Coaching ADD athletes & ritalin enhanced performance : LUSENET : APA Division 47 Exercise and Sport Psychology : One Thread

I have been asked recently by two coaches about the effects of ritalin on an athlete's performance. Is any one aware of literature on the subject?

Does anyone have tips on coaching these athletes? A swimming coach wondersif ritalin will eventually be banned by the USOC. I would appreciate any tips or resources that others may have to offer.

-- Michael McDermott (, January 01, 1998


The question of banning athletes from using ritalin would seem at first to be ludicrous. But when you consider the prohibition of such drugs as Clenbuterol, which is found in some asthma treatments, then it follows that no athlete should be allowed to use Ritalin (assuming it has any performance enhancing qualities).

In theory you could say that drugs should be banned only if they are used to gain an advantage and that anybody using drugs to compete on even terms should be allowed to do so. However, how could you police such an open ended ban.

-- Jonathan Daniels (, July 02, 1998.

This is a great topic for a study!

Since Ritalin is supposed to enhance attention it would be interesting to see how it affects "normal" athletes. That is, does it improve attention in controlled experiments.

-- Roland A. Carlstedt MA(Psy), ABD (, February 22, 2000.

I am a division one soccer player from connecticut. Some people may not want to hear this, however a friend of mine takes ritalin,or rather he is supposed to take it. Usually though it is bought and sold to his friends. I have taken ritalin in many contests but not in the conventional way. When ritalin is crushed and snorted the affects become much like that of cocaine, but much longer lasting. I think that the officiating bodies of professional sports may soon ban the drug because of its use off the field by non-prescribed athletes.

-- Johnathan Talbot (, February 29, 2000.

The ADD athlete must be recognized and disclosed to the coach. Treatment by the coach will be different and expectations of both attention and consistent performance need to be modified. There are teachers in our public schools who do not accept the difficulties these students deal with daily. In sports they can have a social development that may not otherwise be accessable to them. If they walk off and get a drink of water it is not out of disrespect. Give them freedom and encouragement. Talk in a calm direct way. Give consistent gentle directions and most of all - let them PLAY.

-- Paul Rask (, June 13, 2000.

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