Playing Poker to Clear Your Mind

As well as the physical aspect, sports players and professional athletes are under a lot of mental pressure to perform well. All sports fans know about the phenomenon of choking, and we have all watched in frustration as our favourite team or player throws a match away for no apparent reason. Being psychologically fit and well-prepared is essential for success, and sports players need strategies to keep them mentally agile.

What athletes do in their downtime is therefore likely to affect their game. It’s important to be able to play with a clear head, and that includes being ready to move on from past losses and focus on future success. Many athletes choose to play skill games during their leisure time, as these games both keep the brain stimulated and provide a way to prevent over-thinking and obsessing over their main sport. One such game, popular with many sports players, is poker.

Not only does poker present an engaging and challenging game, but it has the extra thrill of some potential winnings. Sports players are nothing if not competitive, so poker provides the ideal way to relax and unwind between games while keeping the mind active.

Another time when poker can benefit an athlete is when she is recovering from an injury. Nothing is so frustrating as not being able to compete in the sport that you love, so for an injured professional, poker presents the ideal way to both deal with the boredom and scratch that competitive itch.

Small wonder, then, that many sports professionals go on to play poker at pro level after they retire. Many former sports stars, such as cricketer Shane Warne and Dutch ex-pro hockey player Fatima Moreira de Melo, have gone on to have successful poker careers.

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