Developing effective strategies to manage ADHD can be a challenge but when the disorder is present in a busy student athlete, a performance plan is essential.  The following tips are helpful to managing this tricky combination:


  •  Sleep matters – at least 8 hours a night is optimal
  •  Power naps can be great – limit to 20 minutes with the use of a timer


  • This is his best time to play offense and get ahead with coursework (write a paper, read chapters, review notes and concepts from class).
  • As a student and athlete he/she does not have the luxury of downtime while in season.


  • Laptop is a tool to complete work and be more productive. If it does the opposite then it’s a distraction and should be removed.
  • Cell phone is a tool and she be used the same way.

Study strategies

  • HW does not exist anymore. Prepare every night by learning, reading and asking – ‘do I understand’. Read twice if you need to.
  • Put on headphones and listen to mind stimulating music
  • See teacher before the test to review ‘what I don’t understand’
  • See teacher after test to review ‘what I got wrong’
  • Take study guide and make practice test problems to do one and two nights prior to test

Manage test anxiety

  • Preparation and practice are best way to manage anxiety.
  • Positive mindset is a way of focusing emotions towards feeling a positive outcome
  • Visualization is a highly effective technique used while running.  Student can “see” the end result of the test  – “I got an A”
  • Brain dump – write down key facts and concepts on back of test before starting to support working memory and relax the brain
  • Take the test YOUR WAY – do what’s easy first and get into a confident mindset. Then move onto harder questions.
  • Also, use the test to take the test. Terms and concepts written on the test can help guide other questions (short answer, essay)

Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail

  • Use a calendar-based tracking system to organize and plan days and weeks. Student should be entering in weekly time to study.
  • Clearly state the assignment and if it’s a long-term assignment then break it down with specific days to complete sections.