Best Sports for Kids with ADHD

As a parent of a child with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), you’re wondering, what are the best sports for children with ADHD, are there any specific activites or social groups where my child can play sports and excel and create lasting friendships and relationships with peers? How can I keep my children active and reduce ADHD symptoms? How can my child with ADHD learn to pay attention in a fun, active environment?

Research has proven one of the best ways to mange ADHD for children and adults is SPORTS and physical activity.

What are the best sports for ADHD kids?

Staying active is important. Many parents want their children in team sports, however, a child who is impulsive, distracted or lacks ability to focus, may not do well in a team sport.

While baseball, basketball, football and soccer are all great team sports, they involve a considerable amount of standing around and waiting for your turn. These sports also create competition among team members and against the opposing team. This added stress sometimes causes additional anxiety for children with ADHD and may not be ideal for children.

List of Best Sports for Kids with ADHD

Hiking and Biking

Hiking and Biking are great options for children and adults with ADHD. These activities require constant movement and action which are great for high energy children. Hiking and biking are also outdoor activities which most children and adults prefer after a long day at school or work.

Martial Arts

Martial Arts is one of the best, go-to sports for high energy children. Classes are structured, high energy environments. Look for a discipline (Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Kykido) that incorporates tenets, such as integrity, perseverance, courtesy, humility, and self-control that are memorized and practiced by the students at each session. Martial Arts teach kids essential life skills and character traits.

Cross Country and Track

Cross Country and Track are also great sports for active kids. Running uses large muscle groups, and maintains constant focus. It allows kids to be in a team sport, but compete individually. It’s also therapeutic due to the repetitive nature of the sport.


Tennis is another great sport due to its constant action, necessary focus. The athlete can compete on an individual level, but also be part of a team setting.


Swimming is a well known sport for ADHD because of Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian athlete (athlete with ADHD!) in history. Michael Phelps was diagnosed with ADHD as a child and he confirms that swimming helped him because of the discipline and constant action involved with swimming.

Other great individual sports for ADHD are surfing, and skateboarding. wakeboarding, snowboarding, snow skiing

When children compete in organized sports, they gain many benefits such as exercise, cardiovascular benefits, and muscle development, but the most important benefit is a positive self-worth. Sports and exercise gives children another platform to succeed and it can make all the difference to a child that struggles academically. and are great resources for finding training tips, sporting events, races, and classes in your area.

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This Post Has 15 Comments

  1. Netta

    I am probably prone to hyperactivity my own self and, for sure, my children have at least some of that. You’re right. It does tend to be a bit of a circus.

    Physical activity is an absolutely essential part of life for the hyperactive, I think. Being outdoors is always a bonus and just using your body in skillful ways keeps you from getting way fidgety and helps you develop focus, concentration and balance.

    The one cool thing about this: you really don’t have a problem with getting enough physical exercise. Hee!

  2. Ranae

    That is a great idea! I will have to add to the list. And perfect for hyperactive children. Thanks for the suggestion and feedback.

  3. Hazel

    Thanks for the great information. Another thought might be jump rope. I didn’t even know there were jump rope teams until a few months ago but my daughter is on a team now and it really fits those categories of large muscle groups, constant action and repetitive movement.

  4. Ranae

    Thanks! Appreciate the feedback. Have a fantastic day!

  5. admin

    Great!  Glad you liked it!  If you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them.  Thanks so much again for the kind feedback!

  6. jeffrey16201

    Thank You

    These are very good suggestions for sports and activities for these children, many children with this disorder find some sports and activities as you stated difficult for them to participate in.

    I like your website and your article topic today, I plan to visit your website often for more good tips like you shared today.

  7. Jeff

    Great tips for sports and activities for children who are high energy, many children fit this category today and this will benefit parents as well as the kids


  8. admin

    Thank you!  I appreciate your kind words!  

  9. Norman

    Hello and thanks for sharing, first time I have heard of this but it is good to see that you have put together a website that is able to address those that are facing this issue and according to your advice this seem to be very awesome and offers great help and hope to those who may be searching for answers. Your post is truly a great help and gives hope. Thanks again for sharing.

  10. admin

    Thanks so much for the feedback and sharing. My son is in martial arts and it has been a life saver. He’s able to exert the excess energy as well as practicing respect for authority, learning about perseverance and maintaining self-control. I remind him about self-control often (as he’s sliding down our banister ????). Have a great day!!

  11. admin

    Thanks for the feedback! Yes, any activity that can hold their attention is beneficial and the more active the better. I’m on the fence about diagnosing before school age. I remember, when mine was 2 or 3 that he was much more hyper and active than other kids his age, but I held off getting the DX until 6 when he started having problems academically. I truly believe a parent knows best and is the biggest advocate for their child. So it can’t hurt to get a Dx early.

  12. admin

    Thanks so much for the feedback! Have a great day!!

  13. KerryAnn

    Wonderful information. Sport is so important for all children, I can see how these sports would benefit those with extra energy and activity.

  14. Angela Brand

    This is very exciting! I have a child with ADHD and yes they are ssssoooo busy! Any sport that keeps their attention is great! In order to keep their attention it usually has to be very active and have some level of thrill to it! As long as it wears them out, we are all good! LOL. My son excelled and enjoyed basketball, soccer and track. Do you think a child is too young to tell if the have ADHD?

  15. Kevin McNamara

    Hi there,

    I haven’t had a lot to do with ADHD but a friend has. She struggles big time with one of her kids. From what I know he doesn’t play any sports. It seems like tennis, swimming, running and martial arts would be good for him.

    I will pass on your post to my friend and I’m sure it will help her.

    Many thanks,


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