Does Your Favorite Sports Star Train with Video Games?

If someone had told you 30 years ago that professional athletes of today would train by playing the games similar to what you played on your cocktail arcade table, you probably would have laughed in their face.

A professional athlete playing video games to prepare? As impossible as that sounds, it’s really happening. Due to the increasing realistic portrayal and complex strategy, games like Madden and FIFA are helping young professional athletes gear up for games.

It’s Not a Joke

According to Bryce Petty, the third-string quarterback on the roster of the New York Jets, he became increasingly more skilled at Madden as he practiced with the team, studied film and relied on veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick for mentorship. Even though his teammates reportedly took this opportunity to joke with Petty after the information was spread by the New York Daily News, Petty is not the only real-life NFL player to enjoy playing the video game both for entertainment and for mental training. Jarvis Jones, Teddy Bridgewater and Kenny Stills also praised the game for its teaching benefits that can translate to real life.

Race Car Drivers and Soccer Players Agree

Madden is most definitely a popular gaming title for any fan of the NFL or American football, but other games have sports education benefits as well.

Soccer player Connor Chinn and NASCAR driver Joey Logano also have stated that FIFA and the race simulations on iRacing.com have helped them prepare on the day of a big game or race. Of course, even if athletes don’t use video games to train or prepare at a professional level, they are more than good for stress relief.

Could Video Games Help Athletes Recover from Injuries?

Athletes could soon see a new use for video games – physiotherapy. Video games, while they are beneficial for relaxation and even game preparation, are beginning to serve an even more important purpose: helping those with injuries come back stronger than before.

Companies like Mira Rehab are creating games for Nintendo Wii that help patients safely exercise and build up muscles in joints like the shoulder, knee, elbow and hip.

It’s clear that video games are becoming a bigger part of everyday life as each year passes, and soon your favorite pro athlete may rely on them in more ways than one.