I am a heart that loves an ADHD Brain. I have found Jessica’s videos VERY helpful.

I am curious about how ADHD brains train for sports. What makes training and results so inconsistent and how can I help my brain see the results of the hours of training that she puts in. Specifically she is a swimmer and is a very GOOD swimmer but she can’t seem to get out of her own way and compete as consistently as she trains.

Any advice? Or Jessica, a video?

Does she like competing? Or does she solely like training? If she doesn’t get as much out of competing as she does from trying to improve her ability in training, maybe that is why? And/or competition has a lot of room for thinking other people might think badly of one, maybe this potential drawback of competing outweighs the benefits.

I play a competitive sport and while I really enjoy training for it, I have very mixed feelings about actually competing. When competing or contemplating competing, I feel very worried about letting other people down and about messing things up or failing or not making it on a team (it’s devastating when it does happen and throws me off for months). It worries me to a degree that I pretty much hate competing. (When the game is over and I’m with my teammates who are supportive of each other win or lose, I like it, but beforehand I hate everything about it and worry for weeks/months and wonder why I do it at all.) When training I am enjoying improving my skills, company of friends and the exhilaration of the movement itself. For me, the solution has been to step back from competition occasionally and just enjoy doing a thing I like for its own sake and being involved in the community.

Edit: Also, regarding how ADHD people train for sports. I can only speak for myself (awaiting professional assessment, 29 F), but positive feedback is WAY BETTER than “constructive criticism”. I realise that sometimes that is necessary, but positive feedback makes me want to try harder and improve and I feel happy doing my sport, while negative (but well-meaning) feedback makes me feel sad and useless and like I’ll never be good at it and want to quit.

Thank you so much for your thoughts and personal experiences. For my daughter practice is the necessary evil (so to speak). She LOVES to compete, but it does make her very nervous for the same reasons you stated above. She definitely response to positive feedback far more than constructive criticism and we have changed coaches for that exact reason. Her former coaches are amazing people but their style is far more “eastern block” than my daughter can take.

That said, it is possible that her ADHD manifests as hyper focus on the “nerves” instead of using it to focus on her talent.

You’re welcome. One thing that someone once suggested to me for pre-competition nerves was to think of them as excitement instead! To sort of “trick” yourself into thinking that’s what it was (and probably some of it it excitement). I really liked that.