A lot of people use January 1 as a time to think about what could be done better in their lives. We tell ourselves that we’re going to drink less and eat healthier, work out more and sit on the couch less, finish that project we started in 2014 and commit to finishing things that we start. I’m not making light of the holiday or of those resolutions at all. It’s good to do things that will improve your quality of life and pursuit of happiness.
But, it is interesting that we predominantly set aside one day to address these things. As bettors, there is something that we can do every single day to be better. I have my list, which I won’t bore or burden you with here, however, I do have a few suggestions for some things to think about.
Mental health – Those that have followed me at previous gigs or have read previous blurbs know that I am a big proponent of mental health. This is a wide-ranging topic with a lot of examples when it comes to betting. This can range from addiction to depression to anxiety to hurting your relationship with your significant other, friends or family and your self-esteem.
I’ve mentioned this a lot, but figure out what your goals are. Are you in this to have fun? Are you in this to make money? Do you simply enjoy having something to talk about with friends? What do you want to achieve? Are you achieving it? If so, how does it make you feel? If not, how does that make you feel? The money will come and go and you’ll have ups and downs and swings of positive and negative variance. Are you handling those well?
Handicapping with a clouded mind and a loser’s mentality gets you nowhere. Come to terms with what you can and can’t control. Find your process. Trust it. Believe in it. Don’t bet over you are comfortable betting. You have to be able to bet on yourself before betting on somebody else.
Play to your strengths – Bet what you know. Bet what you have success betting. There is an ego element to this business. We want to be the best at everything. The best sports bettors in the world know their limitations or rely on other individuals or groups to help fill in the gaps. If you dedicate a lot of time to football, but minimal time to basketball, why would you bet the same unit size on both sports? I get it. We all want action. Just because a line is posted and a sport is in-season doesn’t mean you have to dive in. You’re already betting against the 11/10 house edge. Don’t make it worse by creating a –EV position by betting a game you don’t know much about just because it’s there.
Be willing to learn – Lastly, a quick one here, but never stop learning. I haven’t in 15 years. I never will. There is always something new if you have an open mind. Learn about new stats and metrics. Listen to people you respect and don’t just tail their picks, but absorb their processes and think critically about what it is that they do that you can then apply to your own way of doing things. It will help.
I wish you all a safe, healthy and prosperous New Year. Good luck in 2022!