Emotional Control And Discipline
Many people find gambling so attractive because of the adrenaline it offers as well as the wide array of emotions it brings every single moment.
People get addicted to these feelings, especially the pleasant ones, but it is certainly a rule of thumb that in order to appreciate victory, you first need to go through a painful loss.
Generally, there is nothing wrong with riding the emotional roller-coaster of sports betting but you are definitely going to be better off as a bettor if you manage to get rid of emotion altogether.
Professional bettors take rational decisions all the time, and you will find how difficult that is when you don’t have your emotions under control.
What sets successful bettors apart from mediocre ones is not only the ability to analyse the factors that affect the outcome of a particular sporting event but also the discipline they use to control their emotions. The average bettor pays very little attention to these skills but they truly are of paramount importance.
This article looks at some emotions you need to do away with before you start making better decisions and placing better wagers. We also look at why strict discipline is so important for bettors.
Apparently no-one likes to lose. However, it is a fact of life that betting leads to occasional losses. If you have been betting before, you have definitely had periods when no matter what you do, you keep losing and there is no way you can get away from losing more than you win.
Do get one thing: you can’t be afraid of losing. Accept the possibility of losing and don’t give in to fear. It clouds your judgement and leads to a wrong reason for placing a wager.
Instead of being open to good opportunities that have value, you will begin searching for ‘safe’ bets. That way the fear of loss is materialised through bad decisions, which will only lead to losing money.
There are two effective ways of avoiding fear:
- ALWAYS bet using money you can afford to lose and be fully prepared to lose it. This is one of the major reasons to be managing your money well. When you allocate resources solely for betting purposes, you will stop worrying about losing money that you need for something else. Read more about money management in this article.
- You should stop thinking of your bankroll as having monetary value. Instead, look at it as a tool for trading and making money. When you stop seeing leva or pounds, you will get rid of the emotional attachment to their loss. With the proper money management, you won’t fear even a string of losses.
See more about MoneyManagement
Irritation / Anger
It all starts with a minor irritation that could be caused by a number of factors, most of all preceded by long hours spent in front of the computer. This makes you highly sensitive to all kinds of irritants and it is only a matter of time before the entire grudge you have been bearing breaks loose.
Let alone facing a losing streak especially if you are betting live and a sure-fire wager slips away in a most absurd and lame way. An outburst of anger is guaranteed in such a situation.
When in such state of mind, your brain stops working in a rational way and switches into a completely different mode that can have you gone bankrupt in a matter of minutes. All the decisions you make are influenced by the desire for revenge and getting even with the bloody bookie or club.
Hence, whenever you feel slightly tired or tense, it is really important to take a break and get away from the computer until you feel refreshed. This is the only way to prevent a potential outburst.
This state of mind carries a huge risk of staking your entire bankroll on one single match. Hence, get away from the computer or mobile phone at the first signs of irritation.
P.S. If you are unable to control your anger, you have no other choice but having a sip of valerian and letting go.
An important part of sports betting is knowing when to bet. With so many online bookmakers it is very easy to place a wager anytime. In addition, there are countless betting opportunities and it is very easy to be tricked into placing a large number of bets over a short period of time.
Placing a lot of bets can lead to success given the right strategy is employed but it is generally much better to select your bets carefully and only place them for a good reason.
Easy as it may sound, there are numerous people who aren’t patient enough. The urge to place a bet, even if you don’t have a good reason for doing so is a bit overwhelming and can lead to a series of speculative wagers, which is definitely not a recipe for success.
I am well aware of the fact that dealing with impatience is a huge challenge and it is very easy for me to write about the need for patience. The best advice I can give you is to be absolutely confident the bet you are placing is for the right reason.
Before you bet on anything, ask yourself why you are doing it. If you cannot provide a solid response backed up by arguments, then it is probably not a good idea to be placing that bet.
Desperation and Greed
Personally, I don’t know a single player who hasn’t been on a losing streak. A long string of losses may be particularly destructive for a person’s emotional state of mind. However, a long streak of wins may be equally catastrophic.
Essentially, a long string of losses may lead to desperation. In turn, it could easily lead to betting higher and higher stakes until you end up chasing losses. This is a cardinal sin as far as sports betting goes, and nearly always ends in disaster and great losses.
On the other hand, a long streak of wins may lead to greed. Such events will make you feel as if you cannot do anything wrong and you will keep winning all the time. That could make the urge to win over and over pretty overwhelming.
Just like desperation, it will get you into betting at higher stakes. Although the reasons are different, you should be aiming at avoiding similar states. No winning streak will last forever so the last thing you want to do is give all your winnings back to the bookmaker.
Controlling these emotions largely boils down to your level of discipline!
Even the best strategies will result in several losing bets. It can be hard to stick with something that does not bring you an immediate return, which is why confidence is so essential.
If you don’t believe in your abilities, you will always be doubting and changing your judgement, which will lead you nowhere. How many times have you been certain about a given outcome but then started hesitating until you ultimately placed your bet on a different outcome?
When you begin using a strategy, stick with it over time, even if on a losing streak. If it proves difficult, go on doing it on paper, without staking any money. Never assume automatically you are doing something wrong. Have trust you are making the right decisions for the right reasons.
Keep in mind that over-confidence is equally dangerous. If you have too much self-belief, you might continue following a poor strategy and blaming bad luck for your losses, thus failing to admit you might be doing something wrong. Hence do analyse your deteriorating performance and find out why this is happening.
Striking the right balance when it comes to confidence is a difficult task. You need to overcome the losses without losing faith in your abilities while at the same time being prepared to accept the fact that something might be wrong and you might be making a mistake.
How to get the balance right:
- Make sure you dedicate enough time to analysing the bets you place as well as their results. If that leaves you confident that you are placing the right bets for the right reasons, then go ahead using the same strategy, even if the results could be better at that stage. Read more here.
Set some kind of loss limits that will make you review your system more thoroughly to detect potential flaws, and fine-tune it properly.
Bettors who are fans at the same time could create problematic situations in many cases. Being a sports fan is associated with a lot of emotion, which is why sports are so exciting and popular. On the other hand, though, this is definitely not good when it comes to sports betting.
If your favourite football team is playing an important match against a skilled rival, as a fan you will be looking forward to the game and hoping for your favourite to win. In such a scenario, it is highly unlikely to be able to make a rational decision about what wager to place on this match.
- If you are an optimist, you would like to bet on your favourite simply because you want them to win, even if they don’t stand very good chances of success.
- If you are a pessimist, you might as well bet against them, because you don’t believe your team is capable of winning.
- You may even decide to bet against your team to guarantee yourself some kind of reward regardless of the outcome. If they win, you don’t mind losing the bet and if they lose, you will have at least won some money.
The major point here is that you are placing bets for the wrong reasons. It is very hard to avoid emotions when betting on a sporting event you care about so you had better stay away from such matches.
There will certainly be many other betting opportunities on events you have no emotional involvement with. Focus on those.
The Importance of Discipline
Good discipline is going to help you with any potential problems that may arise as a result of all these emotions. For starters, you should be disciplined if you want to be managing your money properly.
As I mentioned, good money management will help you deal with the fear of loss and make you resist any temptation spurred by desperation or greed.
Discipline is required so that you could be confident in your abilities and the viability of your strategy in case things are not going well. On the other hand, it may help you accept something in your play isn’t as good as you think it is.
What is more, discipline will protect you from placing bets on events you are emotionally involved with. It will help you stay patient and avoid betting only for the sake of it.
Constantly improving your discipline and keeping emotions under control will guarantee you sure-fire success.