Maintain Your Balance – Your Quality of Life Might Just Depend Upon It
Stephen Pratt is back with another article on the mental aspect of Fantasy Sports! Enjoy!
Having balance is vital to leading a successful life. Here are thoughts some famous thinkers say about balance. Albert Einstein states, “Life is like riding a bicycle, to keep your balance, you must keep moving.” Mahatma Gandhi says, “A balanced intellect presupposes a harmonious growth of body, mind and soul.” Finally, Zig Zigler writes, “Life is about balance. Be kind, but don’t let people abuse you. Trust, but don’t be deceived. Be content, but never stop improving yourself. What these statements all have in common is the importance of maintaining a healthy life balance. I believe this will be especially important as a fantasy sports participant and give you an edge as you maintain composure while others may lose their cool.
The balance I will discuss here refers to is life balance. We all have many responsibilities that take up our valuable time. We can have work, family, community or household responsibilities that leave little time for your fantasy sports focus. A thought by Andrew Wilkinson that works here is, “success isn’t about working hard, it’s about working smart.” Successful fantasy sports players have learned the value of working smart and managing their time.
I frequently discuss with my clients the value of being flexible. Acceptance and commitment therapy developed by Dr. Steven C. Hayes stresses the importance of being psychologically flexible. There are six components to becoming psychologically flexible. They are acceptance, cognitive defusion, self-as-context, values, committed actions and contact with the present moment. A good statement that summarizes all the concepts is, “I am here now, accepting the way I feel and noticing my thoughts while and doing what I care about.” The concepts that would apply most to fantasy sports are acceptance and doing what I care about.” Doing what I care about involves committed action to the things that are important to me. This will enhance purpose and meaning to your life. It allows us to accept our human conditions and commit to doing the things that are important to us.
Balance with a fantasy team means being diversified. This applies to investing as well as playing fantasy sports. Fantasy sports is an investment in our time and talent in the players we choose to have on our teams(s). I find it important to spread out the number of players I have on any one team. Also have players that give me points in all the categories used in the league. This is not any big revelation for fantasy veterans but will back up my point of being diversified. Then you can better ride with the ups and downs of a fantasy season. Many unforeseen events can happen like injuries, bye weeks, unexpected trades or more recently COVID protocol. That way any one event will not derail your season.
A common experience being off-balance is what I call “being crispy.” This might be self-explanatory and it is a place where I want no one to have a “piece of me” feeling. It is a state where we are really thrown off-balance and being to unravel. Here our system is not able to make wise decisions because our cognitive skills are starting shut down. A good explanation of how to recognize this comes from Dr. Daniel Seigel’s “River of Integration.” The idea is to be in “the river” where we adapt and go with the flow regardless of the current or obstacles in our path. Here we are living life as it unfolds moment by moment. The problems lie in the banks or hillsides next to the river. There is rigidity on one side and chaos on the other side. There can also be a zip line between the two sides. The idea is to be aware if you are in the rigid side or chaos side. Then get yourself back in the river where better judgment resides. Here you will make better decisions.
I recently listened to a sportscaster who discussed his approach playing fantasy. I like his approach and find it very useful to not get too caught up in the minutiae your match ups or rotisserie standings. He focuses only on his team. This strategy allows me to balance my time and better enjoy the week/season. Many of you might prefer to keep constant track of your opponent(s), however I find this method useful to maintain my daily balance and sanity.
Some songs I researched promote the importance of Balance. Depeche Mode has a song called “Get the Balance Right.” The Moody Blues has a classic track titled “ The Balance.” Even Van Halen had an album called “Balance.” These artist certainly know the importance of balance which resulted in good sales of their music. In fantasy we want to experience what Queen sings, “We are the Champions.” Balance in life, love and work will certainly improve the odds of having a successful season.
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