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Life Lessons

Impact of Video Games

I love attending sports clinics. The coaches are motivated to learn, and information flows freely.

Here at the Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association clinic in Mt. Pleasant, Mich., one of the coaches offered an insight into video games and how he believes they affect sports participation.

“There’s no time commitment with video games,” said Randy Goodman, who coaches at Perry High School in Michigan. “Kids can play for 10 minutes or two hours.”

That’s important, because when kids play sports, they must not only practice for a certain amount of time, they must do so at an appointed time.

Goodman says that, given a choice between following someone else’s schedule or their own, many kids choose the flexibility of home. Video games are well within their comfort zone.

Goodman also says that video games help to satisfy the competitive urge while letting the player perform in private as opposed to a public arena.

In other words, video games are — among other things — more convenient than sports. Video games let kids have it their own way. They can get what they want when they want it and how they want it.

I’m no expert on the impact of video games, and you can find lots of articles that argue their positives and negatives. But Goodman’s ideas make sense to me. And if he’s right about the role of convenience in how kids make their decisions, then how do coaches compete with that?


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