Gaming has always been used as a way to entertain and keep the brain occupied. From ancient puzzles with sticks and stones to the latest smartphone apps designed to get a person’s brain working faster and more efficiently than before, gaming has always been a great brain booster. For athletes and sports players, this is vital: a focus on strategy is essential in order to win, while the skill of quick thinking that many puzzles and other brain teasers can provide is vital when making decisions such as where to pass a ball.
However, it’s not just word and number teasers or other puzzles that can give a player’s mental capacity a lift: even casino games can give players the opportunity to develop their strategy skills and boost their thinking abilities. Here’s an overview of how each different type of game can help a player when they head out onto the pitch.
As a player, staying sharp and being alert to everything going on around you is essential – otherwise, you may miss that all-important pass or throw. To build a fast-witted brain like this, the best place to start is with the humble brainteaser. These puzzles help your brain to move more quickly when faced with a problem, and they also give you a place to channel your energy and overcome frustrations and stress – both of which are handy skills for an athlete to have. Filling out a crossword or completing a Sudoku might seem like a world away from the work required out on the pitch, but there’s clearly a lot of overlap to be found.
Playing casino games may seem on the face of it to be a purely fun thing to do, and it’s often described as a game of chance. However, these two stereotypes aren’t always true: much of casino gameplay is actually down to the strategy involved. In poker, for example, it often requires a lot of mental gymnastics to work out how to conceal and present your hand.
Games such as roulette are often quite math-focused as they require some understanding of probability theory in order to win, and it’s even possible to calculate odds using mathematical equations. This kind of numerical skill can be used in all sorts of ways on the pitch, such as when developing team starting formations or calculating distances required to score goals. Practicing at one of the many online casinos is one option here, while playing a few games in the team bus on the way to a fixture is another option.
There are all sorts of skills required to be a top athlete, and many of them are physical in nature. However, it’s essential to nurture mental and psychological skills as an athlete – and gaming is a great way to do it. From playing casino games to staying sharp and alert through on-paper puzzles, playing games of all varieties can seriously help your on-pitch performance.
In the past, the relationship between gaming and psychology has been quite clinical. Psychology only really interacted with gaming in terms of treatment and research on ‘addiction’. Now, considering the benefits moderate gaming can provide maybe the relationship can grow. It is entirely possible, that gaming can be used in a multitude of ways in connection with psychology. Firstly, gaming and virtual reality gaming can be used to treat trauma patients. In relation to education there is also scope for future partnerships. As children become more exposed to gamification, education methods will change. Instead of seeing gaming as a distraction, gaming can become a core part of education. This would go a long way to keeping people’s brains more engaged whilst learning. Across, schools and third-level universities engagement with studies can often be a problem. Perhaps, gaming if properly utilized could help solve this issue.