1. Welcome to Autism Forums, a friendly forum to discuss Aspergers Syndrome, Autism, High Functioning Autism and related conditions.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Private Member only forums for more serious discussions that you may wish to not have guests or search engines access to.
    • Your very own blog. Write about anything you like on your own individual blog.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon! Please also check us out @ https://www.twitter.com/aspiescentral

Autism and Sports

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by William Weiler, Oct 19, 2020.

  1. William Weiler

    William Weiler Ad Astra V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    76
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2020
    Karma:
    +133
    Kind of requesting comments. I didn't get a diagnosis. In fact, I just figured it out at 60. It is pretty obvious now, I am not mistaken. I have always done sports, yet I read that people with Autism often have poor muscle tone and coordination. Yet I did quite well. I was motocross racer from 14-21yrs. I was Western New York State 250 Novice and Amateur champion. Expert was another level, but after 5yrs I was winning races on a 125cc. I came in 3rd in the series and quit because it was too much because I was also doing college. Now I race go-karts. I race regionals of Northern California. I kind of have nothing to brag about, just that I don't get lapped. I have always stood out as more coordinated, stronger and with better reflexes. So how can this be? I work out until I am completely exhausted. It is coping mechanism other people I know do (who have ADHD). It eliminates agitation and makes me okay for days on end.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Friendly Friendly x 2
  2. disconnected

    disconnected Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    589
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2018
    Karma:
    +1,081
    Those are not really team sports, just you in your own head sports I call them to myself. I’ve been VERY active with long distance motorcycles, and riding /racing mountain bikes and skiing/snowboarding, rock climbing and whitewater kayaking. ;) Just was never good at team sports. I was actually ranked in the state for road cycling in college too. I tried lacrosse in high school but was bad .
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  3. William Weiler

    William Weiler Ad Astra V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    76
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2020
    Karma:
    +133
    Well, I am just wondering. I have always been this way. Out of maybe 100 people, there just a few athletes at work. But it is Silicon Valley. My neighbor does triathlons. I think people think they are no good at it as kids and never pursue it, or get exerted and don't like the feeling. Or their parents don't do it or value it. It seems natural to me. I enjoy it and I don't want others to miss out on it, but I know they are not going to do it.
     
  4. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    4,489
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2014
    Karma:
    +7,553
    I am terrible with sport and especially with ball games and it has made my husband very frustrated and perplexed that I cannot catch a ball!

    However, you put me in front of table tennis and somehow, I was pretty good and rarely missed the ball.

    I could not work with a team and in my school, I was often berated for not being a good team member.
     
  5. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    24,976
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2013
    Karma:
    +32,469
    In phys ed I was always much better at "brute force" competitions than most other sports, although I was quite good at Badminton for some reason. Tennis? Not so much. Yet my hand-eye coordination is pretty good in tasks unrelated to most other forms of athletics. Go figure.

    Not everyone on the spectrum is profoundly uncoordinated. Though I suspect far less of us socially excelled in teamsmanship, as opposed to raw athleticism in conjunction with solo athletic pursuits. This was a big consideration for me in electing not to serve in our military.

    In essence, I doubt there are any absolutes when it comes to the physical abilities of those of us on the spectrum of autism.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2020
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝

    Messages:
    4,042
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    Karma:
    +5,788
    I will never be mistaken for Schwarzeneggar or "The Rock," but I
    • was in cross-country in high school (and stood out in Marine Corps boot camp [for running]),
    • did bicycle touring in my teen & young adult life, and
    • did a 9-mile paper route twice/week; walking 2006-09, triking 2009-Jan 2020. (I had an RHR in the 40s.)
    I am trying to get back into shape, now, with indoor rowing on non-bicycle days.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2020
    • Like Like x 4
  7. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    6,347
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2014
    Karma:
    +13,871
    There's no reason why people on the spectrum can't be good at things like sports or motorsports, and even excel at them. One prime example of this is Guy Martin, who is diagnosed with Asperger's.
    Guy Martin - Wikipedia
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
  8. SliverOfSand

    SliverOfSand Active Member

    Messages:
    52
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2020
    Karma:
    +124
    I think that a lack of coordination in some areas of life does not mean that you will automatically be bad at sports. Like many people have said, team sports is where most people have a hard time. I also had a hard time in team sports, but was good at running, or tennis, or badminton. I went curling for a while, which is a team sport, but I was the skip, or ‘captain’, so I’d be at the end of the ice coming up with the strategies instead of having to socialize. :D

    I know I’ve said this before somewhere, but I have read some books on Asperger’s, and in one of them the author states that many autistic people can excel at sports, especially if the sport can be done without a team. If the sport becomes a special interest to the person, then they will obviously become better at it as they participate in it more. So I don’t think it’s ‘uncharacteristic’ if a person with ASD is good at sports, even if they may seemingly lack coordination in other areas.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. clg114

    clg114 Still crazy, after all these years. Staff Member V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    4,261
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2011
    Karma:
    +7,825
    I like sports a lot. I don't do team sports, to much socializing. I like individual sports, golf and power sports in particular. I even have the attitude, you know, second is just the first loser. However, there is a problem. I have very poor proprioception. That means that I am a klutz. I trip over my own feet. One hand doesn't know what the other is doing. I have done a lot of motocross and cross country racing on motorcycles. Snowcross and cross country racing on snowmobiles. My wife wont allow those machines anymore, but I still golf. Evan after all these years, I am not very good at it. At least I have had a LOT of fun all these years.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  10. MyLifeAsAnAspie

    MyLifeAsAnAspie Member

    Messages:
    88
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2020
    Karma:
    +121
    I figured out why I can't catch a ball. My hand-eye coordination is off-the-scales bad. I used a phone app called Cognifit to measure hand-eye coordination and scored 8/800. I thought it can't be that bad so I tried a test where you bounce a ball off a wall. On that test, I couldn't complete the exercise at any speed so I didn't even get a rating :eek:.

    I have always enjoyed individual sports. Running, cycling, sailing, etc.
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 2
  11. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    5,792
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2015
    Karma:
    +13,505
    The spectrum is very varied in how it presents itself in individuals. As best I understand it, it involves 100 (and counting) different possible genetic variations, so the ammount of combinations is astronomic. But they almost all are in two specific regions of the genetic code thereby giving an overall similarity.

    What I would guess is you do not have those that affect some aspects of coordination. I did not either and used that to good effect in masking. People are more likely to accept a 'different' guy if they are a good athelete. I did most every sport imaginable, including team ones, but spent most of my time in the more solitary ones, where I occasional came accross others I suspect were also on the spectrum, runners, climbers, surfers, etc.

    Aspies can excell even at these, and other things that require different kinds of coordination, such as music and art.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
  12. Au Naturel

    Au Naturel Au Naturel

    Messages:
    658
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2019
    Karma:
    +1,241
    People with autism aren't inherently bad with sports. There are a few who have done quite well.

    https://www.appliedbehavioranalysisedu.org/5-top-athletes-on-the-autism-spectrum

    I grew up thinking I was a complete failure at anything athletic. As I became a young adult and left behind the trauma that was PE class, I discovered sports that I was quite good at. The "bad at sports" thing was because all the sports at school demanded proprioception, eye-hand coordination, and balance. Had none of those. I also had a problem knowing what the team wanted me to do if they didn't tell me and that doesn't work well in a live game.

    As I got older I discovered I was good at running. I was good at shooting sports. I was even good at weight lifting, though competitive lifting and long distance running really don't go together. Also developed a reasonable skill at Tae Kwon Do.

    I would never have learned these things in school because of the emphasis on things I couldn't do. This also caused the PE instructor to write me off for even the things (like wrestling) I could do. There is no personal attention unless you are a star.
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
  13. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝

    Messages:
    4,042
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    Karma:
    +5,788
    I did not compete, but I enjoyed wrestling in PE class more than I expected.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. AprilR

    AprilR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    241
    Joined:
    May 11, 2020
    Karma:
    +363
    I always hated pe class, i was so scared of it. I have a phobia of balls also, my first instinct when someone throws a ball is to escape.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. FreeDiver

    FreeDiver How long can you hold your breath? V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    939
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2015
    Karma:
    +1,765
    Just like Au Naturel and AprilR said. Most of us end up hating sports in general because of bad experiences in PE class. PE only teaches you to do team based sports and that's the thing that breaks PE for us. As far as the hand/eye coordination thing goes, I don't think that so much of a show stopper for aspies and the team aspect of sports is.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Barymore

    Barymore Active Member

    Messages:
    137
    Joined:
    May 15, 2020
    Karma:
    +190
    yep, PE wasnt my thing either, far too social....
    But I would call myself sporty - waterski, running, sailing, kayaking, weights, riding, shooting (obviously not all at once) - anything involving repetitive movement and done solo I like (its allowed to have an engine too, but thats going off topic). Nevertheless, I am a huge klutz and have invested a great deal of time in improving my hand-eye coordination and body awareness. This has worked for structured stuff - but dance, aerobics etc still defeat me. And just generally I still drop / bump into alot of stuff!
    I did spend about 10 years playing rugby pretty seriously - 7s and 15s, always in the forwards. That worked really well as it was totally my special interest at the time. I was also able to play solo in a team - if that makes any sense, all others where pretty much moving objects that could be modelled to predict where they would move to. So I personally feel team sports can totally work for us on the field in some cases. When I was made team captain, however, I was totally out of my depth and ended up quitting the game. *shrug*
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  17. Gift2humanity

    Gift2humanity Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    469
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2019
    Karma:
    +380
    I spent my schooldays wishing I was good at sport, joining teams and clubs and messing up. I am a klutz, was ashamed but asperger's shows me I am a klutz and it is ok.
     
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1