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Seven Tennis Tips for Adults With ADD/ADHD

Monday, November 28th, 2016

Many say that tennis is a “mind game”, based on consistent focus, concentration, and confidence. Many of the skills necessary for tennis are challenging, especially for people with ADD/ADHD. However, tennis is a great for people with ADD/ADHD since it can improve these skills over time, and can be like “physical therapy” for the brain.

In addition, tennis is a great game to practice mindfulness which can help in other areas of your life. Mindfulness can help with focus, concentration, motivation, and stress reduction. All of these benefits can help you thrive when you have Adult ADD/ADHD. Many experts in ADD/ADHD stress the benefit of exercise in helping cope with ADD/ADHD and functioning better in your personal and professional life. In addition, it is great for your physical well-being.

Playing the game of tennis is a metaphor for so many other areas of our lives such as work, family, and other sports. I hope you find playing tennis and using these tips brings you a lot of joy, pleasure and success.

Here are seven tennis tips that can help the Adult with ADD/ADHD improve tennis but also in other life goals:

1. People with ADD/ADHD often have difficulty with sustained focus or attention. Improve your focus by repeating a mantra or phrase such as “watch ball!” or “racket back!” as the ball comes over the net. This can help your focus and develop a rhythm.

2. When you notice your attention drifting, gently return back to your mantra. Practicing returning your attention back to your focus is great practice for all of your other endeavors as well! Often times, writing the mantra on a flashcard can strengthen the benefits.

3. Tennis is a subtle balance between focusing and letting go. Thus, throughout playing, it is often necessary to be flexible between “letting go” and “staying focused”.

4. Practice letting go of critical thoughts, especially during the warm-up phase. Reassure yourself that “this is practice”. This is another useful mantra that should be practiced at anytime that you are playing tennis, whether it is a casual volley or an intense match.

5. Many people with ADD/ADHD have difficulty with timing. As soon as your opponent hits the ball, get your racket back. Allow yourself to run with your racket back, rather than standing in the ready position.

6. According to one coach, tennis is similar to the martial arts in that the power comes from the momentum of the body, not from muscular strength. Thus, continuous motion, not jerky movements, is essential.

7. Remember-This is a game… Part of the point is to have fun. Find the balance between improving your game and having fun.