Adam Kimelman of NHL.com contacted me the other day about an article he is working on about video games and youth players. He was wondering if playing video games can actually help young players become better players. At first I thought how could playing a video game help a player get better in the skills area? I told Adam that I think the games may help players learn some concepts about the game and maybe even teach them how to “see” the entire ice better, but no way it could help improve skills.
I took this one step further and asked my players (13 – 18 age range) what they thought. I have to say I was surprised at the answers. The older players seemed to feel that they learned things about how the spacing on a power play works because they see the action from a high perspective. They had a better idea of the way a forecheck works and things of that nature, but the older players felt that they didn’t learn any skills. Where my surprise came in was with the younger players. A few of them told me that they learned moves from playing the video games. One player even discussed a specific move he makes often and said he picked it up playing one of the NHL2K type of games. A few others said they have tried things on the ice in practice that they learned on a video game. So, now I am wondering if it is possible for a young player to actually learn skills from playing video games.
If you are interested in joining the conversation on this please write a comment and I will share what you give me over the next few days with Adam and maybe he will use our comments as part of his upcoming article.