Playing a fantasy sport is a great way to live out part of the fantasy of playing or coaching in a pro league. There’s an even better way to be part of the world of sports, though – and that’s through playing the game. Below are just a few reasons why playing sports should go hand in hand with participating in fantasy sports.
Getting in Shape
One of the most commonly cited benefits of playing real sports is the higher level of fitness enjoyed by athletes. Sports are, of course, a great form of exercise and a common way that individuals are introduced to fitness. Playing sports is also a good way to convince a person to stay active; when a team depends on someone, it makes that person much more likely to stick to a fitness program and push his or her limits. Sports might be the most realistic solution to the problems of those who have difficulty staying in shape.
Real sports are especially healthy when contrasted with fantasy sports. While fantasy sports are a great way to spend free time, they’re not particularly conducive to staying healthy. Getting out and playing on a team is a great way to burn off calories so that one can indulge a bit more during a draft or while working on one’s roster. Real sports are the healthy complement to a good fantasy career.
The Social Experience
Playing on a team has been shown to help one’s general teamwork skills. When playing a sport, one is forced to rely upon others to succeed. Even in solo sports, there are always chances to learn from and practice with other players. When out on the court of the field, players are given a very unique chance to build bonds that go far beyond the sport and are applicable to daily life.
In fact, playing real sports can make it easier to get into a good league. The social connections that one makes on the field can easily translate to the social sphere. Once a player is introduced to others with similar interests, he or she will have an easier time being invited to better leagues with people who understand more about the sport.
Of course, the teamwork skills from sports don’t just translate into friendships. Those who play sports often have an easier time networking in the business world. Sports give players a firm foundation on which to build relationships, one that can be used to get promotions, new jobs, and to make friends in the right places. Simply playing on a team is often enough to open new career doors.
This sort of networking is key even outside the context of fantasy games. Once these networks are built, players will have a chance to advance their lives in new and interesting ways. Sometimes, this might be as simple as being invited to a company-run fantasy league. In other cases, though, it might lead to opportunities that can only be gained through knowing the right people in the right places.
Research has shown that sports help with mental fitness. Playing a sport doesn’t just change the way your body works – it changes your mind. While a great deal of the exercise one gets in a sport is physical, the mind is at work the entire time the game is going on. Players are constantly thinking on their feet, figuring out ways to beat the other team and fulfill their roles. This, in turn, helps the mind to stay sharper and promotes better mental health.
In fact, a great deal of the physical fitness gained is also helpful for the mind. Exercise has been shown to help alleviate depression and anxiety and reduce the risk of suicide. People who get out and play sports are more likely to be relaxed and ready to get through the day. With the help of a good sport, one can use this mental ability to improve his or her fantasy sports league.
Sports are also fantastic for learning new skills. These skills can be as varied as learning how to set up a portable basketball hoop in minutes to figuring out the best uses for a ping pong table. The skills one learns on the court or the field can be translated into real life or simply be used to entertain others. The sheer number of possibilities presented by a sport can help change the way a person views his or her own life.
These skills might not be exactly what one thinks of when looking at life skills, but looking at them closely reveals the truth. Is knowing how to use a portable basketball hoop the most useful skill on its face? No, but knowing the importance of how to entertain a crowd might be. Likewise, learning how to improvise with a portable ping pong table is a skill that can help an individual learn how to improvise in real life.
Understanding the Game
Finally, playing a sport is one of the best ways to really understand how a fantasy game works. While the players may not be on the same levels as the professionals who they draft, they are engaging in a similar activity. It becomes easier to understand what each stat means and how important those numbers are in a real game when one has spent time playing.
Fantasy players who have had real-world experience might not be guaranteed to make the best drafts, but they often have a better idea of when a player should be played or benched. Simply knowing what it might mean to recover from an injury and resume playing is easy enough to pick up on the field, but it can translate into major plays in a fantasy sport. Understanding the game is incredibly useful.
Players of fantasy sports should absolutely get out and play real sports. Doing so makes them healthier, happier, more social, and gives them skills they can use in fantasy sports and in the real world. With the right motivation, some fantasy players can start to experience the game as a player instead of just as a fan.