What Sports Are Good For Individuals With Dyslexia?

Childhood is often filled with lots of games, sports, and memories. During school, sports are also a great alternative to break the monotony.  Kids are fond of several sports like running, frog jumps, and one-legged races. While getting focused on academics, students may lead to a pause in games and sports. In such scenarios, it is crucial to decide what sports to choose from. For individuals with personal compromises like Dyslexia, it can be further bewildering. 

While sports can aid to implant and enhancing fresh skills in students, can these be a supporting practice for dyslexics? Consequently in this post, we will traverse through some picks for individuals with dyslexia, along with some propelling benefits they can gain from these sports.

Individuals with dyslexia- Their role in sports

Some kids may take more time to grasp language skills due to their challenge in inferring words. Dyslexia, as we call them, may need to put on a cut above effort and sometimes need IEPs. Astoundingly, they can be active on the field. Kids who may feel it is taxing in academics can compensate with their excellence in sports, which not only stimulates self-esteem but may also drastically pull out signs of depression. 

Several popular athletes like Magic Johnson and Tim Tebow showed that sports could be a clever break out from taxing homework and academics. American sports such as soccer and baseball witnessed individuals who may struggle in the classroom could be good at something valuable. 

Traits of Dyslexia- That are worth comprehending in sports

Individuals with reading compromises have a set of strengths that can aid them to excel in certain sports. Understanding these can bring to certain options to choose accordingly:

  • Analyzing Ability:  Research by Dr ALison M. Bacon[1] showed that dyslexics are great visualizers making them great analyzers. Apart from physical fitness, Sports often need the player to analyze the scenario to fabricate the strategy accordingly. Analyzing abilities of Dyslexics are a clear edge ensuring sportsmanship.   
  • Creative and Observant: Creativity is one of the pre-eminent traits of dyslexics. They can come up with newer solutions at needed scenarios. Further, they can be very strong observers assisting them to be often creative.
  • Narrative Reasoning : The ability to grasp the mindset and scenario of a person and diagnosing probable solution accounts to the narrative reasoning of a person.  Since reasoning is a fundamental factor in problem-solving, these are often essential for a sports person.  According to Sammer Mahajan[2], about 80-90% of dyslexics show narrative reasoning and dynamic reasoning as strengths that can play an essential role in programming.

Considering these strengths that Dyslexics possess, we explore the relevant pick of sports for these individuals.

Sports that you can consider pursuing

Sports are one of those practices that improve physical and mental health simultaneously. While aspirants can opt for any sport where the stated above strengths are evident, our picks can also assist in improved cognition and confidence needed for some individuals. Here we explore a list of sports that people can excel in with learning compromises. 

1. Rhythmic Gymnastics

Rhythmic Gymnastics

Among various types of gymnastics, Rhythmic gymnastics is distinct due to the way it is performed. Gymnasts here perform on the floor with props like hoops, balls, ribbons, ropes, or any other handy alternatives. Sometimes this comes integrated with elements like a dance. Ideally, the trouper needs to be strong and flexible with coordination, which implies the need for serious practice. This expedition can implant various positive traits like self-esteem and coordination. Research by Senatore Barbara[3] showed that rhythmic gymnastics could improve concentration, Self-regard, and learning problems. This two-year-long study outlines that some people may take more time to master the game by being mentally and physically strong. 

2. Baseball

This game obligates the players to be sharp enough to focus on the throws of the ball. Being a game of nine players, it obligates the need for teamwork along with fitness and hand-eye coordination. Matthias Grunke, in his research[4] studied the potential of baseball, especially on learning disables due to factors like:

  • It is a team sport where players work for a common goal.
  • The game is statistics-driven, focusing on individual performances.
  • Advanced social interaction that it ensures.

This research not on;y studies the potential of baseball, but also shows the value of education along with social interaction and cognition. 

3. BasketBall

BasketBall

Being a game that needs a sharp focus on the ball and the goal, basketball can aid in building endurance and improving balance at the same time.  Being played within a predetermined time limit, the game can also improve concentration and discipline. Fascinatingly, research by Efthimis[5] showed that basketball players showed better memory retention, selective attention, and prediction measures along with motor skills. The research conducted on 13 players may indicate that a successful selection of sports can make the best athletes.

4. Pickleball

For people looking for a lighter version of tennis, Pickleball can be taken. Though the rules are distinct, these are minimal, making it an introductory sports option for aspirants.  The game focuses on improving the agility of the player. Being an easy game, people of any age can step into it. The performer need not infer a heavy set of rules, making it an easy pick for those even if they have compromises.  

5. Track

Track

Track sports are relatively simple yet ensure the fitness and mental health of the player. Running, long jump and high jumps don’t need the performer to remember any words or numbers while they play. Sports like running can be practiced anywhere and don’t need gears. Further, there can be multiple sports to choose from including long jumps, high jumps, and marathons. 

6. Ice dancing and Figure Skating 

Ice dancing is a pre-choreographed skating-influenced dancing sport that is performed by a couple of men and women competing as a team. This is a part of the winter Olympic sport which was introduced in 1972. Figure skating is similar to Ice dancing in many ways. The need to glide swiftly needs the athlete to be extremely healthy with respect to joints and muscles. They can relish perks like improved balance, coordination, and stress management. According to research by Anca Lonescu[6],  figure skating and similar sports can form proactive behavior in improving mental and social abilities in the practitioners. Here, it is also remarked that the implementation of figure skating in the academic curriculum is a sure premise in order to expand competencies. Merely Davis is a professional ice dancer who sets an example for all aspirants. 

7.  Football 

 Football 

Being a sport that needs the largest paying area, Football may be a preference for those aspirants who are comfortable inferring colors rather than words and symbols. Evidently, the game deals the players with yellow and red cards for warning and expulsion. Ryan A. Williams[7] depicted that group games like football can lead to ameliorating information processing, inhibitory control, working memory, and circulating brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Additionally, the game can lead to physical fitness and cognition too. Tim Tebow is an example of a dyslexic professional player who has been successful with his determination.

8. Boxing 

Boxing 

Being an easily accessible combat sport, Boxing proved advantages when implemented in schools. Apart from increased endurance, weight management, and mental strength, the game can offer aspirants a better understanding and responsibility of violence in real life.  Paul Perkins[8], by his research, highlighted the social benefits of boxing and its focus on moral concerns. This may imply better mental stability and self-confidence, mitigating depression.  

Benefits of sports for individuals with dyslexia

Even if word recognition abilities are compromised, some strategies can aid them in competing with peers. Evidently, sports can be one of these. Apart from improving health by controlling weight, better blood circulation, and managing stress, the scan also amplifies cognitive abilities. 

In the recent research by Rokhsareh Badami[9], It is found that sports vision exercise can influence and improve fundamental motor and cognitive skills in students. The research conducted for 12 weeks outlines that these sports can advance reading abilities. According to Christer Malm[10], sports can have the following edges on the individual:

  • Physical activities can alleviate mental illness and depression, thus drastically addressing various anxieties and stress-related issues.
  • Sports can have evolving effect on the Social Situation of the individual
  • Even a modest level of such activities can have the notable benefit

Mastering the game-  brushing up sport abilities

No matter how strong and fit a person is, some strategies can surely make them closer to becoming a professional in sports. 

  • Comprehend the Fundamentals: Fundamentals are often crucial for any sport. Mastering these can make the player make quick decisions strategically during the game.  For instance, knowing the point awarding structure in basketball can lead to scoring better.
  • Look for tips and Hacks: Any sport has some tips that can lead the player to improve performance instantaneously. It is always suggestible to expedite such a hack and tips. For instance, tweaking the load of the bat can lead the player to hit the ball hard in baseball.
  • Create a goal and stick to it: No two individuals may have the same routine and goals for a sport. Consequently, one can take time to sit back and design a goal plan befitting for them. This assists them in staying disciplined and sticking to it effortlessly. 
  • Keeping away from unhealthy perceptions is the base to grasp any sport. Some believe it to be unfit for the game, while some others feel it to be too complicated. Starting the sport is crucial, never mind if it is elementary.  

Concluding thoughts

Games are often believed to improve physical, but they can improve the practitioners mentally too.  Even if a person has some learning compromises, the above-depicted picks can wait to boost mentally as well as physically. Many successful athletes have proved that determination and perseverance cannot be affected by some personal compromises. Ponder the above picks to see if any of those can be custom-tailored take-in for you.  

References:

  1. Dyslexia and reasoning: The importance of visual processes. (2010, December). Dr Alison M. Bacon. https://doi.org/10.1348/000712609X467314
  2. An Overview of Educational Methodologies and Visual Programming Language Designs to Aid Programmers (2018). Sammer Mahajan.
  3. Rhythmic gymnastics and dyslexia: a two-year preliminary case study. (2018, November). SENATORE BARBARA.
  4. The Inclusive Power of Baseball: How a Game Can Help People With Learning Disabilities Move Away From the Fringes of Society. (2020, May). Matthias Grünke.
  5. Cognitive, Perceptual, and Motor Abilities in Skilled Basketball Performance. (1998, June). Efthimis Kioumourtzoglou. https://doi.org/10.2466/pms.1998.86.3.771
  6. Student Perceptions of Motor, Mental and Social Benefits and the Impact of Practicing Recreational Figure Skating. (2018). Anca Ionescu. https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8120110
  7. Effect of football activity and physical fitness on information processing, inhibitory control and working memory in adolescents. (2020). Ryan A. Williams.
  8. The Boxing Conundrum: Is there a place for a new variant of the sport? (2014, September). Paul Perkins.
  9. Effect of sports vision exercise on visual perception and reading performance in 7- to 10-year-old developmental dyslexic children. (2016). Rokhsareh Badami.
  10. Physical Activity and Sports—Real Health Benefits: A Review with Insight into the Public Health of Sweden. (2019). Christer Malm. https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7050127

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