How do sports traders, football traders, tennis traders start their day? Do they dive right into stats and spend hours upon hours researching before executing a trade? Or is it a bit more leisurely with a round of golf before things get going?
I can’t speak for everyone but I can speak for myself and so in this post I will be sharing my own morning routine for you and how I set up my day for success.
It seems sharing your morning routine is a bit of a trend at the moment and I actually had a few requests for it in recent months.
Probably about 99% of people who read this blog just want tips and strategies and so this blog post is for the 1%.
The 1% who know how important the outside elements can be towards your trading. Health, Mindset, Discipline etc
Being successful at trading (or anything entrepreneurial) requires a SOLID morning routine that will set your day up for success.
For years, my own morning routine was an absolute mess.
And usually involved waking up half hungover at a random time, then proceeding to eat an unhealthy breakfast whilst still half asleep and pretty much sleep walking through the day till it came to start trading.
Only when I improved that did I start to see real successes and huge improvements in all factors of my life.
Trading, Health and happiness.
I actually think it is impossible to be successful without starting your day right.
After all, if your day is starting badly it is probably all down hill from there.
Most will skip this but the 1% won’t.
That is why they are in the 1%. (or soon will be!)
I hope you enjoy, please leave any comments or follow up questions in the comments section
The Night Before
So I am not going to start with the moment I wake up but actually tell you what happens the night before as this is the foundation for everything.
I am a big believer in looking ahead to the next day just to get a “heads up” on what might be available to trade.
With so many football matches spread across different kick off times these days it is even more important since I want to be trading at a time when volume is at its highest.
So probably around 10pm I will just take a quick look at Flashscores to see the schedule ahead for both football and tennis to see which time slot I want to be involved in.
Contrary to popular belief I do not believe in sitting there all day to trade. You want to use your time wisely.
This part doesn’t take long at all but I feel like I am one step ahead when I wake up the next day and this is stark contrast to my routine in the early days of not knowing what I was going to be trading till I stumbled on the computer and looked at what was in-play.
It is also important I try to switch off and get to sleep as early as possible.
Only with a good night’s sleep can I really function at my best.
Keep in mind that trading is not physical work, it is brain work. So you need your brain to be at it’s sharpest.
I have used an Oura ring to optimize my sleep and it is EYE OPENING to see how things like late night movies, late night food or alcohol before sleeping can totally destroy your sleep and leave you feeling like a zombie the next day.
For this reason, I make sure I don’t eat anything after 6pm. (It used to be impossible not to have the odd snack around 8-9pm but I will explain how I managed to get out of that later on!)
If trading football and finishing around 10pm it can be hard to “wind down” so I pretty much shut everything off and look to relax and zone out as soon as 10pm hits.
Previously I would wind down with a movie or Netflix show around 10pm but I realised these were often keeping me up past midnight and I simply wasn’t getting enough sleep to function at my best the next day. So it had to go.
I only made this change in the past couple years but it has been a positive one!
Disclaimer: I am human and this doesn’t always go to plan but this is my ideal routine.
I usually wake between 6 and 7AM. I don’t set an alarm and never have set an alarm since Uni days.
I think it is a horrific way to start your day and one of the best perks of “being your own boss” is not being a slave to an alarm.
Waking naturally usually means you wake up at the end of a natural sleep cycle and means less chance you will feel like a zombie in the morning.
As soon as I wake usually everyone else in the house is asleep so I make some coffee and get down to some reading.
The types of books I read are usually ones that will inspire me towards success and start my day on a positive note.
Recently, I have read A Tribe Of Mentors by Tim Ferris, Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and Atomic Habits by Tom Clear (All worth a read!!)
I know some might want to think/hear that I am up right away loading up Excel sheets, looking up stats and researching matches to trade but this is not the case at all.
Having a peaceful start to day is very important to me and usually this is the quietest time of the day to get that.
I have tried meditation also which can definitely be good for some but I actually found relaxing with a coffee and reading a motivational book best to help set up my mindset for the day ahead.
No news. No email. No social media. No Youtube. Nothing electronic which might suck me in and pollute my mind.
Start with calm and positivity.
By the way it wasn’t always like this, one of my WORST habits when I was younger was to wake up and continue binge watching the same series I fell asleep to the night before.
My more recent morning routine was to watch the breakfast news when I awoke but that had to be scrapped once the pandemic kicked in.
The news cycles around the Pandemic and Piers Morgan ranting in the morning were truly the final straw for that.
I switched to this approach of NOT looking at the news at all until much later in the day and I feel my mental health is much better for it.
I doubt I will ever go back to watching the news first thing in the morning even when times are happier.
This section of the morning is pretty much dedicated to the school run.
Chaos ensues as you can imagine which is why the 6AM hour is very important to me.
I am sure I don’t need to add much detail to this part but keep in mind that I haven’t actually even looked at anything trading related just yet.
I treat trading as a business and so I won’t look at anything (or even think about it) till at least 9AM.
Once the house has gone quiet I head to my home office and boot the computer up.
Not before brewing another fresh batch of coffee of course!
From here I load up the Flashscores to see what is ahead for the day.
I will already have leagues that interest me “starred” so I can get a quick idea of the schedule ahead and due to the planning the day before I will usually have a good idea of what time slot I am going to focus on.
Here is a screenshot for the day I am posting this blog.
This should give you an idea and you can clearly see that today is going to be a quiet one.
Usually it is much busier than that and so being selective is key.
So as I sip the coffee I load up my Power Sheets into Excel and start to see if I can narrow down opportunities.
In a world where there is football ALL day long these sheets have been a game-changer with helping me zero in on the best matches to trade.
Especially in leagues I am unfamiliar in.
French Ligue 2 anyone?
Not exactly a league I wake up excited to trade but it doesn’t take long to plug the matches in the sheets and see 2 potential lay the draw trades highlighted. (This was last week)
I will head over to Soccerway to quickly see if my research correlates.
If so I will note it down and take those notes in-play to then see if the in-play action correlates and execute my desired strategy.
I repeat this process for whichever matches are in my time slot in my preferred leagues.
So this could easily be around 10-20 matches and not the 100s that are often available.
The key is deciding what time slot you are going to trade in and sticking to that rather than trying to compromise and fit in whichever matches look best for trading.
If I say I am only trading from 5-7PM or 8-10PM then I will stick to that and ignore everything else. Sure I can miss some great matches for trading but there is plenty more where that came from.
Whilst I am here I will also see which matches fit my fixed odds systems and can be bets that are placed right away. I spread this action around various bookmakers, mainly the Asians, rather than Exchanges so there is no conflict of interest when trading.
Overall, this doesn’t take long and I can usually be done with this part of the day by 9:30.
Sometimes it might take me up to 10am in the worst case scenario.
It is important not to “overcook” the research since the most important information of all is going to arrive in-play.
Then usually by 10AM I am hitting the gym or going for a run.
I got into the habit of running during the lockdowns and found it insanely enjoyable. It is a brutal test of your fitness and at the start of the lockdown I was struggling to run even half a mile. Shocking!
That is much improved now but with the gyms back open (for now) I like to mix it up with some weights training.
Many hear about me lifting weights and think that I am there to try to turn into Arnold Schwarzenegger or something.
They see my “dad bod” and tell me I am wasting my time.
But the fact is, I do it for the mental health benefits.
Healthy body, healthy mind.
And in this business your mind is your biggest asset.
For me, exercise is probably the MOST important part of the day.
I come out of there pumped up (in more ways than one) and, more importantly, my brain feels sharper.
For the rest of the day I think clearer, make better decisions and pretty much feel like a machine.
Most importantly I have a positive mental attitude. I am expecting to win and losses just don’t bother me.
I have seen the contrast on the days when I have done no exercise and I don’t like it!
You may have noticed that I haven’t mentioned eating breakfast so far.
This is not a mistake.
I also practice intermittent fasting which means I will eat my final meal around 6PM and usually not eat my next meal till around 12PM the next day.
I used to have limiting beliefs that we needed a BIG breakfast to start the day and I couldn’t go to the gym without it.
“The most important meal of the day” right?
But now I regularly run 3 miles and do chest presses without eating and with only coffee in my system.
And I actually find I have MORE energy and MORE mental focus during this.
I began to realise that what I thought was “hunger” was just cravings. The body doesn’t need to be pummeled with food all day long like many of us do.
And this is coming from someone who would often eat TWO breakfasts when I was at University.
One made by my mum, one on the train and then usually by 11am I was heading to the canteen to grab a snack to “keep me going”.
A shocking lifestyle and I paid the price with a bulging waistline (gone now thankfully!)
I also notice if I start the day with breakfast, I am then constantly getting cravings for snacks through the rest of the day, especially late afternoon in between lunch and dinner.
Skip breakfast and for some reason I will NEVER get cravings for snacks. Strange how the human body works!
By this point I have showered and returned to the desk and ready to begin the day. If my workout was intense I might have a protein smoothie to replenish my energy.
I will go back over the notes and reconfirm what I might be looking to trade that day.
It is also usually also around this time that I will open the email inbox to see what members need help or advice and I will try to squeeze in as many email replies as possible.
I made it a rule not to look at this before 11am as it can be extremely time consuming and, not to mention, mind boggling. It is also around this time I check social media and various other things.
From here much depends on the tradeable action.
If there are some early afternoon matches, like on weekends, then it is usually straight into the thick of it.
But on a weekday I might find the football action worth trading doesn’t really start till late afternoon and so usually turning to tennis trading in the afternoons is the first port of call and doesn’t require much pre-match preparation.
If it really is a quiet day (like a Monday or Thursday) then I can take the other choice and not get involved in anything at all.
Times like these I might focus on recording a video for the YouTube channel or (shock,horror) just take the day off and go out for lunch at a nearby restaurant with the missus.
After all, that is WHY we do this, for the freedom and the lifestyle it provides.
So hopefully this was helpful and interesting to some.
Keep in mind, my current morning routine is the result of lots of experimentation and the realisation that mental health and well-being should probably a HIGH priority when you are in this game. If you can take care of that then the rest should fall into place.
I know when my days start like above then I am going to be on fire and even if it is a losing day (which can happen) I won’t be mentally “bothered” by it.
This is HUGE.
If you can get yourself into a place where you are not bothered by the losses then you will become an absolutely UNSTOPPABLE beast.
Whilst this is MY morning routine you still need to find one that works for you and starts your day positively.
Just trying to replicate my own won’t work, you probably have to adapt yours to suit your own personality.
Power Sheets 22
You saw me mention the Power Sheets as one of the main tools I now use earlier and if you want further information on these (how they work, availability, etc) then submit your email address below.
After a 5-figure investment this database was produced in the early part of last season and, to be fair, it took me a while to get to grips with these but I have found them an invaluable tool since.
For the moment we will be giving PRIORITY to for the Power Sheets 22 package to the small group who participated in Power Sheets 21 and renewal emails will be sent this week. (If that was you then look out for it!).
After that, any spots not taken up will be put up for availability to those on the interest list.
Just submit your email address below to be the first to know!