Tuesday, 11 September 2012

The Muzzard and Me

It goes without saying that I'm very happy for Andy Murray today. It also goes without saying that there will STILL be a lot of very bitter haters. Just as I felt satisfied that my progress this year has shoved a few words back down people's throats, I'm sure the new US Open Champion will allow himself a wry smile in memory of all those fools who claimed he'd never win a slam. What I don't understand about those who said this, is how you can possibly be so certain that someone will never achieve something? He was amongst the best 4 players in the world, had beaten the other 3 on many occasions, was still in his early 20's and had already reached Grand Slam finals before. It was hardly a huge leap to go from that, to winning a final. I've always maintained he at least COULD win one, because I understood that he only needed to make a few improvements to get over the finish line. To say he would NEVER win one, so comprehensively, is like saying no one can ever improve at anything.

I like to think that the Muzzard and me have many similarities. Brush aside the fact that he is a multi-millionaire, Grand Slam winning, gold medal owning, national hero with a rather hot girlfriend and we have a fair bit in common. You see, when I was around Murray's age, in my early 20's, I was very much a negative individual. I was one of those people who would find cynicism in most things. I would be the one with the sarcastic jibe and the glass half-empty mentality. I'm not saying that Murray is necessarily the same (he must have some positivity to get where he has as a tennis player) but I do believe that he has a natural tendency to err on the negative and the cautious side of life. You can see it not only in his style of play (which is to counter-punch and draw mistakes from opponents, rather than dictate play and go for winners) but also in his emotional reactions. He berates himself, focuses on the bad things he does, holds various body parts when things aren't going well. A naturally positive person doesn't do those things to that extent. But that doesn't mean a person cannot change.

It took someone new who came into my life to tell me to my face (in a friendly way) that I was often quite negative; talking too much about the bad stuff that had happened to me and over-doing the sarcasm. I had no idea I was that bad, so it wasn't until she said this that I sat up and started analysing myself, wondering if I could be a better person and have a better life. She was my Ivan Lendl (though she looked rather prettier than an Easter Island head)! I'm pretty sure that his input has been the decisive factor in Murray's turn-around with his on-court demeanour. This year, he's been far more positive with body language and mentally, he is now on a par with Djokovic, Nadal and Federer. It hasn't happened over-night because it's not an easy thing to do, to change the way your mind works. It's a gradual process that you have to work hard on every day but it's finally sunk in for him. And that positivity has seeped into his game too - now much more able to attack on the front-foot when required.

I not only became more positive in my outlook on life (which completely turned my life around in a few short years) but also did the same thing with my trading. It is a year to the very day, when I started to overhaul my tennis trading strategy (which had failed for so long). It was this post that signified my first day of trying out the techniques that I use today:

Growing Balls

Reading back on all my September 2011 posts feels great because it was a time of real excitement for me. I was working so hard back then but I could see light at the end of a very long tunnel - trading was starting to make sense. Like Murray, I was changing from a cautious style to a more aggressive one, taking on more risks. I also had to work on my mind because I used to berate myself even more than he did! But I knew, probably like he did, that I had to change. I think a lot of traders bomb out of the game because they are not willing to change what is failing; either through fear, stubbornness or a lack of work-ethic. They would do well to take a look at Andy Murray as a prime example of what can be achieved just through a shift in attitude and good old fashioned blood, sweat and tears. Congratulations, you miserable ol' Muzzard!

Gisela Dulko:


  1. Well said and I've very happy for Murray, but could he have looked any more miserable after winning his first ever Grand Slam?!

    During the final set I imagined if he wins, after all the other loses and disappointment, ALL the stress and relief would come flying out, he would drop his racket and with both fist clenched, extend both arms fully and let out an almighty roar.......or at least smile. All he actually did was look at bit grumpy while moaning at his box about his watch?! No walk around either with the trophy to let the fans get a few pics.

  2. I think it took a while to sink in at first, looked genuinely exhausted and shocked. We all react differently to situations, you can never tell what you are going to do untill it actually happens.

    It is Andy Murray though, did you really expect him to look that elated? Shoud have done the walkaround though.

  3. I know big ask, but seeing as this is everything he has worked hard towards and with the four other failures in mind PLUS winning it in the last set where at the start he must have thought 'oh no not again!', I thought that we may see an outburst of relief at the very least! But your right, this is Murray and I should have known better, silly me.

  4. I don't understand the importance of all this. His is a tennis player, he is not the children's ambassador for UNICEF. If you guys really think the fans are that important to these sportsmen you are sadly mistaken, they are hugely self important and the fans are just a necessary part of the show while they accumulate wealth and fame. I know a few caddies on the tour and they will ALL tell of one of the most popular men in golf who is famed for his attention to he fans and the time he spends on them during tournaments. He sees it as part of his job, in private he detests them and the adjustments he has to make in his life to accommodate them. The difference is that Murray is a bad actor, the others have managed to pretend that the fans actually count and we all buy into the sham.

    1. You may well be right but the truth is, we don't really know which ones detest the whole idea of giving to the fans and who don't. Obviously, Murray is different! He'd rather be doing anything than signing autographs. I suspect Nadal is the same, as he's a shy person who doesn't crave the limelight. I never get that impression from Djokovic or Federer though. You can't tarnish everyone with the same brush. I know that if I was a famous sports-star, I would relish the adoration and would 100% give what I could for my fans. So if I can feel that why, why not anyone else? Though I admit, it may become tiresome after a while!

      People find it important cos if they are spending their time and money watching these stars and buying their merchandise, they expect a little in return. A smile, few nice words and a signature shouldn't be too much to ask. If it's not sincere, so be it - only the star themselves will know if it is.


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