Betfair Trading Training - Self Development - How to Guard Against Being Overwhelmed
As you will know if you have been a member of BTC we are big advocates of self-development and evaluation. We think it is an integral part of training to be a Professional Trader on Betfair and something that does not get enough focus elsewhere on the internet.
Self-development is an ongoing process and every trader on Betfair should be doing so regardless of their level of trading. We are of course academics of the Betfair Trading Academy!
One of the things Ryan, Adam and myself do is further reading, with the amount of self-improvement books out there we thought we would use our reading to do a series of blog posts highlighting the important things that we found useful for our our trading training.
This weeks book is a bit left-field in not being an obvious choice for a trader to read but I found it very useful nonetheless.
The Inner Game of Tennis - The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Peformance by W. Timothy Gallwey.
Whilst this book focuses on tennis training in particular there are many overlaps to professional trading that could be taken from it. Written in the 70's it was revolutionary for it's time as not many people were focussed on thinking outside the box to use psychology to reach their maximum performance and a lot of it still resonates today.
The biggest take away and the point I want to focus on today is the idea that coaches or teachers can overwhelm their students with so many ideas of how to improve that the students are unable to improve. As someone who trains Betfair traders on a daily basis this is feedback I often here from traders, that they feel overwhelmed with the huge amount of imformation available to them on BTC. The problem is there is only so much you can focus on and improve at one time, if you try to remember 10 different things when trading you will likely overwork yourself and actually not trade as effeciently as a result.
Let's think about this from the example of a tennis player who is new to the game. I play a bit of tennis myself and am a decent county standard player who could tell a new player endless amounts of ways they could improve their technique. However the reality is that if I did that, they would be thinking too much whilst playing to actually adopt all of those techniques.
I could tell them for example to brush the top of the ball as if trying to stroke the felt, whilst at the same time making sure they are hitting the ball out infront of them, using their legs, torso and shoulders to swing the racket, trying to relax their arm as much as possible and making sure they move their foot forward after the stroke to hit a more powerful shot.
Well by the time they have thought about all of this (if they even remember half of it) the ball I hit to them from the other side of the net would have likely gone past them!
Imagine the same scenario in trading, I could tell a new trader a wealth of different techniques, markets and trading systems but by the time they research or try to use all of them that day all the games would be finished.
What's the solution to this?
Gallwey talks about how a player should be allowed to swing freely to start with, to try and get a grasp of what feels right when playing and use that feedback to gradually tweak things and improve their game. Only after that point should one new technique or skill at a time be added in for them to focus on and improve before adding in another.
So as traders we can apply that to our trading. A new trader should practice trading, get a feel for it before trying to really add anything else to their trading. Most trading software has a practice mode you can use to do this, or if you so wish you can use micro-stakes on Betfair and just get a feel for trading.
A stronger focus on one thing at a time!
As Betfair traders I know how tempting it is to try and trade everything, every sport, every market, every game. However, Gallwey's thinking lines up with what Ryan and myself have always preached on BTC over the years, focus on one thing and master it before moving on and expanding to something else.
- Trade ONE sport at a time - Learn ONE sport first before trying any others!
- Trade ONE market at a time - Learn how to trade ONE market before expanding and adding in others.
- Trade ONE match, race, game at a time - Don't try to trade 3/4 games at the same time unless you are very skilled at multitasking it will generally just result in you trading each game with less focus and therefore it is more likely that you trade it poorly.
- Stick to ONE strategy or system at a time - Master it before adding in any others and test it for 2-3 months at least before putting serious money down on it.
Hopefully this will help you as a trader to remember to focus on one thing, mastering it before adding in other skills and areas of trading. Gallwey says this is the best way to learn and it is hard to argue with, it just makes a lot of common sense.
So if you feel overwhelmed when learning trading here at BTC just take the advice above, focus on thinking about less stuff and rather than clogging up your mind with lots of ways to improve your trading, just take it one step at a time. If you need any help on this just get in touch with us, you are in the right place!