Tuesday, 5 July 2011
I'm Back, Baby!!
Today I finally felt as though I'd got my mojo back. After weeks of struggling to find any consistent focus, the fog appears to have finally lifted. It's no coincidence that with it came my best profit for some time. It's always a bit of a come-down the week after a major tournament. Watching the likes of Remondina v Babos in Budapest is a bit like getting back to the Monday morning office grind after an exciting weekend away in London, especially when Agnes Szavay pulls out injured ;). But it's a huge relief that the grass court season is now over (bar that ATP event in Newport which has a strange aversion to doubles tramlines!) and we are back on the red-dirt.
I'd actually finished Wimbledon with some impressive results, making profit in all the semi-final and final matches. This helped alleviate a dreadful fortnight but the announcement of the new Betunfair premium charge did very little to aid my still faltering concentration. In fact, it was a good job that so few games were available to trade, as my focus was almost entirely directed towards that whole fiasco. It was only today when I finally snapped out of my fury and got down to sorting out my trading issues. Yesterday, I got away with a couple of poor trades which could have ended in almighty disaster and I think this helped snap me out of the haze of distraction that has encompassed me for a number of weeks now.
I put most of it down to complacency. I'd done so well over the past few weeks that I neglected many good habits that had gotten me to where I am. I realised that there were a few things I'd let slip that needed my attention. One of them was that I'd started messing around in-between games on the internet a lot more. This is an old habit that I thought I'd kicked ages ago but had crept back into my daily routine. This tied in with my general attitude towards trading as a business i.e. I had stopped treating it as one. I was acting as if I was part-time again. By that I mean that I was starting to fit my trading around other areas of my life, rather than vice-versa. As a full-time trader, you really have to always put your trading first. That means putting off any chores and outside interests until you've completed the days work.
The same goes for banishing distracting thoughts from my mind. For example, I'd been dreaming alot about a festival I have bought tickets for and planning for that event had often got in the way of my focus. I'd also been driven crazy by a neck injury and had allowed the discomfort to take over my thoughts when it really shouldn't have. I made it a rule to ban all activity that was not related to trading until the end of the trading day.
Lastly, my whole posture and immediate environment had become staid. I had become a slumped figure in my chair with my laptop burning into my thighs. I couldn't be bothered with the effort required to move it in order to get up and exercise, so would often sit in the same position for long periods, getting hot and irritable. I changed it so that I was sat higher up in the chair with a straighter back, with my body free to move around more and the laptop on a desk at a better angle. Such a simple adjustment but one which made me feel much more 'on it' - as if I was ready for serious work rather than playing a video game at midnight! I also spent more time stretching and exercising between points, rather than sat there staring at the players bouncing balls and pointing at towels. When it all was applied in conjunction, it resulted in me spotting better entry points and preparing properly for exit points - and when you break it down, that really is all that good trading requires. So as George Costanza might say - 'I'M BACK, BABY!!'