While watching the NFC Playoff game last night, and watching MN essentially shoot themselves in the foot by turning over the ball so many times and losing a game they should have won... it got me thinking about WoW, and how the same type of thing often happens during raids.
Granted, in WoW, there are no such things as fumbles or interceptions... there are still many things that raid members, regardless of how experienced they are, do (or don't do) that can cause your raid to essentially shoot itself in the foot and fail at what it set out to do...
Although... things like bad calls, and poor clock management are at times a very real thing in WoW.
What can be done to prevent things like this from happening? Just as remembering the fundamentals like protecting the ball, and not throwing cross-field can keep you from losing a football game, remembering the fundamentals of healing (or whatever role you play in a raid) can keep you from walking away from a raid night without a boss kill.
What healing fundamentals am I referring to? Things like sticking to your healing assignment (if given one), healing smart instead of healing to "pad the meters," and managing your mana/cooldowns.
As a healer, if you do not stick to these "fundamentals" while raiding, it's likely that someday it'll come to haunt you. Sure... you may look like a superstar for a while, healing everyone in the entire raid, spamming heals on everyone, dominating the healing meters. But... come that time where you were supposed to be AoE raid heals for the raid and a raid member dies to AoE while you were spamming heals on the MT.... or you use your Divine Hymn early and don't have it when you truly need it... these types of behaviors are likely going to wipe the raid, and there really isn't any excuse for it.
We, as healers, have truly been spoiled during WotLK raiding. Anyone who has been raiding since Molten Core, remembers the days of healer rotations on Twin Emps, fights like Major-Domo which required upwards of 5 tanks with specific healers and assignments... or fights like Chromaggus, where the MT was often out of LOS, so only the assigned healers could heal him/her. Back then, you had to trust that the other healers in the raid would do their job, and be able to heal their assigned target, just like they were trusting you to do yours. Often times, you wouldn't even be able to "back them up" if you wanted to, due to range, LOS, or mana constraints.
Now days, most raids don't even require healing assignments, and can be healed with the "everyone just heal everyone" approach. Every once in a while though, especially while working through new content, there comes a time where the raid may need specific healing assignments and CD's used at a certain time in order to succeed... and if you don't stick to your game, you may well blow it for the entire raid.
This is not just a healer rant. Every class and role has their own fundamentals in terms of raiding that need to be done in order to succeed... the healer ones just hit closest to home. Tanks need to make sure they're always keeping the mobs turned the right direction, or taunting/kiting/inturupting when they need to. DPS need to make sure they're DPSing the correct targets at the right time, and switching at the right times, or stopping DPS at the right times, as well as doing things like inturupts, dispells and spellsteals.
Stick to the fundamentals as a raider, even if you may not necessarily need to in order to beat the content, and you'll end up being a much better player for it... because the behavior will already be habit when you need it to be, instead of having to learn it on the fly when you actually need to use it.