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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Top Tips | Inclusive Coaching | ConnectedCoaches

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Top Tips

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Top Tips

This blog post is taken from the ‘Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)’ factsheet, one of a series of factsheets produced by sports coach UK in partnership with The National Disability Sport Organisations (NDSOs) - a collection of six sports charities who work closely with Governing Bodies of Sport and other sports partners to develop participation and competition opportunities within sport for people within specific impairment groups – and Nottinghamshire County Council.

The following information has been written by those with a great deal of experience in this area. The information is provided as guidance only, allowing you to be more informed in your approach to being a more inclusive coach. No two people are the same; as such, please ensure your first step is always to speak to the person – understand their abilities and goals, and never assume.

What is ADHD?

ADHD is an impairment of either activity or attention control, or both.

General Characteristics of People with ADHD

  • Inattentiveness – short attention span; extreme distractibility; over-frequent changes of activity; do not appear to be listening when being spoken to directly; and may have poor ability to organise tasks.

  • Hyperactivity – may have excessive movements, especially in situations where quiet and calm are expected; may fidget; and often have difficulty in playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly or competitively.

  • Impulsiveness – may act without thinking and appear thoughtless of rule breaking; has difficulty in waiting their turn; and interrupts/intrudes on others.

Including People with ADHD in Your Coaching Sessions

  • Be firm with rules, but calm and always have a positive approach

  • Match your coaching style to your participant’s learning style; understand this by speaking to them/their parent/carer prior to the session.

  • Know when to ‘back off’ if the participant’s level of frustration or anxiety begins to peak.

  • Look at the participant when communicating.

  • Strive to have a predictable and organised coaching environment.

  • Provide immediate and consistent feedback regarding positive behaviour.

  • Try to develop a private signal system with the participant to notify them when they are off task or acting inappropriately.

  • When speaking to a group and giving instructions, use the individual’s name to attract attention. (When asking everyone to ‘come here’, some individuals may need you to tell them specifically by name that you mean them too.)

Next Steps

This blog post is taken from the ‘Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)’ factsheet, one of a series of factsheets produced by sports coach UK in partnership with the NDSOs.

Download the factsheet.

For further information and support, visit:



sports coach UK also has a number of workshops you can attend to help you become more inclusive in your coaching. Visit the sports coach UK website to find out more about these workshops.

Did you find this post helpful? Do you have any tips you’d like to share with your fellow coaches? Leave a comment below.

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