Why Video Games are Changing Coaching Methods

The youth of today are quickly learning to transfer their skills from video games onto the pitch, however just how can coaches take advantage of the popularity of games such as FIFA?

Playing football in the street was formally the main pastime for a large proportion of youngsters in the UK, however video games has now taken over due to the advances in technology over recent years. As a result, football in general and the environment in which it is played has changed significantly.


Nowadays, young players look to develop their games at the same time as investing large amounts of time playing video games including FIFA, Fortnite and even Pokemon GO. Such games are now not just a hobby, but part of their day-to-day life. As a result, some within the game are looking to enhance the development of players with the help of the terminology and processes in which they are already familiar with from their favourite titles.


Surrey FA Tutor Amy Price has developed the theory that video games should be used alongside coaching, rather than being viewed as a barrier to sport. Prince has adapted fundamental aspects of video games, before implementing them into football training sessions, based on the idea that doing so will allow kids to grow in a more familiar environment. Her approach includes level-ups, missions and superpowers, something that all youngsters are likely to have come across whilst playing their favourite video games.


Such games were previously seen as being a million miles away from competitive sport, however coaches are now being prompted to take them into consideration when teaching children how to keep calm under pressure and have fast reactions on the field. With many of the most popular video games being defined by quick thinking and moments of skill, it perhaps comes as little surprise that it has taken this long for someone to draw comparisons with football. Games can potentially help players to fine-tune their thinking power, such as those who have been involved in the intensity of battle in Fortnite being able to make better decisions in a split second on the field.


Price has focused upon the forms of rewards that video games deliver, along with some of the ideas and learning tools which derive from them. Many kids are motivated by immediate gratification, which is something in which many video games deliver on. With the emphasis for coaches being more player-centred than ever, this is something that many should potentially take on board when delivering sessions.


Video games also provide a large number of options to players, allowing them to think in depth about problems potentially facing them. This is something that more coaches should consider too, rather than simply presenting players with answers immediately. Using the proverbial “pause button” during a game or training session allows players to consider the options available to them, something in which will undoubtedly aid development.