Recently I was conversing with a business associate about being a horse handicapper, and the topic of confidence vs. competence came up. I said that competence is more valuable than confidence, and here is an example.
I am confident that I can ride a motorcycle, however I am not fully competent at it. No matter how much confidence I have, it won’t matter unless I am capable of actually operating it. Chances are if I am not proficient, an accident will be waiting to happen. Handicapping is the same way. You read books and articles, watch race replays, read result charts, handicap races, all in the pursuit of becoming apt at “picking winners” but more important making money!
Here is where we push a little further. Competence breeds confidence. Once you have figured out and honed your style of play, your foundation has been built. That foundation is competence. You handicap those races you have hand selected as playable, and wager on them. Confidence is playing that horse or horses that you selected, dictated by your foundation.
This next point is important. The worst thing a handicapper can do is waver. You cannot lose confidence in your capability at making money at the races! A point that I made to my business associate is that, what got you from a five thousand dollar bank roll to a fifty thousand dollar bank roll is going to be the same thing that is going to get you from fifty to a one hundred thousand dollar bank roll. Be consistent. Keep records. Give your system of play a chance to prove itself. You are going to have losing streaks. Races aren’t going to go your way. But once you start hitting, look out!
Your handicapping is competence. Your consistency to your system is confidence.