Saturday, 25 June 2011
Middle Sunday Misery
Normally I would be exceedingly angry that Wimbledon persists with this 'no-play on middle Sunday' debacle. Why oh why do they continue with this ridiculous 'tradition'? I've read that it's because they feel that play on this Sunday disrupts the flow of the tournament. Something to do with players playing on consecutive days I think. All the other slams play on this day and it doesn't appear to do them any harm. I don't recall any major indignation from any of the players. For me, it ruins the flow of the tournament for us spectators, who are just really getting into the excitement of it all, only to have nothing to watch on the one day that almost everyone has off work. Not to mention the fact that you could spread the games about a bit more and allow us traders an extra day on the ladders. However this year, I'm not quite so miserable. I suppose I could do with the day off and a chance to draw a line under what has been a tragic week. This has been my worst by a mile since The Dark Ages and my only losing week since March.
So why have things turned so sour? I think it's a mixture of factors. The fact it's on grass, as I've mentioned all month, is an issue and I continue to find it much harder to find wins on this surface. But that doesn't account for some of the daft trades I've been making. The lack of a decent scoreboard in the absence of Slamtracker has also limited my opportunities, as did the rain earlier in the week. But they are still not an excuse for my general sloppiness and poor decision making. No, the key factor in my declining standards still remains my inability to focus. It has now gotten to the stage where I am starting to get a little anxious. I've had these focus issues for a number of weeks now but have coped with them until this week, where I've no longer been able to get away with my lapses in concentration. But throughout Wimbledon so far, I've never been too worried, never felt as though I was going to slip deep into The Gambler's Cycle. I feel completely different to how I did in my last bad spell, where I almost sent myself crazy. It's only been a week though, there is still time!
Seriously though, I'm much more in control of my emotions and I've no fear of this becoming anything beyond a blip. I believe it's mostly because my mind keeps wandering to problems that I have in my personal life. I also think it's because I need a change of scenery. Staring at the same four walls and repeating the same trades day in day out is really starting to make me edgy, irritable and just in dire need of some variety. But I have to nip these focus issues in the bud quick-smart. If I can't deal with it now, how am I going to cope in years to come? If every time I have something personal on my mind, it affects my trading, I'm really going to struggle quite regularly. I need to find techniques to put the blinkers on, have complete tunnel-vision and switch off all the extraneous parts of my life. I also need to try and change my environment a bit within my trading room, just to stop it becoming too familiar and staid. I will be putting together a plan for next week on this day off.
As you can see from today's P&L, I began horribly. My brain was a whirlpool and I didn't know whether I was coming or going; flicking from one stream to another, not waiting long enough for good positions, watching 2 matches at a time, getting frustrated and entering the market when I shouldn't have and during this whole time, my mind constantly wandering to thoughts about my life. I also seem to have lost a lot of the verve and enthusiasm I had a few weeks ago and it has seriously affected my professionalism. I was at bursting point when I decided to summon up what tiny reserves of focus I had left, hidden within the very depths of my soul for one last push at the end of the day. I felt like a boxer on the ropes, blood streaming from the gashes across my lips, eyes shut almost tight from the swelling, desperately trying to stay upright as my legs wobbled from another shattering blow to the jaw as I reached for that final reserve of energy to keep me from hitting the canvas. It came as no surprise that as soon as I managed to properly focus, I produced 2 wins and finally put an end to this pathetic week with something minuscule to smile about.
I can only hope that week 2 will be as good as my Wimbledon predictions. If only I was a gambler and not a trader, I'd have made a mint! Sabine Lisicki, Tamira Paszek, Maria Sharapova and Marion Bartoli all remain in the tournament, with Lisicki and Paszek both producing huge upsets, as predicted. And if Sania Mirza hadn't gone out in round 1, I'm sure she'd have knocked out Wozniacki ;)