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Florida Gators Coach Shows Signs of ADHD

Posted by on Jan. 3, 2010 at 2:08 PM
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 Portland ADHD Examiner

Portland ADHD Examiner

Florida football coach stress issues common among people with ADHD

December 27, 7:16 PMPortland ADHD ExaminerDario McDarby
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Florida coach Urban Meyer's drive, intensity, and hyperfocus are elements many ADHDers share.
Florida coach Urban Meyer's drive, intensity, and hyperfocus are elements many ADHDers share.

Though there is no proof that University of Florida football coach, Urban Meyer, is a man with ADHD; he is definitely a 'workaholic.' Meyer also seems to personify several of the more positive elements of ADHD, including drivenness, hyperactivity, and hyperfocus.

Meyer is driven to spend hour upon hour to make the Florida Gators a national gridiron powerhouse. His drive  His hyperactivity can be seen in the resulting reward Meyer has garnered in his career. Between 2001 and 2004, Meyer won nine major football coaching awards. These awards, signifying his drive to win, point to his hyperfocus as well. Finally the pressure of his aggressive drive and hyperfocus caught up with him.

Reports first emerged that Meyer, 45, would leave as head coach. This was promptly followed by a clarification. Instead of quitting, he would take an indefinite leave of absence. In an interview with ESPN on Sunday, Meyer said he would spend time with his family. He said that he had taken his health for granted for too long. Meyer was admitted to a hospital because of chest pains following the Southeastern Conference championship game, but tests showed no indication of a heart attack.

Recently Meyer acknowledged he has and arachnoid cyst on his brain. The cyst is congenital and benign but difficulties can be triggered by stress, including rage, resulting in migraine headaches.

Meyer said he consulted with his family, his doctors, University president, and the school's athletic director before deciding to leave to focus on his health and family. Meyer told his wife and three children on Christmas he planned to quit as Florida coach, the New York Times reported.

He told the Times his daughter Nicki, 18, hugged him and said, "I get my daddy back."

"I saw it as a sign from God that this was the right thing to do," Meyer told the Times of his daughter's reaction. "I was worried about letting people down. I was feeling so awful and concerned about my health. That was among several other signs that said it's time to back away."

Meyer's stress-related leave has significance for people with ADHD. The coach's career shows positive elements of ADHD. Though they're positive, the continuing drive of a person with ADHD can push those positives beyond safe health limits to become negative drives.

It's important to stress that Meyer has not been diagnosed with ADHD. His public career and his remarkable successes are a reminder to those with ADHD, who share these elements with Meyer, that success is possible BECAUSE of one's alleged deficits. The caveat in the example of Coach Meyer is to know your limits, then smooth out the drivennessof ADHD with rest, cognitive therapy, support of family and friends, and if needed medication.

Video on Saturday's announcement that Meyers would leave as Gators' head coach

Click here to find out more!

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by on Jan. 3, 2010 at 2:08 PM
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