Swimming Can Help Improve Behavioural Symptoms in Children with ADHD
Studies have shown that children with ADHD can benefit from regular exercise, as it helps to improve cognitive functioning. Activities such as swimming can help focus the attention of children who have ADHD while providing structure and an outlet for releasing excess energy.
The Swim-With-Me Story
Swim-With-Me is a family business that has been helping children and adults to learn to swim for over 10 years. Owner Tracie Jack’s goal is to teach as many children as possible to swim and be safe in water.
“I didn’t learn to swim until I was eight-years-old, so I wanted to make sure that my children learnt as early as they could. While attending their lessons, I realised that I wanted to get involved and from there I became a qualified swimming instructor.
“Teaching children to swim and making sure that they respect, love and enjoy being in water is so important to me. I am transferring my knowledge to the next generation and contributing to saving their lives.”
Swimming with ADHD
Restlessness, impulsivity, lack of concentration and trouble with social interaction are some of the symptoms of ADHD. These symptoms can make it difficult for children with ADHD to participate in sports, especially if they require teamwork. Individual sports like swimming can be beneficial, as having the focus and attention needed to interact with other players in team sports can often prove challenging.
“Swimming can help boost self-esteem and encourages children with ADHD to interact with others as they’re in a class environment. We always find that children with ADHD love to be in the water, and swimming often becomes a hobby.”
Children who have been diagnosed with ADHD can excel at swimming. A great example is Olympic athlete Michael Phelps, who believes that starting swimming at a young age helped to keep him focused and disciplined.
How Swimming Can Improve ADHD Symptoms
Swimming is beneficial because it allows children to develop their abilities at their own pace, and set goals without being in direct competition with others. Swimmers also have the benefit of regular and dedicated interaction with their instructor, which can help to improve social skills and concentration levels.
“I believe that any sporting activity can help a child with ADHD. The relationship that’s created between teacher and learner helps the children to concentrate and achieve goals.
“During each lesson, we work at minimising triggers which may make the children feel uncomfortable, or that could increase the loss of concentration.”
The repetition involved in learning a new activity can help to improve attention and focus. Tracie has witnessed the benefits of swimming for children with ADHD first hand and believes it can have a positive impact on their behavioural symptoms.
“We see a great change when students have been with us for a while. They learn to respect water and work extremely well with the repetition that is necessary for learning to swim.”