It would be very easy for me to start getting carried away now. April is officially my best ever month of tennis trading. Everything really gelled for me; strategy, confidence, focus, professionalism and most importantly, mindset. I was pretty much in the zone for the entire month. Sure, there were one or two minor blips but absolutely nothing major and when I did make errors, they didn't affect me badly. I actually felt my trading getting stronger and tighter towards the end of April and I think that's largely down to the extra psychology work I have done from 'The Mental Game of Poker'. If there were any little gremlins that needed to be stomped out of my mindset, this book is well and truly quashing them. Check out my 5 Psychology School Sessions, if you want to know more.
But I'm not going to get carried away. I'm still only using small stakes (liability still no larger than £50), so I will have to eventually test my ability to deal with larger stakes at some point. I also know that the hard work mustn't slacken off, which could prove to be tricky. I've put in so much effort this year in particular, that I can feel the onset of burn-out becoming an issue. I didn't deal well with it last year but I know the dangers now, so should be better equipped to nip it in the bud. Then of course, there is the problem of over-confidence which I mentioned in my last post. Again though, I have the experience of going through that before, so I am always monitoring my mental state closely.
My goals remain exactly the same for May; to change nothing at all and become even more consistent. I want all aspects of my trading to be trained to the level of unconscious competence i.e. I want my daily routines to become so ingrained that I just do them automatically. That goes from warming up and reviewing goals before I trade, to taking notes, to keeping focused, to remaining mentally balanced, to executing the strategy correctly and to analysing performance at the end of the day. I still know there are areas where I can improve in consistency and that's quite an exciting thought because it means that my best is still yet to come. That's why I won't be upping stakes just yet. Once I feel I'm at the unconscious competence stage with everything, then I will step things up to the next level - and that could mean a move into some serious profit-making.
OFF COURT BEAUTIES World Number 93 and 240, sisters Anastasia and Arina Rodionova of Australia and Russia respectively: