Using the speed of his thumbs and quickness of his eyes, CSUF baseball infielder Jacob Pavletich uses the virtual experience of playing baseball video game “MLB The Show” as a short glimpse into the type of player he would want to be if he reaches professional play.
Wearing a custom jersey with “Pavletich” on the back of his virtual shoulders, his time on the console is not only used for leisure, but also as a short training session for real life.
For three to four hours a week, Pavletich treats every session as if it were a real game. Switching between playing NBA, MLB and even NFL games, Pavletich is equally competitive in each.
Whether it be games related to war or building new worlds, gamers can take a chance at testing their skills on different fields that they may not otherwise experience.
Many athletes find the time to get off the field, only to find themselves on a virtual one. However, it remains rewarding.
Despite only being virtual, Pavletich said the games often help him with his focus on the field, especially when it comes to one of the most important skills in baseball: reading a pitch.
“It’s actually pretty cool just to train your mind in a sense even though it is virtual reality,” Povletich said. “It definitely helps by seeing the break of a ball and crossing the hitting zone and being able to hit the square or the X when I’m going to swing.”
Titans pitcher Jimmy Endersby is another one of the gamers on the squad. With the Titans’ season coming around in less than a month, practice and training for Endersby is coming in heavily.
However, dedicating two to three hours a week to hockey, basketball or soccer-related video games gives Endersby a chance to maintain a competitive mindset and a quick response with the fast-approaching season.
“No matter what I’m playing, I’ll be competitive in it,” Endersby said. “You still have to react, just like you have to react on the field, it’s just with your fingers. It’s still a reaction with the body, and I feel that helps on the field.”
Both Endersby and Pavletich agree video games serve as a tool to bond the men on the team, but the most rewarding part of playing these virtual sports give each of them a reward everyone wants: gloating rights after a virtual win.
“We play head to head against guys on the team just to talk trash and see who’s the better one on the whole squad,” Pavletich said. “Everybody is competitive, everybody wants to win. So when you play the video game, you play to win, you don’t play to lose and I think that helps on the field.”
Kathryne Padilla contributed to this story.