Fantasy Football For Kids (some very big ones too!!)

This is the second guest post from my dear husband, otherwise known as Mr I, the first being Role Reversal Experience – Mr Infrastructure.

Australia over the last few years has caught the very popular fantasy league bug (most common in American baseball and English football). The one I’m addicted to is called Supercoach, which is one of the fantasy leagues for the Australian Football League. The other is Dreamteam.

It’s concept is simple. You have $10 million of play-money to buy 30 players who gain points each week based on performance. Player values are set at the start of the year but do fluctuate on the basis of form. As coach of this team, you also have a limited number of trades over the season. Use them wisely.

As I said, I’m addicted, and have been for the last 2 seasons. Even though I tried to hide it, some young eyes saw what I was doing last year and wanted to join in this year. So I helped my 8 year old set up his team, then we set up his own league and invited his friends to join.

This got me thinking, what are the 10 positive benefits of Supercoach to a child

Primary Benefits

1. Budgeting – $10 million may seem like a lot of money to spend on 30 players, but when you’re first 10 have used up 75% of available funds, some hard decisions need to be made.

2. Numerical skills – Take away the player names and Supercoach is all about the numbers. 2122 pts beats 2098 pts. The captain you nominate gets double pts, so an ordinary game of 136 pts suddenly becomes 272 pts. When integrated with an activity kids love (i.e. sport), numbers can become fun.

3. Planning for the Future – The concept of trades makes for interesting planning scenarios. For example, if my key mid-fielder is injured for a week, should a trade him and utilise one of my limited number of trades, or should I interchange in one of my lower value, low point interchange players?

4. Making decisions and sticking to them – On 7pm every Friday your team becomes locked for the weekend. That means decisions need to be made about which player to select as captain, trade off your team or interchange. While we’re not playing for sheep-stations here, helping a young coach through the decision-making process can be extremely rewarding to encourage independence.

Secondary Long term Benefits

5. Staying in touch with friends – One of son’s friends will unfortunately be heading interstate to live very soon. By setting up a league within Supercoach, he can stay in touch…..The Gen Y version of Gen X penpals.

6. The concept of Value – If I see a player on $600,000 a year only getting the same points as a player on $300,000 a year, I will look to trade them immediately. They’re out-of-form and therefore over-valued. But what goes through a child’s mind. Talking through this with them can be a challenge, but may stick with them so they understand that paying $10 for a beer in a hotel is three time too much.

7. Appreciating other players – As a child following a sport where you have a certain allegiance, it can be difficult appreciate the players of opposition teams. Supercoach can make them look at opposition players with a different, more appreciative eye.

8. Common Language – Just like sport can be a common language that brings together different generations, Supercoach is the same.

Selfish benefits for me

9. Helping Me with My Team – Hey, if it’s 5 minutes before the weekly lockdown and I need a forward worth up to $425,500, I’m taken all advice I can.

10. Guaranteed way to get the paper inside on cold mornings – As we limit computer use, the best way to stay up to date on performance and points is through old-fashioned papyrus. And as the winter months can get cold, I certainly don’t like going out to get the paper.

If you can get past the part I mentioned about addictions, then Supercoach can be beneficial to your child’s development.

Note from PQ: I am quite interested to see how this activity pans out across the football season (which goes from March until September!!!). At the moment it a frequent topic of discussion and I am trying hard to act interested. I think the potential for the boys to understand the usefulness of maths in their everyday life is huge here, if they don’t lose interest.