5 Winning Laws for Concentrating on Draft Day

Every serious fantasy football player knows there’s a difference between playing well and winning.  Winners are better at managing risk and information.  They have the patience and courage to do the unpleasant things that losers won’t do.  They control their reactions to feelings, focus on the right issues, and act decisively on draft day.

Winners concentrate intensely so that they can effectively adapt to change during the draft.  They study every pick, every round. They know who has a solid roster and who doesn’t.  Winners try to visualize contingencies and make plans to deal with all of them. They will anticipate their opponent’s future selections in order to maximize their own draft position.

In Chapter 13 of Poker Winners are Different, Alan N. Schoonmaker, PH.D. discusses how poker winners focus on the game and ignore distractions.

In order to help fantasy players improve their ability to concentrate on draft day, I have listed (and adapted) Schoonmaker’s 5 winning laws for concentrating intensely.

5 Winning Laws for Concentrating Intensely on Draft Day:

1. Concentrate; give the draft all your attention.

Shut out distractions and pay close attention to the action and your opponents.

2. Select situations that minimize distractions.

Determine which distractions affect you, and then avoid them if possible.  If you have a choice in your draft location, select the environment you are most comfortable in.

3. Use “tools” to help you concentrate.

A “tool” is anything that helps you stay focused on the draft.

Listening to your iPod, turning off the chat feature, loading up your player queue, or scrolling through the player notes in the Pigskin Boss iDraft War Room.

Pick the tools that fit your personality and your draft day goals.

4. Don’t feel obliged to “be polite”.

Nowadays, wifi connections are everywhere.  Most leagues get together even though they are drafting online.  Don’t feel obligated to be at the draft if you are more comfortable somewhere else (See Law #2).

The average draft is about 2 hrs and it is arguably the most critical investment of your time during the 16 week fantasy football season.  You are not required to make small talk, nor do you have to answer any questions.  This is not the time to “lighten up” or focus on personal relationships.

I’m not saying that the draft can’t be a social event, just make sure the party doesn’t start until you drafted your kicker in the last round.

5. Don’t be too obvious.

If you’re too obviously intense, the game may get tougher.  Some opponents may become more serious, and some lighthearted players may even leave your league.  Do your best to appear to be playing for fun, while actually concentrating intensely.

Bottom line…

“In an otherwise even contest, the man with the best concentration will almost always win.”

Johnny Moss
Member, Poker Hall of Fame

Thanks for reading and good luck in your draft!

You can share your draft day advice with me on Google+ or Twitter @GoProFS24. You can also share your thoughts in the comments section below.