Friday, 12 August 2011

Numb

That is exactly how I feel right now. I have nothing left to give. I'm completely shattered, soul destroyed and emotionally drained. I haven't been particularly angry, I haven't remonstrated loudly or seen the red mist. I'm just numb.

It all went horribly wrong today. All my good work from the past 2 weeks has been wiped out in one hour of complete madness. Just 2 matches where I lost focus and then lost my head. From the moment I woke up this morning, I was not myself. I think the past couple of weeks finally caught up with me; the travelling, the 2 days of lost sleep, the manic weekend and then the head-cold. I was amazed that I even managed to trade so well last week. But today, the fatigue finally got to me and I couldn't shake it off all day. My body was devoid of any energy and I knew that if I lay down, I would struggle to get back up again for a very long time. But I still went ahead and traded. That was my downfall. My focus wasn't there and as soon as I realised this, I should have stopped. But I battled on through the tiredness, somehow deciding to trade two games at once (something I never normally do) and ended up losing my full stake on both. A double whammy gut-punch that left my head spinning. I could've gotten out at various points for much smaller losses but for some reason, I kept going back in and just made things worse. I wasn't following my strategy at all for most of the time, I just wasn't thinking straight.

I remember the last time I traded whilst tired, very vividly. It was back in February I believe, and I lost around £600 on the one game, Safarova v Dokic. It wasn't far from being a lot worse though. I was knackered from running earlier in the day and could barely keep my eyes open. Once more, I simply haven't learnt from past experience. I'm starting to wonder whether I ever will. I'm just sick of doing so well for 90% of the time, only for that tiny 10% to ruin it all and put me back to square one. Obviously, it's almost always a focus issue and I now realise that I simply cannot ever trade if I feel my focus slipping. If that means taking the whole day off, so be it.

When I look through all my notes and analyse every game, it all boils down to 3 very simple issues which you'll all be familiar with - focus, patience and discipline. When I'm focused, I rarely make mistakes. The biggest problem I face once I'm focused properly, is impatience. I still tend to try and force trades by jumping in too early. But even so, when I'm focused, I can normally rectify those errors. But when I'm not focused and I become impatient and make mistakes, I don't always rectify those errors. And that's the third major issue - I struggle to accept losses that occur due to daft errors and so I don't always red-out. I get frustrated and my discipline disappears. There's nothing new in that analysis, I've known all that for ages. So where do I go from here? Right now, I don't know and I don't care. I'm too numb to even think anymore.

4 comments:

  1. First and foremost, this is my first ever blog post and here to say I really appreciate your blog and therefore hop you stick at it! I've came across it a few times now (now bookmarked) and it really appeals as it seems as if your writing about my own trading experiences (YOUR that fly on the wall ain't ya?!).

    I started tennis trading in Sept 09 after many failed attempts at footy and horses. After losing £££££ (exact figure I don't like to repeat, but digits are correct I kid you not) many years earlier I was back on Betfair in 2008 for one last try but this time my bank was my world, which I had to protect at all cost. After all, should I lose my £100 bank I would call it quits. Only tiny test bank/stakes but view it as if it was worth 100 times as much. From Jan 2008 through to Sept 2009, I traded football and while I didn't lose my bank (which in itself was progress) I couldn't seem to double it either. As soon as I tried trading tennis I could see it was the way to go and so 2010 session saw me concentrate 100% on tennis. Learnt for past mistakes about getting a head of myself and so set myself a goal for that year which again was to retain bank while learning to trade tennis. At the end of the season my bank remained roughly the same, which may not sound great, but after covering close to 400 games I now had a strategy that I was confident in.

    2011 and 'Project Grand Slam' which I like to call it (got to explain it to the girlfriend somehow!) is in full effect with proper stakes and its going well, however, could be even better if I can just keep the focus and stop them fecking errors! Losses I can accept when I have done everything right, but too many errors or biggies and the hulk returns! I too log each and every error along with how much it costs me and a mental note to self "don't do that again, dick!", but do I listen, do I heck! To date, my errors has cost me 9 points, the biggest of which was £340! Some of which I can accept (but not that one, never that one!) as long as I learn from them. It's when I make the same mistake twice, three times or worst more that I lose my rag and it consumes me. That one for example was due to greed trying to ready myself for the next match before my current one had even finished!

    I think we are always going to make mistakes here and there, especially when doing this for so long. I too feel numb after this Roger's Cup what with the lengthy rain delays meaning games ain't finishing till 5am, lost of video due to weather, loss of video due to power failure, loss of scoreboard due to power failure, 12 hour days straight sat at computer, fatigue is bound to set in and errors occur. I'm having a shocker so far, but keep the faith as a long way to go yet in this month and can still all turn around.

    Do you tally everything up at the end of the month? I find it's a good way to put a line through the errors and start a fresh, try making it through the new month without any errors, or at least avoid the dam right stupid ones! Three hundred and forty quid, would you believe it! :)

    Jackhulk

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  2. Hi Jackhulk and thanks for your excellent post. It does help to know that others out there are going through the same issues. I do keep a record of how much I make on each trade, along with the notes. I throw them away every 2 or 3 weeks (as you say, it's a good way of losing the baggage and starting afresh), once I've thoroughly analysed everything. The thing is, it's pretty much the same conclusions that come from the analysis every time!

    Whilst I've improved at actually making money, I don't seem to get much better at preventing losses. It's infuriating because it's now only one or two gaffs a week. I'm one or two hours of bad trading away from where I want to be.
    I have now put together a plan which I hope will take me to that final level and will post it today. As we are so similar, maybe it can help you too?!

    There is one piece of advice I can give you now - don't over-trade! My days of 12 hours on the ladders are long gone, I haven't worked past midnight all week. Much better to rest up than be stuck with a loss at 5am, nothing hurts more than that. I just need to apply that notion to all times of the day!

    Good luck with Project Grand Slam and always remember how much progress you've made so far. If you've improved that much down the years, there's no reason why you can't continue to do so.

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  3. Really do empathise mate, at least you seem to have a partial grip on your errors. Thanks for supportive comments, and you are not like a broken record, I'm like a broken hearing aid, can't filter the message from the noise.

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  4. Cheers Guy. I feel better today, really feel as though I'm readying myself for one final push to be successful. But it's taken 18 months of sweat to get to this stage. You don't want to go through what I've been through for that long do you?! That's why I'm saying stick with horses. Get yourself a new hearing aid ;)

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