Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and sports

With neurological control in sports, two tasks are solved: 1) assessment of the health status of athletes; 2) determination of the functional state of the nervous system of athletes as one of the components of fitness.

The solution of these two problems is important, first of all, when admitting to practicing a certain sport. No less significant is the establishment of the conformity of the used physical loads with the functional capabilities of athletes. In this regard, the neurological assessment of the athlete’s condition at each specific stage of training helps the coach determine the level of training requirements (volume and intensity of load, rest intervals, features of building pre-competitive training).

In modern conditions, with heavy loads used in the training process, with a huge neuropsychic stress, the issues of preventing deviations in the state of the nervous system of athletes are of particular importance, and in cases of their occurrence, determining a rational complex of rehabilitation measures that allow not only to restore, but also increase sports performance. And in this direction, a lot of research will be introduced in the field of sports medicine, both by foreign scientists and domestic ones.

At the same time, it is a well-known and widespread fact that children are brought to sports sections to improve their health. And in some cases, the child’s body really strengthens, he stops getting sick often and successfully develops physically, but in some situations his health may worsen from intense physical exertion.

Children who are considered hyperactive are universally recommended to be placed in a sports section to improve discipline and release increased energy, but meanwhile, this conduct disorder is a disease associated with the central nervous system. Any movement is carried out with the participation of the nervous system; its implementation requires the coordinated activity of various body systems. This is especially evident when performing complex specialized motor skills. The necessary regulation of the degree of tension and relaxation of the muscles, rapid orientation under changing external conditions are possible only with the rapid and accurate processing of information coming from the sense organs to the central nervous system, and the subsequent sending of impulses to the working organs.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a dysfunction of the central nervous system (an advantage of the reticular formation of the brain), manifested by difficulties in concentrating and maintaining attention, learning and memory disorders, as well as difficulties in processing exogenous and endogenous information and stimuli. Children with Attention Deficit Disorder have normal or high intelligence, but may perform poorly in school. In addition to learning difficulties, attention deficit disorder is manifested by motor hyperactivity, attention defects, distractibility, impulsive behavior, problems in relationships with others and, which is especially important for playing sports, impaired motor coordination.

Having studied the literature on the history of the study of this syndrome, its medical-biological and psychological-pedagogical pictures, problems in violation of motor coordination and the opinion of various specialists on the possibility and desirability of the participation of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in sports activities, a number of conclusions can be made.

As the cause of the main disorders in ADHD, modern theories consider disorders of the functions of the frontal lobes of the brain, a number of authors call this as immaturity of the anterior frontal regions of the brain. Due to the immaturity of the brain, the child has not yet formed voluntary inhibition, and this is the reason that he cannot restrain himself and involuntarily responds to external stimuli.

Difficulties associated with insufficiently developed coordination of movements are the causes of motor awkwardness and may increase the risk of various injuries, which is not in favor of engaging in sports activities.

The problem is in violation of motor coordination and the opinions of various experts on the possibility and desirability of the participation of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in sports activities differ.

A number of experts are of the opinion that those sports that are not particularly traumatic can help correct the behavior of such children and make a significant contribution to resolving the issue of their discipline.

More common and developed is the point of view that physical activity should be moderate, in the form of specialized programs of therapeutic physical culture. Such activities can help correct problems with motor coordination (balance) and attention.

And there is an opinion that children with ADHD should adhere to an energy-saving daily routine and physical activity will not benefit them.

All three positions may be true, depending on the severity of the problem in the conduct disorder and the overall health of the child. And also, in the presence of a comprehensive individual approach to the correction of this syndrome, which is not limited solely to physical activity, but also includes psychological and pedagogical and, in some cases, medication methods of treatment and recovery. A large-scale analysis of the literature and the search for information have shown that this topic requires further research and at the moment cannot answer the main question – how to determine the usefulness and intensity of physical activity for a particular child with ADHD.

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