Saturday, 26 February 2011

Amnesia


You can probably guess what I did wrong for the WTA Doha Final loss - that's right, I got in too early AND at the wrong point. Again. I hadn't even followed the game as I went straight from the ATP Dubai final into Doha. It was literally the first point I saw played and I got involved! It went badly against me and I was all-red in no time. The really excruciating thing is that I managed to whittle it down to zero but didn't come out! I stayed in too long and it reversed all the way back. I ended up losing most of the Dubai profit.

I have to admit I also made mistakes on the Dubai final. My initial trade went against me immediately and I froze again. This is exactly what I mentioned in my last post. I was so shocked that my very first trade of the day was going wrong AGAIN, that I couldn't handle it and stayed in an extra point. The movement was huge on that point and I spent most of the rest of the game working down the red. These are mistakes that I would not be making if I wasn't in such a rut.

The commentators on Delray Beach Semi Finals were talking a lot about the 'brain game' within tennis. The mental side of the game is almost identical to that required when trading. In tennis, more time is spent NOT playing than actually involved in points - the same with trading, where you spend most of the time waiting for opportunities. This in itself brings with it a great deal of pressure and mind control. Then of course you have the psychology aligned with confidence and form. Tennis players talk of having 'amnesia', where they want to reach a state where they forget what happened in the last point or last game, so it doesn't affect how they play in the following game. Same with trading! God, how I wish I had amnesia! But that's the hardest part, keeping everything neutral, keeping emotions in check, staying in the present and playing each point the same. It's the mental side of tennis that separates the average players from the best - and that's no different with trading. Except that if you have natural talent, you can still do well in tennis without great mental strength. In trading, you MUST have mental strength or you'll end up a loser.

Thankfully, these mental deficiencies can be overcome - you only have to look at Doha winner Vera Zvonareva to see that. She was a mental head-case just a year or two ago! Very much like me, I must admit! But look at her now. So consistent and level-headed, rarely smashes her racquet or starts mad, chuntering conversations with herself anymore. You can see that she really has to struggle to suppress it all though, it's always there just simmering under the surface, threatening to explode. I would definitely be a racquet smasher and probably a head-under-the-towel type too!
That said, I'm very pleased with the way I remained calm and dug out a win in the Djokovic v Federer clash. Again, I kept my anger bottled up and didn't do anything rash.

When I returned for the evening games, I'd undergone a session of hypnotherapy. Did it work? Well, I'm in profit for the first day in ages. I've strung together 3 wins for the first time in a while. And I've not had a loss! I felt really confident and was full of energy following the session. I was actually looking forward to trading for the first time this week. Most importantly, I was patient. I didn't even play the Nishikori v Tipsarevic game, as I felt there wasn't a solid enough opportunity. And if I hadn't gotten into the Almagro game so late, I would've made a much bigger green. But I definitely felt different, far more positive. No tennis tomorrow, so I'll be having another session and a damn good rest before next week's WTA. Let's hope this is a true turning point.

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