For many of us, playing sports and getting exercise is what we do to take a break and get our minds off the daily grind. But what if sport and exercise are the daily grind? What do professional athletes do to relax and take a break during their free time?
The life of a professional athlete can be intense, particularly for those playing at the top level. They tend to have extreme schedules, especially during playing seasons, with most of their time spent either training, playing, or traveling. If you factor in some time with family and the necessities of everyday life, there isn’t much time left to play with, and the pockets of free time can be at unusual hours.
Work hard, play hard
The typical athlete is a Type A person – highly competitive, ambitious, and confident. So, it’s no surprise that when they’re not competing or training to compete for their job, competition is still what it’s all about. A competitive spirit and a love of games are what attract most people to a life in sports, so it’s only natural that they want to continue playing off-duty.
The competitive part of their personality can be a motivator to make the occasional bet. Since sports betting is best avoided in their line of work (due to strict gambling guidelines in most sports), online betting games are a better option. There are now many online slots that combine the thrill of placing a bet with the entertainment value of video games. Learn more about this kind of exclusive UK slots.
The other side of the Type A personality is that the drive for achievement and success, combined with impatience, can lead to reckless behavior. It is important for anyone engaging in online gambling to focus on a good gaming experience and to remember that it is better to be safe than sorry. So slots that have a modest maximum bet per spin can be the answer for those who are looking for some competitive entertainment that is safe and responsible.
Due to the risks of overtraining and injury, it’s not always a good idea for professional sportspeople to go all out in their free time and get that Type A personality involved in anything too physically intense. For this reason, video games and online gaming have an enormous appeal for many professional athletes.
In a somewhat bizarre twist on the fantasy aspect of entering the video game world, it’s not uncommon for stars in the NFL and NBA to play the digital versions of their own sports, often as themselves. Whether this is a form of ego massage or a clever way to help visualize success in future games, no doubt varies from athlete to athlete.
And then there is sport in real life. Less physically demanding sports or forms of exercise where the risk of injury is low provide a change of pace for people who live life in the fast lane. Michael Phelps is a notable example of an athlete who has dived headfirst into another sport and has been making headlines with his performance on the golf course.
A break from it all
Of course, some athletes take a complete break from competition and sport in their free time. The Olympic champion gymnast Gabby Douglas said in an interview with Us magazine that knitting was one of her hobbies.
Athletes, like everyone else, need to unwind at some point. Study after study shows that overworking is damaging to both mental and physical health. For people whose job involves the physical exertion and psychological trials of a career in sports, this must be taken extra seriously.