Trading sports markets can be a very lucrative income stream if you get the basics right and most importantly learn to control your emotions and understand the psychology of it.
First of all, you have to understand you are not betting. This is not a straight-up bet against the bookmaker. That is and always will be a mug’s game.
You are pitching your wits against the market, which is essentially other people.
So, straight away you have a much better chance of getting the price you really want for a sports outcome and not what the bookie sets. Which is ALWAYS too low and in their favour.
Anyway, back to the psychology of it.
It is very easy to get lost in a trade for various reasons.
It could be that a market is on the way up so you decide that you want to buy in and get a little piece of the action.
Then, the inevitable happens.
The market changes and becomes a big lay market going in the opposite direction as the back bet you just placed.
This means you are losing money right now!
Your natural reaction may be to hold on as you feel that you have done the research and your back bet should stick and right itself sooner or later.
But, it keeps going the other way so you decide to cut your losses and get out for a loss.
Then, the inevitable happens again.
It decides to go the other way so you were right all along, however you have just sold your bet for a loss.
Urrrggghhhh!!! You can feel the rage creeping in.
This is where you simply have to move on and accept that you will NEVER win 100% of the time.
A strike rate of 70%+ should be your target, not 100%.
And you should not beat yourself up about it either.
Trading is always a long game and you should always be looking at your monthly profits/losses, not your hourly ones or even daily ones.
A losing trade is part and partial of the game I am afraid.
The question you should always be asking yourself is what can I learn from that?
Did you overreact? Could you have held your position for longer? Could you have entered other positions in other markets to offset your losses here?
The answer is almost certainly “Yes” but of course none of us have a crystal ball.
Trading is a little but like the game “Rock, Paper, Scissors”
You are always trying to second guess what will happen. This is why it is impossible to get every trade correct.
The random element is just that that is cant be predicted every time.
A massive stake on either side of the book can swing a trade completely out. And this is out of your control.
This is why you really have to study the markets, remove all emotions from them.
When I say remove the emotions I literally mean just that.
If you have a strong passion for a certain club, a certain player, or a certain horse then NEVER trade them. Either way.
Your feelings will get in the way which will blur your thinking on the trade.
It is no coincidence that only 5% of Betfair customers are successful at sports trading.
Fear of Missing Out
One of the classic problems of a new trader is the fear of missing out. We have often said before that a trader who learns to sit on his hands will be 50% more profitable.
This is so true.
You do not need to trade everything!
Take horse races for example, there are up to 50 horse races in a single day. Sometimes they are literally 5 minutes apart. You cannot possibly get a feel for the market, research the horses, and check various data points in that time.
So, the pro traders will not trade them all.
The truth is there are so many markets to trade across hundreds if not thousands of sports events each day that you should never have any fear of missing out.
The top traders are very selective of their events. Some will have complete days where they do not trade at all.
You should be the same.
This also leads me on to greed.
Greed can be a very negative trait for any sports trader. It’s very easy to get soaked up in all the wins if you are having a good day to think “I am on fire today, I will keep this going!”
Only, to get too carried away and enter a trade you are not 100% confident with and lose a big chunk of all your hard work for the day!
Do not get greedy – think carefully.
Some people like to set targets and stick with them as soon as they are hit.
So, if you set yourself a target of £100 per day profit and you hit that but lunch time then that is you done for the day.
The conclusion of all this is it is much better to have a trading plan and stick to it!
- Do not get F.O.M.O (Fear of missing out)
- Do not get greedy
- Do not let emotion get the better of you
- Stick to a trading plan
The final point I want to make is that there is no quick way to successful trading. You really have to learn this, develop a system and learn to manage the emotional side of it.
However, if you do want an edge and a head start then check out System 89p. This is a horse racing strategy that you can apply to sports trading. It will give you an early edge on selective races and will be a very good addition to your sports trading toolbox.