Sports and Leisure

Many of a child’s sports and leisure activities outside of school time require motor coordination. This can cause challenges for a child with DCD.

The videos below show a typically developing child and child with DCD learning the same ball task:

Impact of DCD on sports

Children with DCD tend to:

  • Enjoy sports in early years when focus is on participation and fun
  • Withdraw from sports when skill and performance are highlighted
  • Sign up for different sports but quit after a few games
  • Find games involving balls the most difficult

When playing ball games, children with DCD tend to:

  • Miss the ball
  • Get hit by the ball
  • Not react to the game
  • Not keep up
  • Fatigue
  • Quit
Why are sports and leisure challenging?

Issues with performance and participation in sports and leisure may be due to:

  • Stiff posture and slow reactions
  • Difficulties with fine and gross motor skills
  • Difficulties using two sides of the body together
  • Difficulties with hand-eye coordination
  • Difficulties monitoring their performance and adapting to a changing environment, like a bumpy field or the unpredictable direction a ball can take
  • Lack of awareness of their location in space
  • Difficulties with judging speed of objects and other children
  • Fear of failure and humiliation