A thought about tennis...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Malika, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    After today's less than illuminating experience on the tennis battleground (sorry, court), a thought occurs. J behaved very well and was very concentrated on what they were doing - various exercises involving co-ordination, with and without a ball - for about 20 minutes.
    Maybe that is about all a kid with ADHD can manage??
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Malika -

    Maybe he has neuromotor fatigue? I'm serious. Its like, he CAN do all sorts of things, and do them well, BUT... he runs out of brainpower, because it takes something like 20x the brainpower for some of these kids to do highly-coordinated tasks... real-time stuff like tennis would be up there, but not as bad as, say, soccer or basketball, where you have the whole team component.

    If the teacher isn't noticing focus issues during class, then it probably is NOT a focus issue.
  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Tennis has been wonderful for difficult child 3, but his teacher has dropped out of sight for the last year, no classes have been run. I'm thinking of enrolling him in an adult club. We also have tried lawn bowls. Maybe J would do better with something like lawn bowls, it's not just an old people's sport. It is also an Olympic sport and I have seen some very young players at times. lawn bowls is quieter, easier to concentrate.

    ADHD kids can hold it together and stay focussed, but it comes at a cost. They really mentally fatigue a lot more, and quickly. Taking time out before they blow a gasket is the best way to train them to cope a little longer each time, and to also call for time out when they recognise the need in themselves.

  4. ML

    ML Guest

    Manster could not focus enough to participate in soccer or baseball but last year we enrolled him in tennis classes and he's done well. He joined the tennis club this week in middle school! He's actually enjoying it. YEAH!
  5. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your input everyone. I've honestly no idea at the moment whether J refused to go on after about 20 minutes because he was bored, because he was tired - mentally, physically or both - or just because he was in this contrary mood that had all started with my refusal to buy him the toy he wanted... I have agreed with the tennis teacher that we'll go back again for another trial run next Wednesday, so perhaps that will prove revealing. Knowing J, he will now be anxious to "do the right thing" and prove that he can stay for the whole lesson - but I could be wrong :)
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Regarding the toy - I found that if my boy was perseverating about something, anything, we couldn't get much sense out of him until we resolved the concerns. We found it is worth taking the time to help him understand that either we will get the toy later, or the toy is taken care of in some other way. Or whatever the issue is. For example, a kid who is hungry will be focussing on his empty tummy and not doing what he should be. They whine more when they're hungry or thirsty. So I always fed and watered the kids before going shopping, for example.

    Just a thought, in case it helps at the next tennis lesson.

  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yeah I wouldnt tie a toy into a sporting thing. I did however tie a bag of chips into dance practices. Keyana was just 4, like your J, when she had dance class every Monday after being in school all day. Normally I picked her up about about 45 minutes after she got home from school so our routine was that I brought a drink for her in her cup and one of those cereal bars for her to eat before class and then she got a bag of BBQ chips and water on the way home. Every single week...lol.

    He is still I little boy. I noticed when watching the kids in the dance class that 60 minutes was really pushing it to keep the 4 year olds concentrated. Some of them just couldnt do it. Some could. Takes time. Kids are just wired different.
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Good point about the snack before the activity.
    Even with teenagers, we have to do that... for younger kids, it is even more vital.
    The key here is... something that won't cause a blood-sugar spike.
    Yogurt & fresh fruit, or some raw veggies, or a high-fiber cereal bar, or some trail mix (a mix of nuts and dried fruit), for a few ideas.
    AND - make sure he has a drink before he starts, and access do water during... even slight dehydration affects concentration and mood.
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yes, that is why I always used those cereal bars (I cannot think of the name of them but she loved them) and I put apple juice in her cuppy (miss my words :( ) Her dance teacher also stopped midway during the class and passed out cups of water for the kids.
  10. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Oh dear, I feel quite thoughtless now... I picked J up from the activity centre (where he would have had a juice and something to eat about an hour before) and didn't think to bring him a drink or anything to eat... Now I remember, he did say he was thirsty and I meant to get him water at the tennis club (where they have facilities for that) but in all the cafuffle, I forgot.
    Sometimes I am not very organised on the earth plane :)
  11. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Smile, Malika...

    1) you will be better prepared for what frame of mind he is in - but you now have an explanation, and a plan for next time

    2) before you get to "next time"... you'll load up a stash of something that can be hidden in your purse, or the car, or wherever else... in case you don't remember.

    Sorry we didn't post that great idea sooner - so its partly our fault too!
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Keep a to go bag in the car with a couple of cereal bars and we have these really wonderful water drinks that are only about 10 calories but taste great.
  13. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Just a thought, from inside the Adhd brain...

    Was J doing well with the exercises? Getting the movements right and having no trouble mastering the exercises?

    When I was a little gaffer--about 4 or 5, if I was learning something new and picked it up quickly, I'd rapidly get bored and want to go do something else. My tennis coach used to switch activities about every 15 minutes unless I was struggling to master something, in which case he would spend more time working on the skill.

    The rapid changes helped to keep me engaged in the lesson without taxing my attention span too much. If he got to a point where he'd taxed my mind and I couldn't take in any more that day, he'd give me challenge drills to do (for example: Backhand grip, bounce the tennis ball on your backhand racquet-face at least 25 times in a row without dropping it. He would increase the number of reps as I got better at the challenge). This worked on skills I'd already established, the challenge made it fun, and it was a break from "thinking so hard".

    I wonder if 20 min is all the attention span J has available? It might be something to raise with the teacher. And I agree with the others about ensuring he has drinks and light snacks available.