GREATNESS COMES FROM PRACTICE
When it comes to the success of readers, fantasy writers are concerned about short-term matters: Which players are on the rise/decline, where to get value this year, which strategies work well this season. These topics are all panaceas if you want to be a good fantasy owner “this year.”
But one condition of greatness is sustained excellence. If you want to become a great fantasy owner, you need more than a strong draft game and skill with managing your weekly lineups. You also need to develop the chops to negotiate trades and make wise decisions in free agency.
The only way to gain these skills is practice. However, most of you aren’t here to get the answers to the test without doing the homework.
Even those who are willing to do the extra work don’t know how to practice. Most people have an incomplete idea of what practice is.
They’re focused on repeating a task until they perfect it and they often do it in the vacuum of one specific context to apply the skill. When the context changes, they’re lost and back and square one.
Few people practice by exploring the full range contexts where they can apply their potential talents and limitations. Even fewer embrace the value of making mistakes. This is simple reason why it’s so rare for anyone to be great at anything in life.
Quality practice requires a lot of mistake-filled outcomes while exploring a multitude of situations. Those who practice well are mindful. They take note of why they’re succeeding and failing and they develop the awareness to gauge where the thin line between success and failure exists in a variety of situation.
Tom Brady said as much in 2012 about practice. He explores all of the thin lines between success and failure so he is well prepared for what happens in a real-time environment. Like Brady, if you want to be great you have to be willing to do the same.
The difficult part about practicing your fantasy football skills is that the only well-known method — the mock draft — is focused on the most overexposed aspect of the hobby. We don’t have mock trades, mock free agency, and mock lineup decision applications to help fantasy owners improve these skills.
But it doesn’t mean you can’t improvise.
If you join specific leagues with the intent of research, experimentation, and practice, you can make your seasons in these leagues a personal training ground. All you have to do is make conscious decisions during your draft to build your team so you have to lean more on in season management skills.
In other words, sabotage your draft.
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