How To Coach Adhd Hockey

Coaching hockey players with ADHD can present unique challenges, but with the right approach, it can be a rewarding experience for both the coach and the players. Here are five key facts to keep in mind when coaching ADHD hockey players:
1. Understanding ADHD: ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects a person’s ability to concentrate, stay organized, and control impulsive behavior. It is important for coaches to educate themselves about the condition and its impact on their players.

2. Individualized Approach: Each player with ADHD is unique, so it is crucial to take an individualized approach when coaching them. Get to know each player’s strengths, weaknesses, and preferred learning style to tailor your coaching methods accordingly.

3. Clear Communication: Clear and concise communication is essential when coaching players with ADHD. Break down instructions into simple and manageable steps, use visual aids or demonstrations to enhance understanding, and provide frequent reminders and reinforcement of key concepts.

4. Structure and Routine: Creating a structured and predictable environment can help players with ADHD stay focused and on task. Develop a consistent practice and game routine, establish clear rules and expectations, and use visual schedules or checklists to help players stay organized.

5. Positive Reinforcement: Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool when coaching ADHD hockey players. Recognize and reward their efforts, progress, and achievements, both on and off the ice. Encouragement and praise can boost their self-esteem, motivation, and overall performance.


1. How can I help an ADHD player focus during practices and games?
– Break down drills and instructions into smaller, more manageable steps.
– Provide visual cues or demonstrations to enhance understanding.
– Incorporate fun and engaging activities to keep their interest and motivation high.
– Allow for frequent breaks to prevent frustration and maintain focus.

2. What strategies can I use to improve their organizational skills?
– Help them create a personal organization system, such as color-coded equipment or checklists.
– Teach them time management techniques, such as using timers or alarms.
– Provide visual cues, like whiteboards or calendars, for tracking practice and game schedules.

3. How can I address impulsive behavior on the ice?
– Establish clear rules and consequences for any violations.
– Teach players self-regulation techniques, such as taking deep breaths or counting to ten, to regain control in intense situations.
– Encourage them to communicate their frustrations or concerns to avoid impulsive reactions.

4. What if a player with ADHD is struggling academically?
– Collaborate with their parents and teachers to ensure a consistent support system.
– Encourage open communication about academic challenges or accommodations.
– Help them develop time-management skills and study strategies that align with their learning style.

5. Should I disclose a player’s ADHD diagnosis to the team?
– Respect the player’s privacy and discuss the matter with their parents/guardians.
– If the player is comfortable, some general information about ADHD may help educate teammates and foster understanding and support.

6. How can I accommodate players with ADHD during team practices?
– Provide clear and consistent routines so players know what to expect.
– Use visual aids or visual schedules to help players stay organized and focused.
– Be patient and understanding if they require additional breaks or reminders.

7. What resources are available to help me coach ADHD hockey players?
– Consult with mental health professionals or ADHD specialists for guidance and strategies.
– Seek out books, articles, or online resources specifically tailored to coaching athletes with ADHD.
– Foster connections with other coaches who have experience coaching players with ADHD.

BOTTOM LINE: Coaching hockey players with ADHD requires an individualized and structured approach. By understanding the condition, fostering clear communication, and employing positive reinforcement, coaches can help ADHD players thrive on and off the ice.