How to support athletes with learning disabilities


Mike and Mahtab from Open Doors BC dropped by for some lemonade and a chat about their initiative to support youth with learning disabilities. They explained that almost 14% of Canadians live with a learning disability.

I know Mike as Coach Mike - swim coach extraordinaire. He is that guy who exudes a love of life and a real passion for helping. He is going into his third year of University and along with his childhood friend Mahtab is working outside of the pool to help kids who share similar struggles to his own with Dyslexia.

Our conversation took the better part of two hours covering everything from The Toronto Raptors (obvs.), scary screaming teammates, the impact of learning disabilities on mental health to how sports can be both the great saviour as well as a barrier for many.

I wanted to know what can be done? How can we help?  

What followed is a fantastic interview. All teams can learn and benefit from these insights! 

Coach Mike

We need to motivate the athlete and also make sure that they love what they are doing and pushing themselves to get to their goals. Coaches should have an open mind. As a coach we have to be adaptable. We can’t tell the kids to go back to the drawing board when they don’t understand. We have the responsibility to take them to the drawing board or erase it (if it isn’t working) and try something new.

- Coach Mike, Co-Founder Open Doors BC.

Watch our interview with Mike and Mahtab of Open Doors BC on how to support athletes with learning disabilities.