I guess everyone has their own way of working.
I often say to my brother, when it comes to gambling you have to make it what you want it to be. If not, you have to wonder who is in control. Perhaps you are unwittingly being manipulated without realising. We are given the premise that we have freewill over determinism. However, I’m sure there are plenty of psychology perspectives which would tell a different story.
Whatever the underpinning of our reality, it pays to have a working routine especially when concentrating on horse racing and specifically when a bet is about to be placed. The reasons are apparent. Any distraction can lead to mistakes. They can happen in an ideal situations so a noisy environment is hardly conducive to optimum performance. And when you are gambling for a living you need everything to be right.
I’m not sure if gamblers are superstitious, but I feel there is a gambling monster watching from the clouds. Man, woman or beast, this devil is a perfectionist and loves to see people in the image of itself. If you don’t work with professionalism then you can guarantee it will make an example of you. Basically, something horrible will happen to show you why the very thing you haven’t done is vitally important.
For this reason, I have a routine 30-minutes before the start of any race I have bet. I go to my room, put my headphones on and concentrate on the upcoming race. I have a routine. I have solitude. Hopefully, I won’t be disturbed by anything. It’s imperative I focus.
I enjoy the predictability of this routine.
It is a strength and reinforces good habits. The opposite is creating bad habits. If you have half a brain you definitely don’t want to be nurturing those because they are costly and frustrating when gambling.
It’s a strange happening, but the amount of times horses are entering the stalls when someone knocks on the door or the dog starts barking is uncanny. I’m pretty sure the man upstairs (the devil) is testing my character. He’s saying: ‘I’m going to get you out of that room and when you do I’m going to f*** you up.’
I said he was a very disagreeable character.
And that’s why I, you, the old gambling dear round the corner, needs to stick to the routine of solitude and focus even if the world is falling down around your ears. Let the ceiling crash down. Let the bloke from Amazon perish on your doorstep. Ignore your pet dog even if it is running around the house in a ball of flames.
Don’t glimpse through those blinds because I can guarantee Medusa will be staring back at you. Your horse will finish stone last.
Because here’s the thing. You think all those things seem bad if not a touch disturbing. Being a decent human being you want to do your best. It’s only natural you want to throw a bucket of water over little Fido to dampen the flames. However, take it from me, if you leave that laptop for one minute you will come back to find something terrible has happened.
The devil is waiting to test your resolve.
‘You thought it was OK to leave the room?’
You don’t want to know what’s going to happen but I can tell you this much, you won’t be winning any money that day.
In fact, you will be lucky not to lose your shirt.
Don’t believe me. Then give the man in the clouds a reason to look down and say: ‘You, boy, are a glutton for punishment.’
For your sake follow the maxim: Routine, solitude and focus.