It’s Only A Game…So Stop Playing Fortnite

To be a professional athlete, tens of thousands of hours of purposeful, deliberate practice are needed.

You need to hone physical skills, train your body, sleep well, eat well, and improve your ability to think your sport.

Why then, are so many aspiring athletes wasting thousands of hours playing Fortnite?

The game has become such a craze, it is now becoming a problem, one top tier teams from the OHL to the NHL are starting to deal with, and one that may set apart the good athletes from the great.

Recently in fact, the Vancouver Canucks became the first NHL team to openly ban the game on road trips.

“Fortnite’s definitely a no-go on the road,” said local product Bo Horvat in a recent interview. “No more ‘Fortnite,’ no more bringing your video games or anything like that. It’s strictly team meals, team dinners and hanging out with the guys.”

Imagine that, a team stressing the importance of bonding, camaraderie, and communication. It’s not a novel idea, but it is a good idea.

At the OHL level, prospects are being told to erase not only the game, but their online history of the game, as many teams see it as a distraction.

“An OHL team employee tells me some players have been advised to scrub Fortnite references from social media accounts. Some NHL teams consider the video game a major distraction/obsession,” wrote TSN correspondent Rick Westhead.

This is undoubtedly true. Imagine transferring a fraction of that gaming time to training. Or to purposeful rest without distraction. Or if you ‘need’ screen time, young prospects could be watching hockey on television. After all, hockey IQ to some degree is learned. Watching elite level hockey, absorbing positioning, tactics, and the creativity of others is beneficial. Why else would every top Junior, College, and Pro team devote so much time and resources to video coaches and analysis.

The true question then should be, what game matters? The real one on the court, field, or ice? Or the one on your device?

If you could only give up one, which would it be?

If Fortnite, or a game like it, is truly only a game, then it is time to give it up. Talk to your teammates, you know, face-to-face. Watch a hockey game, you know, the kind with real players. Need to burn off some steam? Go to the gym, or puckhandle in your driveway.

After all, at the end, only one in a hundred, or less will be left standing. The world of competitive sports truly is a battle royale. So put your time to good use, and put down the game, someday, you’ll remember the people around you, and the games you played…like the real ones, on the ice, court, or field. It will be worth it.

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