Friday, 26 August 2011

Kicking the Habit

Last week, I came to realise that my strategy does have one flaw - it relies a lot on the favourite (or at least one player) playing to a good standard at some point during the match. And that is why last week in Cincinnati, I struggled to get wins. The top players almost all struggled to find any decent form. Even the finalists (Sharapova, Murray, Jankovic, Djokovic) were well below par for long periods. The general quality of tennis made games very hard to read and opportunities were thin on the ground. As this was the only tournament on this week, there was no escaping these problems.

What ended with a couple of hundred pounds-worth of losses, would've undoubtedly been closer to a couple of thousand if it had happened earlier this year. Cincinnati couldn't have come at a better time because I was more focused than usual on making sure my patience and discipline were good. In the year and a half that I've been trading, I have never had a week where the matches were so bad across the board. So it's highly unlikely to happen again for a while. But at least I'm now aware that it CAN happen and will be better prepared for it next time.

The other great thing to come out of last week, was that I had to red-up at the 25% mark so many times that I actually got used to doing it. I didn't have any full-stake losses and even though there were occasions where I made bad errors, I still took the loss. I had written previously that I felt I needed to take hits in order to make it more of a habit and I believe I've now done that.

And there's even better to come out of this week. My confidence took a huge hammering from Cincinnati and I have been fighting a tough mental battle every day. I have never had to work so hard to reign my thoughts in. Each day I have felt anxious and I began to doubt my system for the first time since March. It's been thoroughly exhausting, trying to stay focused and do the right things but just as I'd expected, the wins returned and trading got back to normal. It was a huge relief. The FPD Plan is really bearing fruit now. I have not had any focus issues at all, I have redded up at 25% every single time I've needed to and my patience is improving as each day I do something which shows I am finally not rushing the process so much. I'm even taking all Friday off to enjoy myself, which is unheard of! The mistakes are still there but they are less frequent and not as large. I've always said this would not clear up over-night. I'm like a smoker who is battling to kick the old bad habit into touch, trying to suppress those cravings. But that defensive mindset is starting to take hold and the air I'm breathing is getting slightly less smoky each day.

I now go into the final grand slam of the year with a lot of confidence, despite the fact that it really is make or break time for me. A bad week would probably spell the end for my trading. And to be perfectly honest, if I can't produce a decent week now, in the biggest event of the year, after all the work I've put in to change myself, I may have to just admit that it is never going to happen............


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