How Video Games Can Improve Your Real-Life Sporting Skills


Video games have become more than simple entertainment. Technology and the development of better, more realistic graphics have made them more enjoyable for nearly everyone. Gamers today include people, from young children to the elderly.

For the longest time, gamers have typically been seen as individuals who become excessively immersed in their chosen titles. More recently though, this assumption has been changing, with studies looking into the positive effects and benefits of video games that transfer to other areas. As well as medicine, sport has seen crossover impact of video games. 

Applications of gaming technology to sport have helped improve techniques for coaches and athletes alike. Video games are even beneficial for kids starting out in learning a sport. Experts at a sports academy in Abu Dhabi share some of their insights on these potential advantages, sharing how playing video games at home can enhance their game on the field.

1. Playing video games demonstrates strategic thinking.

Training is not just about toiling on the field or hitting the weights inside the gym. Coaches also try to develop the minds of their players. 

Much like in school, football players can spend hours in a classroom-like environment learning different plays and strategies. At times, understanding how the play works is difficult when all you see are symbols on a board.

This is where video games become beneficial. Video games such as FIFA or Madden offer players the opportunity to program moves. The colors and 3-dimensional graphics make it easier to see how a play might look when applied in real life. 

Realism is not important at this stage. Although there are games that offer realism, it is the planning and foresight which can help enhance the player’s abilities. With programmable games, athletes can memorize plays faster and more easily.

2. It helps players understand rules and competition.

Individual skills and abilities are essential in becoming a great athlete, but this must coincide with learning how to play with others. This is especially true when playing team sports such as basketball, ice hockey, football, or baseball. In such situations, video games can help players understand the basic rules and show how teamwork leads to winning the game.

Some video games even include gameplays from actual teams. Features like this are especially useful for younger players. Not only will they get to learn what strategies each team is known for, but they can also see how different strategies work when pitted against each other.

3. It helps increase reaction time.

Playing video games, particularly those with targets that appear for a limited time, has been known to enhance the player’s reaction speed and reflexes. Being quick and accurate are essential in these types of games, just as they are in sports.

Basketball players, for instance, need to be quick and agile to evade the defender or stay close to the people they are defending against. Speed and decision making, on the other hand, are crucial when making a basket since players may only have a few seconds, if not less, to make that shot. 

Players take in a lot of pressure, especially when participating in championship games, which means each shot and each move counts. Through regular practice on the field and playing video games, their reflexes can become sharper when game day comes.

Appreciating the Game

Video games may not be equal to true sports, but the skills that you learn while playing can be transferred and applied in real life. A growing number of coaches and sports teams are realizing the benefits of video games beyond entertainment.

It is important to note that video games can be used to complement, but not replace, physical exercise and training. Video games provide an entertaining way for aspiring young athletes to learn the rules and some strategies, but by itself, a video game cannot turn any person into an athlete. It takes a lot of time, work, and effort to build the skills and apply the lessons contained within the games.

Be that as it may, do not let this or any negative perceptions deter you from enjoying video games. Video games are designed to be played so that people can have fun, whether on their own or with a group of people. So sit back, relax, and break out a few moves with your console on your favorite game.


Possessing more than two decades of experience in the leisure and hospitality industry, Tony Kouris joined Zayed Sports City as General Manager in January 2018. With extensive career experience, a value on interpersonal relationships, and strong negotiating experience, he is positioned to support Zayed Sports City’s strategic growth and continue to innovate the site as an internationally recognised sport and entertainment destination.