“There were times when I thought I was going off my head … I always thought I had issues but it is only now that I am able to put a name to the condition and take steps to address it.”(Roddy Grant, ex-professional footballer with St. Johnstone, now Associate Director of the Club, speaking to the Daily Record about his ADHD)
“Having ADHD, and taking medicine for it is nothing to be ashamed of nothing that I’m afraid to let people know.” (Simone Biles, Record-Breaking US gymnast)
There have been a number of successful elite athletes with ADHD diagnoses, not least of whom the “greatest athlete ever,” gymnast Simone Biles. The list also includes Louis Smith, Roddy Grant, Terry Bradshaw, Michael Phelps, and Justin Gatlin.
It is estimated that about 10% of professional athletes have ADHD brains, which is about twice the average rate. In certain sports, that rate could be much higher.
But when you have an ADHD brain, being successful in your chosen sport relies on the right combination of a supportive home life, a sport that you can be passionate about, appropriate and sensitive coaching styles, and excellent support for continued self-care and good mental health.
ADHD Thrive Sport is the sports wing of ADHD Thrive, providing coaching and training to address the particular needs of anyone in sport, from amateur athletes to elite sports professionals, from sports coaches to executive management.
ADHD Thrive Sport works 1-on-1 with athletes to help them understand the strengths and subtleties of their brain-body, and to help them find a good balance between the intense demands of sport and emotional needs in their personal life.
ADHD Thrive Sport also, importantly, works with people who have retired from sports careers. This can be a very difficult time for people with ADHD, as they transition from the structured intensity of focused sports performance to a life without a core focus, without an achievement structure, and with little formal support. Coaching can help someone in this situation find a renewed sense of direction and purpose.
ADHD Thrive Sport works with sports associations and organisations to embed ADHD awareness training into coaching curricula and staff training.
- What’s are the strengths of the ADHD athlete personality, beyond the diagnosis?
- What things are important to known about the ADHD brain and sports performance?
- How does someone with an ADHD brain work best within a team?
- What’s the best coaching style to adopt when working with someone with an ADHD brain?
- What are the implications of ADHD for mental health in sport? (e.g., coping with life after a professional career; gambling; addiction; depression; financial mismanagement)
- What are current policies and attitudes on ADHD, Medication, and Anti-Doping?