• Prevalence Of ADHD In Athletes :

In a systematic review of 17 studies of ADHD, the prevalence of
ADHD in athletes (aged 15-19 years) varied between 4.2 and 8.1%.
Overall, athletes with ADHD demonstrated lower scores on
neurocognitive testing such as the ImPACT (Immediate Post-
Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Test), increased risk for
concussion, and increased symptom reporting. There was no
evidence that treatment with stimulant medication changed these
risks.

ADHD prevalence is higher among collegiate and professional
athletes compared with the general population. This is due to the
beneficial effects upon ADHD symptoms of physical exercises and
positive reinforcement associated with team-based sports.


  • Positive Effects Of ADHD On Athletes :

ENERGETIC: Some athletes with ADHD often have a lot of energy in
store which they are able to channelize in their sport.

SPONTANEOUS: Some athletes with ADHD can turn impulsivity into
spontaneity. This helps them to take spontaneous action even in a
pressure situation without hesitation.

HYPERFOCUSED : Some athletes with ADHD may become hyper
focused, according to research. This makes them intensely focused
over a task given to them without breaking concentration.

CREATIVE AND INVENTIVE : Living with ADHD may give the athlete a
different perspective of their game and encourage them to approach
tasks and situations with a thoughtful eye. Also, some athletes with
ADHD may be inventive thinkers.


  • Negative Effects Of ADHD On Athletes :
  • Depression, anxiety and substance-use disorders in ADHD may impair sports performance.
  • Lack of focus and concentration, oppositional behavior, argumentative attitude, frustration, lowered self-esteem and labile mood associated with ADHD could hinder an athlete’s performance.
  • Undiagnosed and untreated ADHD may result in high stress, depressive mood and anxiety in athletes.
  • Athletes with ADHD exhibit high risk-taking behavior which may also lead to increased risk of sports injury.
  • ADHD also has a great impact on strength agility and coordination in athletes which may have an impact on social functioning and participation in sports.