Misc Published August8, 2017 By Staff Writer

Three Benefits Athletes Get from Playing Video Games

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Online games like Madden NFL are a great training ground for athletes. If you're not convinced, you can ask Jets backup quarterback Bryce Petty, who says, "(Playing QB in) real football, it's about having a feel for the game, and having an understanding of what could hurt me, and then those questions being answered at the snap (before I throw the ball). But you can read the same things in the video game. The things you're able to do with a background in football, you can certainly apply to this (game)."

Several studies have reached similar conclusions with online games which are deemed to result in numerous advantages to gamers, athletes included. Let us take a look at three of them:

Improves Self Discipline

Poker games on the Nintendo Wii have a positive influence on sports athletes. For one, poker keeps the gamers' emotions in check, helps them get faster and better at decision-making, and practice responsible gaming, which is something NCAA college basketball star Grayson Allen might need to work on after having made headlines when he intentionally tripped his opponents: Louisville's Raymond Spaliding, FSU's Xavier Rathan-Mayes, and Elon Phoenix's Steven Santa Ana.

On the other hand, Damian Lillard, one of the best point guards in the NBA, is an avid gamer and has a good reputation in his field. He loves playing the Fight Night series, particularly NBA Live, online. During one of his conversations with Electronic Arts Inc. developers, Damian even suggested adding an international element to the Rising Stars mode, something only a true blue gamer would be able to think of.

Enhances Concentration and Focus

Online poker also enhances one's concentration skills and focus, which is greatly needed by athletes who deal with high-pressure situations, like Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Ford Fusion and 2004 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion.

Kurt has 29 career wins in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, five career wins in the XFINITY Series, and four career wins in the Camping World Truck Series. You would think that Kurt would make a great poker player; however, he lacks the emotional control needed for the game. You can read more about why Kurt wouldn't be able to play poker well on 888poker's online article, which actually argues the same for other famous athletes including Serena Williams. The famous tennis pro wouldn't be so great a poker because, like acclaimed Texas Hold'em player Phil Hellmuth, she's prone to getting her temper get the better of her.

Improves Ability to Handle Stress

Aside from being the first and only UFC men's flyweight champion, Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson is also a hardcore player of fantasy games. Demetrious says these games make it possible for him to do things he can't do in real life. Some of his favorites are Onimusha and The Legend of Zelda. He also plays plays Tekken and other fight games which help him choose the best angles for striking inside the Octagon. Playing video games also provide an avenue to keep his mind off stress during training.

What used to be frowned upon by parents and society is now being proven to be helpful for athletes, young and old. And, considering that teenage years are crucial in shaping the character of a person, having video games as a means to develop them as better athletes in the future is actually a great way to mould them during this stage in their lives.

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