in life.
A Quick Closing Note
Recently, a student of mine with ADHD had came into our class for the second time. At first she was shy. However, as soon as she arrived this week, she was playing with the other children and communicating openly. By taking part just like everybody else, she wasn’t just a Taekwondo student. She was apart of our team of ninjas!
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Coach Gethin Rhys James