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Wednesday, 30 January 2013

The first of a great many

Yesterday saw the first hours of practice in the 1000 Hours of Practice experiment. (See last post)

I managed to bully and cajole Robbo from TSTA into being my pre race trading mentor. One of the first things he advised was to not trade either Maidens or Bumpers. Sadly, there were only two cards yesterday and one of them was a Bumpers for Jumpers card at Lingfield. Given that the experiment is about learning from the very practice itself, it seemed counter intuitive to not trade the Bumpers.
Within the book that sparked this whole idea - Bounce - in addition to the idea of 10,000 hours creating a master, it is stated that those hours of practice are almost useless if the practice itself is not "purposeful". That being having a very difficult or currently unreachable objective, each session, to ensure continuous improvement. As yesterday was the first session, the objective was to try and trade to scratch. At this stage the overall result is not that important, however, I finished the day having added 3% to the bank.

As there were only two cards, a great deal of time was spent watching the markets mature, but I definitely made the mistake of entering some too early. My next practice opportunity will be on Saturday and with so much racing, it will be interesting to see how my trading differs when I open a market with perhaps only 5 minutes to go.
The really interesting thing was, at the end of the session, it genuinely felt like I had begun something really structured, worthwhile and positive.

4 hours done, 996 to go.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Practice does make perfect.

Those who read this blog regularly are aware that I am a massive advocate of regular reading, and a large advocate of the Sports Trading Academy. So, when Robbo, TSTA´s head honcho and trader, suggested a book to me, it was purchased immediately.
The book in question is titled Bounce and it examines the truth behind the idea that some people are born with "natural talent". Rather, it quashes the myth.
When Robbo described the book and it's contents, the first example I thought of that would disprove the book's point was Mozart. A child prodigy who penned his first music whilst little more than an infant. Ironically, Mozart was one of the first examples addressed in the book and took the wind out of my point with little effort.
The book is good and, though I'm about to relay much of it' s essence, I'd still advise reading it.
After extensive, expert research and endeavour, the author boils it down to this; in order to achieve The level of "master", to have a sixth sense understanding of something, the kind that would deliver the type of success you associate with Tiger Woods, you would need a minimum of 10,000 hours practice. Much of which would ideally take place from a young age.
That's great if you have the spare time to allocate. However, one can be fairly sure, if you were able to allocate a fair portion of this time, you could reasonably expect to become proficient enough to be labelled "decent".
I've pondered on these aspects over the last few days and made a decision. Trading horses pre- race is a dark art to me. I have improved of late but am still lacking the necessary skill level to suggest I could make a living out of that trading alone, far from it. Since returning to the corporate world I have a great deal less time available, however, from this week, all of my trading time will be dedicated to trading horses pre- race. And each individual hour will go toward reaching an overall target of 1000 hours, just a tenth of the suggested time it takes to create a  "master". Would I be happy with just 10% of Tiger Woods' success? What do you think?
I've calculated being able to trade/practice for around 8 hours per week, outside of my football trading, which should see me complete the project around mid 2015. Of course, should the practice improve my trading quickly, this practice time will in fact be trading time that, by proxy, sees me become a better pre race trader. Almost a self fulfilling prophecy.

As the enormously talented Roy Castle said "Dedication' s what you need."

Wish me luck.