Monday, 13 June 2011
The Green, Green, Grass of Home
I've finally settled into the grass court season. Today was another good day and that's almost a full week of profitable days now. I was able to tweak my system, primarily by thinking and making trades on a slightly longer term basis, and ended up with a strong profit for the start of the grass-court season despite the bad first couple of days. So I'm no longer concerned about the rest of the month and feel relieved that really there is nothing more I need to think about tinkering with, regarding my system. It's pretty much the finished article now; I know exactly how to approach each type of surface, which was the last remaining major issue I had. It's a great feeling to finally be able to say that I'm 100% happy with my strategy. 16 months of hard graft has finally come to fruition!
So now there is no obstacle in my way for continuing to gradually increase stakes. Tomorrow, I will be adding another 33%, which will leave me close to the amount I was using when I first started this blog. The difference in my ROI between then and now is huge, so I expect to be making larger sums per day on a good day, than I was back in February. So my main focus will now turn back towards my psychological approach. I still obviously have not attained that level of mental strength that I desire and will require in order to be successful with trading as my sole income. I still occasionally lose my full stake, believe it or not, which is something that really should never happen with my experience. And I've had a few issues with losing half stakes a few times in recent weeks, which seems to be something psychological to do with the fact I'm using less liability than usual. I'm working my way through that one now! But my research still shows time and time again, and it still glaringly obviously stares out at me off the page after every week when I look back on my written records - when I'm properly focused, I trade well, when I'm distracted or in the wrong frame of mind, I make errors. And although I've known this for a long time now, for some reason, I still end up having days where I just can't seem to get it together.
It is only usually one day a week, two at the most, but that one day of poor concentration can be the difference between me doubling my bank for the week or instead, looking back in anguish at what could have been. My focus levels are vastly improved from how they were 6 months ago but I'm disappointed at the lack of improvement in recent weeks. I expected this area to kick-on in the same way that everything else has with my trading but it appears to have stagnated and I'm not quite sure what to do next. Like I say, most days are fine but I just can't maintain the level that I need on every day.
I guess it's not surprising considering I trade every single day. I probably need to take a day off each week but I find it very hard to just chill-out at the moment and so I end up itching to get back to the ladders instead of trying to take it easy. I see that as a good thing though because it means my enthusiasm for trading is high and I want to push forward and make more money. But there are times when I just get a bit bored during sessions and my mind wanders to other stimulus. Finding that balance of when to rest the mind and the techniques required to re-focus quickly are something I will be working on this week. I need to dig a little deeper and work on strategies such as more exercise breaks, continually talking to myself and just stopping and doing something different every now and then. I think I still have a tendency to try and push through those difficult periods and fight against the lack of focus, rather than admit defeat.
Overall though, things are continuing to advance at a steady pace and if it hadn't been for the gorgeous Maria Kirilenko's failure to convert break points from 0-40 on two occasions today, I would have been sitting on a 3 figure day! Only on grass would Kimiko Date-Krumm be able to serve her way out of that trouble! It's happened on several occasions with the women over the past few days and it's driving me nuts. I still can't wait to get back to the red-dirt!