First and foremost, I am not a Professional Writer. Hopefully my posts will be helpful, easy to understand, and will provide you with some value. I figure as time marches on I will become more proficient at writing and look back at this first post and laugh. So, lets get started!
Lets begin with the definition of a Professional.
Pro · fes · sion · al – adjective
Following an occupation as a means of livelihood or for gain.
What are some characteristics of a Professional? Here is a small list:
- Cool under pressure
- Business savvy
- Able to balance risk and reward
- Treat it as a business
- Shrewd decision makers
- Disciplined enough to handle adversity
- Knowledge of the fundamentals
- Focused & organized
- There to make a profit
I have heard a lot of quotes over the last few years about what distinguishes a person from being an amateur from a professional. Here is one that sticks out in my mind:
“An amateur will do it until he/she gets it right. A professional will do it until he/she can’t get it wrong.”
For a Professional Handicapper, horse racing is their full time job, it is their livelihood. The reality is, it does not matter what you pick. It does not matter how much you know about racing. All that matters is your bottom line – did you leave the track or end your day with more money than you started with?
Handicapping part-time can be just as lucrative as doing it full-time. It doesn’t make you any less “Professional” doing it part-time either. Just like anything else, it takes a strong belief system, sticking to your game plan, and the ability to make the most of your time spent handicapping races. If you have just an hour to look over races, make the most of it! If you have 6 hours, make the most of it!
Being Professional means you need to start off in the right frame of mind. If you want to be Professional then you must start acting and thinking like one. Sometimes when I am looking at a race I like to ask myself, “What Would Andy Beyer Do?” It helps me get into a certain frame of mind. Tell yourself how capable you are at handicapping! The sky is the limit! Okay, enough cheesy talk. What works for me may not work for you though. Find different ways to get yourself into a good frame of mind before you start handicapping and wagering!
Treat racing like a business. You are trying to make the best business decision about a specific event in time. Give yourself the opportunity to make money.