Athletic coaches and military drill sergeants have known for years that one of the best ways to get someone to be more receptive to training is to have them run a few laps or drop and give them twenty.
Physical exertion is a very positive way to increase the adrenaline and therefore the dopamine levels in the brain. Many of our best athletes have ADD. They have used activity to self-medicate. Not only does the ADD athlete gain from the increased dopamine, but the fitness also aids in a more efficient use of the body's resources.
However, when an ADD person is having difficulty in school or with behavior, one of the first ways both schools and parents try to deal with the problem is to take away athletics. I would suggest more physical activity as a method of helping the student, not less. However, I know that some sports can be so demanding on time and energy, that this may be the only reasonable solution. Be careful, because that sport might be the only way this child gets success and might be the only reason to keep trying in school.
I know a teacher who gets permission from parents to use physical exercises like push ups for disciplinary purposes. The students respond well to this method.
I had an ADD student who had such a difficult time sitting still during an assembly that I had him and me run around the school twice before we went back in and sat down.
This type of immediate approach also allows the student time away from the stimulus that caused the problem, thus reducing the need for the additional neurotransmitters.
In Modesto, California, a physical education teacher came to me during a break at an in-service I was giving at his school. He said that he has had problems with certain students who purposely confronted him, the other coaches and players. He had heard me say that the best thing to do when a student is becoming confrontational is to find ways to de-escalate by backing off, softening your voice, and providing space to calm down. He expressed concern that if he backed down from the student, that the student would use confrontation to manipulate every situation. I impressed on him that it would be wrong to back down, but