THE BLOG

Fantasy Isn't Reality

Sep 14, 2023

Ahhh yes, it's that time of the year. Fantasy football is in full swing, fantasy baseball is coming to an end in the near future, and fantasy basketball managers are diligently doing their research before the upcoming season. Each year millions of fans create their ultimate "virtual team" and assume the role of "coach" for the season, spending hours and money concocting the perfect lineup each week each week to gain bragging rights, prizes, or the title of season champion (I personally won my football league last season). Fantasy sports is big and will continue to be big...but I have a question that may not have crossed a lot of people's minds, what effect does fantasy sports have on reality? Specifically on younger athletes? Before you read on, take a few seconds to answer that.

Fantasy sports functions solely on statistics. When a player scores a touchdown, they get points. If they get a few yards, they get points. If a player hits a homer, they get points. You get the idea. Fantasy sports is based on performance outcomes, there is no growth mindset happening. The growth mindset is based on development as a player, trusting the process, and focusing on stepping stones to a bigger goal rather than a performance mindset that focuses on wins and losses, there is no in-between. 

Now, you are probably wondering what that has to do with player development in reality. It has lots to do with it believe it or not. Think about it, each year you have millions of current players, coaches, and parents participating each year that obsess over the statistics in order to win their matchup for that week. In today's day and age, stats are everything. You see parents and coaches scribbling away during games, assistants logging each play in the computer and getting statistical feedback for each player on the team. What effect does that have on the younger athletes? Just like in fantasy sports, players, coaches, and parents spend so much time talking about what they did in this game or that game, how things look on paper and focusing on the wins and losses. See where the problem is?

Now, don't get me wrong, I love fantasy sports, it's a great way to have fun with your friends and "coach" teams. But, that's what it is...fantasy. Fantasy doesn't translate to reality but so many people treat sports in reality like they do fantasy, focusing on the stats and the wins/losses instead of the player development. 

So, what can be done to keep the focus on player development instead of focusing solely on the wins and losses and statistical data? The answer is simple: stop treating sports in reality like sports in fantasy. Have a focus on player development over the long run: setting goals, building up the body and the mind, improvement milestones, and building for the future, not just the present. Don't find yourself obsessing over statistical data, instead focus on development day to day. Fantasy isn't reality. 

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