Coaching a child with ADD?

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Oct 23, 2009
Anyone have any experience coaching a child with Attention Deficit Disorder? My DD has just started on medication and it is working well for school. She is on a weeks break to get her medication levels adjusted. Her doctor says it is fine to go back to gym, but I am getting some pushback from her coaches who are not sympathetic. She has had this condition for a long time and as a result has not been able to focus on what they are telling her and they have gotten impatient with her as they think she is not listening. They interpret this as not caring about gymnastics. Not true, she wants to work out. Any thoughts?
Well of course she has had this problem for a long time, you don't develop ADD later in life, it is an inborn condition. She would have been suffering from these problems as long as the gym and the coaches have known her, the may have formed some stereotypical views of her that are not positive.

Why not have a meeting with the coaches and explain that she is on medication and you have seen improvement and you would like her to try and workout on medication and see what the difference is. When they see her on medication and see her listening and focussing and working hard they will become more supportive.
Meet with the coaches. Explain the ins and outs of ADHD, how the symptoms manifest themselves in your DD particularly, and how the medication has been working in skill. Let them know tools you have found useful in working with your DD in helping her overcome personal struggles. If, with all of this information in hand, they are still not supportive of developing a plan to effectively work with your DD- I think I would pursue other options. The struggles she's dealing with are hard enough and are probably weighing heavily enough on her mind, she certainly doesn't need adults losing faith in her over something she cannot control.
Thank you coachmolly and Aussie coach! I have sent an email to the HC to let her work out on the medication. If they are not willing to work with her, then maybe it is time to go.
I've had two ADD gymnasts at least, 2 that I can remember very well off hand. They were out of it without their medication. It's not that they were squirrely or disruptive, they were just unenergetic and sluggish.
My daughter is ADD and also a level 4 gymnast. I am also one of her coaches. It is hard for her to keep her focus sometimes but she loves the sport. She is also on medication which helps alot. The coaches have to be supportive though. All of our coaches are aware of her condition and she is just like any other kid. We just sometimes have to remind her of what she is doing before hand. But each child is different and each one needs something different. As a coach they should be working to make her better. Its no different than a kid that is terrified on beam (and I have a couple) you just have to keep working with them, over and over. That is part of gymnastics! If the coaches are not wanting to work with her than they are the ones that are failing, and I would consider finding a new gym. As a coach I want everyone of my girls to succeed and be the best that they can be in the sport that they love.
This reminds me of the thread that I started a while back because I have a 9 yr old L5 DD. She was struggling because her medication was wearing off ½ way through practice. She also was not disruptive to others but she was not able to focus. Honestly, she could not force her body to stay in control through her routine that she already knew in the summer time. She was losing her timing on her kip that she had for 4 months. She could not remember what to do from station to station. Her coach came and talked to me and we have seemed to resolve the issue. One ADHD is lessened for my DD by letter her have some caffeine before practice and a little more during break. This seems to help her focus. Two, the coach has assigned her a “partnerâ€￾ that keeps her on track. I am VERY lucky that we have two older girls (13 & 14) on our L5 team that do not get bossy with her but just re-direct her. If they see her mind wandering or see her doing stuff she shouldn’t they either says something or quietly put their hand on her shoulder. She knows that is their job and truly appreciates them. We are going on two months of this and she is doing great. As a matter of fact she won work out winner last night for the hardest worker on L4/5 team

Good luck to you but know that this is controllable and possible and by the way I think we have about 5 or 6 girls in the gym and they all have to do something different to work around and with this issue.
After a few weeks break, DD decided to leave the ultra-competitve gym. She is looking at a gym with fewer gymnasts and a more supportive environment.
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