Slacklining nullifies ADHD

This weekend at the SlackClapham club launch day, I witnessed something I have never seen in a year and a half of slacklining…

Harley the prodigy from Peterborough.

Harley is 11 years old. His Grandmother told me that he had been ‘diagnosed’ with ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder.
Apparently he couldn’t stand school one bit.
Apparently he has ‘difficulty with concentrating’.
Harley proved to me, to his Grandma, and to the abundance of ADHD culture that slacklining nullifies attention deficit. It’s very simple; you must pay attention to walk the slackline. Deficit does not allow you to slackline.
So how does Harley, a first time slackliner, walk a 10m line in 10 minutes, if he has a deficit of attention?

I don’t agree with ADHD as a diagnosis, at all. You put anybody in a boring room, with a boring subject to try and focus on, and they will all have a deficit in attention.

I feel that the reason kids are told they have ADHD is because they haven’t been offered anything remotely cool enough to focus on.

What Harley needed was to be playing outdoors, enjoying himself and having a challenge to overcome. He needed very little encouragement from me. He relentlessly got up on the line, time and time again, setting a twig as a distance marker underneath the line.

10m in 10 minutes! Incredible!

Slacklining fulfilled all his needs, so much so that he conquered the line 60 times faster than most of my clients. It was a most remarkable experience for me, and got me thinking that I would like to work with kids with so called ‘ADHD’, a) to get them slacklining and having some fun, and b) to further disprove that people with ‘ADHD’ can’t focus.

Harry Cloudfoot is a slacklining instructor based in London, working with all ages and skill levels. To book Harry to work with kids or your community, contact him here.

This article was featured in Terry Matlen’s ADHD newspaper.

Related Articles:
How Exercise helps with ADHD symptoms
Does ADHD have benefits in certain environments?


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Harry Cloudfoot is a writer and explorer of movement and mind. You can check his social media if you want but you'd be better off going and doing something, instead.
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2 thoughts on “Slacklining nullifies ADHD

  1. Pingback: Slacklining with Young People « bigfootdylan

  2. You’re on to something. I am an adult sufferer of ADD. Working backwards through research I am starting to see a direct link between “balance” and cerebellum functioning. We sufferers need activities that tap into the power of this tiny brain.

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