Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
As we all know, in this glorious game of ours, there are highs and lows. We get hot, we get cold, and everywhere in between. When things aren’t going well though, it is very important that you take a long look at yourself and ask why. Here are five things I like to do when I am in a rut...
1. Look yourself in the mirror – When things aren’t going your way at the track, you must look within. Are you being too risky with your wagers? Are your choices running well, but your losing photos and just a little unlucky? Are you distracted or being lazy in your handicapping? Are you just flat wrong? These are some of the questions we must ask ourselves. We all hit the skids now and then and it is our job to figure out why. If my selections are running well, and I am just unlucky I am fine with that. If I am just wrong, or I am being too risky, I want to know why, and put a stop to the losing.
2. Scale Back – You have to slow your roll a bit until you right the ship and regain your confidence. Do not press when you are cold; it only makes matters worse. I find it best to scale back a touch. If your standard win bet is twenty, make it ten. If you play Pick 4's, make it Daily Doubles. If you’re missing on your Trifectas, play Exactas. You do not want to keep burning money when things aren’t going your way. Err on the side of caution, until you get comfortable again.
3. Focus – Focus on your strengths and stay away from your weaknesses. Sounds easy, but sometimes it is even easier to get lost in all the action. Play the races where you feel most comfortable. If you love routes on the dirt, stick with those. If you hate turf sprints, do not look at them at all. If maidens are your specialty, only play those races. You must build back your confidence, and the way to do that is to stick with which your are best.
4. Review – We all get busy in life, but this step is very important. You have to go back after the races have been run and review the results. Look to see what you did right, and what you did wrong. Did you miss something in your handicapping? Did you misjudge a pace scenario or miss a hidden drop in class? You have to find out why the results came out as they did, and if you should have done anything different.
5. Stay Positive - You have to remember, this is one big long game and you are going to get cold every now and again. It can be tough to keep the positive energy going through the tough times, but you have a short term memory in this game. Try not to get too high after the scores, or too low after the losses. You have to be confident to win in this game because scared money never cashes.
This is how I like to deal with a slump, and I would love to hear how the rest of you folks cope with droughts. Please feel free to drop a comment on how you handle cold streaks. I, along with everyone else I’m sure, would love to hear it. Good luck at the windows, guys. Have a great week.