Something has clicked within me this week. It's as if everything suddenly came together all at once and I completely finally grasped exactly how to trade. When I start each day now, there are no real question marks or worries at the back of my mind. I know exactly what I'm going to do in any given situation. I am not paper-trading any new system in the hope it will produce better results. I'm not looking at what anyone else is doing. I'm not worried about making a mistake or having an off day. I don't panic when the market turns on me and I don't sit there like a deer in the headlights. I don't even consider chasing back a loss at any point, no matter how large it is. There is a strange, zen-like quality about my whole approach to trading these days. It all sounds a bit profound! But seriously, something has altered within me, something I can't quite put my finger on.
I guess it's just a new-found self-belief that has come about because I'm finally comfortable with what I'm doing. I look at the ladders each day and watch the never-ending sea of money floating around and I say to myself 'some of that is going to be mine today!'. I truly believe that and I haven't been wrong yet! It doesn't scare me anymore, the fact that I might miss out on some of it or see my own notes get swallowed up within it. Even when I've had good periods in the past (though they never lasted longer than a week), I didn't feel like this. I would usually either get over-excited and over-confident, rush ahead of myself, start day-dreaming about riches or I would start to get anxious and nervy, waiting for that 'tipping point' where the cards would collapse. Not any more. There is a calmness and patience about my trading that I've never experienced before. I feel as if there is nothing about the trading world that can phase me now. Whatever the day throws up, however bad it might get, I know that I am equipped to deal with it. I guess that's the biggest difference - I TRUST MYSELF. I've never been able to honestly say that before. I would really be interested to hear from any traders who have also experienced this feeling. I remember reading a blog entry by a trader months ago, where he wrote 'When I am trading, if you were watching me, you wouldn't know if I was winning or losing at any time.' I have always aspired to be that cool and confident and neutral when trading. I don't think I'll ever be quite that robotic, as I'm a passionate person who struggles to hide emotions. You'd certainly be able to tell whether I was winning or losing but the gap between the two has shortened considerably in recent weeks.
I know it's only been 3 weeks since I started producing consistent results. I'm not saying I'm 100% there as a successful, consistent trader. But I truly believe that the emotional rollercoaster is over. My trading this week has done much to prove this. I started shakily. The transition from the American clay (which is apparently crushed bath-salts!) to the softer European clay, was noticeably different. I'm sure that's why someone like Ryan Sweeting could win a tournament on US 'clay'. I doubt you'd see him getting far in a tournament like Casablanca alongside proper clay-courters like Starace and Andujar. There are far more breaks of serve, longer rallies and less aces, as seen in Monte Carlo this week. It took me a day or two to adjust my strategy and it cost me at first. But once I'd done so, I was producing my best ever week of trading on ATP - I have hardly missed the ladies at all! I could have easily been thrown off by the difference from the harder courts but the bad start didn't phase me and I got better and more confident as the week went on. I honestly think that I will never again dip into a nasty slump. I'm enjoying tennis trading once more and I'm looking forward to continually improving my consistency. Whether I will make enough to one day visit the Monte Carlo Country Club for the week - that's another matter entirely!