How to Handicap a Harness Race – A Simple System to Pick Winners at the Trots

Whether betting on trotters or pacers, if you want to make the most of your bets at the harness races, it is best to stick with a system, even if it is a simple one. Obviously, the more you learn about harness racing and handicapping, the better you'll do, but if you want something easy to get you started, here are a few good tips about harness that that you can use in a systematic method to pick harness winners .

First of all, in harness racing, the length of the track is very important because it determines how far each horse has to race and may give a big advantage to some horses. While most dashes, as they are called in North America, are a mile long, the tracks vary in length from a half mile to a mile. Half millers often give a big advantage to horses starting from the inside positions. It is very rare for a horse starting from a post position farther from the rail than the 5 post to have much of a chance on a half mile track.

The horses in outside posts do sometimes win, but that can be for one of several reasons, if they are far superior they have a chance, or if there is trouble in the race, like an accident or horses breaking stride, an outside horse sometimes wins. Otherwise, when handicapping half mile tracks, pay particular attention to post position and biases. Good past performances now supply an index which supplies that information in the form of a percentage. No matter how long the track, it is always a good idea to check the post position statistics. If you have little knowledge of picking winners, sticking with favorable posts is a good place to start.

The next step is the driver and trainer. While some harness drivers joke that they are just a passenger, if you read the statistics on the drivers, you'll find that some win up to three times as often as others. The same may be said of trainers. That information is usually posted right beside the driver and trainer names. A horse in an inside position with a good driver is starting to look like a good bet, is not it?

Harness horses, like all athletes, need to be in top condition to compete. What is the best way to find a harness horse in good form? Look for a horse who finished within two lengths of the winner in its last race or who posted the fastest time of any horse in the current race in one of its last two races. When you put the combination of a good post position together with a competent driver and trainer and a horse who is showing good form, you will have plenty of winners using this simple harness racing system.

Sun Tzu Art of War – Communication Tools

According to the Book on Military Administration, "In battles, as verbal communication can not be heard clearly, cymbals and drums are used as commands" As visual communication and eye contact are hampered, banners and flags are used as signals. Now the purpose of using cymbals, drums, flags and banners is to draw attention of the troops and focus them for combat under the direction of the commander. Once the troops are united as one body, the courageous ones will not advance forward by themselves and the cowardly ones will not retreat by themselves. This is the art of directing larges forces in battles. - Chapter Seven, Sun Tzu Art of War

For battles at night, use more torches and drums. For battles in the day, use more banners and flags. These different means of communication can be designed to influence the judgment of the enemy. – Chapter Seven, Sun Tzu Art of War

As mentioned above, during day operations more banners and flags should be used for communication and during night operations, drums and torches should be used instead. From here we can see how observant Sun Tzu is. He even noted down what type of communication we should use during each battle, but of course the list of tools mentioned is not exhaustive, communication channels should depend on the terrain as well. For example, if you are in a flat terrain, a larger banner (daytime) or fireworks (night) should be used for communication because they can convey accurate messages, if you have explained accurately what each signals mean. But note here is that your signals, not tools, should be like your strategy, it should change with every battle. If you have a fixed form of communication signals, sooner or later, your enemy will be able to decipher them and that that would likely be the result of your defeat. This explains why Sun Tzu said the means of communication can be used to influence the enemy.

Business Application

Communication is very important in business. Communication breakdown can be detrimental to a business, like losing a big client or slow reaction to a rival's move. With a strong understanding of each communication tools weakness and strength would you then be able to use it to your advantage. Good communication system can grant a company great flexibility, shorter reaction time and faster response. It is similar to an irrigation system. With good proper control system of the flow, accurate amount of water, water flowing to the right place, the fields will flourish because of it. These are capabilities that are extremely valuable in this dynamic business environment. Some forms of communication channels are e-mail, letters, internet messenger, telephone, internet telephony or video conferencing and face to face. I will talk about their usage within the company. Please take note that having the proper communication tools is only one aspect of a good communication system though.

E-mail

E-mail could be formal or informal, nowdays because of the corporate frauds that happened in US, companies are now required to keep a copy of all the e-mails that are sent out to within and outside the company. E-mails does not solicit fast response from the recipients. It can be secure if the security system's guideline and usage is strictly adhere to. E-mail is a cheap way of sending information and documents within the company and these information can be stored electronically so cost savings align from these characteristic. But one downfall of communication is emotions are not properly delivered out. E-mails would be suitable for clear cut instructions or information that does not require immediate attention and preferably within a department. Cheap because can transfer with least costs through company even if overseas. It is sooner to technology risks.

Letter

What is described here are paper letters sent from one department to another. It is only needed when you want to formalize a request or a work order. But this kind of communication is slowly being taken over by e-mail. Letters are more concrete than e-mail because electronic files are typically subordinated to suspicion of editing or changing. Letter has the same characteristics as that of the e-mail but since it is tangible, it is not like e-mail where you can deny you have received it .. Security wise, it could be better or worse than e-mail depending on situations. It could be cost if you need to send it overseas. It is more reliable than electronic mode of communication.

Internet Messenger (Instant Messaging)

With the popular use of internet, internet messenger like ICQ, MSN Messenger and Yahoo Messenger are being popularized, it allows fast relay of information and nowadays these messengers have the capabilities to help you know whenever the person on the other end is around or not. But again, it lacks the transfer of emotions. The voice and tone of your message can not be sent out through the messenger, even with emoticons, misunderstanding can still occur. What you sent out could have been in a tone of offering help like "What do you want me to do?" But others after reading the message may interpret, you are angry with him for doing something. But Internet messenger has its pros as well, it could have been used as a channel for informal discussion within the company because some of these messengers can allow multiple users in a single chat windows. And it is cheap since most of them are free and information can be transferred overseas cheaply. It is sooner to technology risks.

Telephone

Compare to the other modes that are mentioned, it is a reliably better channel of communication. Because your tonality, voice qualities are also transmitted reducing the chance of your message being misunderstood. But it lacks another communication characteristic that is important and that is body language. It definitely solits fast response because you can only communicate when the receiver is on the other side at the same time. But it can be very expensive if you need to communicate overseas. And reliability should be better than any electronic channel since this industry has been around for a very long time.

Internet Telephony & Video Conferencing

Internet telephony is slowly becoming very popular because SMEs and MNCs can make overseas call cheaply. This also includes video conferencing, which is made more popular with the prevalence of broadband. It has all the characteristics of telephone, with video conferencing being better because body language, to some extent, can be conveyed as well. But reliability could be a problem depending on the infrastructure and service provider available on both sides. Setting it up is cheap with a web camera and broadband connection.

Face to Face

Up till now, this is the best form of communication, the only downside is you despite you can observe and receive the full signals from your conversation party, the same thing can be said for the other party as well.

So choose the proper communication tools to effectively bring your message across. The correct communication tools can enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of your communication system thus improving your business process.

Pros and Cons of Modern Communication Devices

There is no condemning the fact, that among all theventions the Internet and mobile phone are the two that have changed communication the most. There are three reasons of this: the devices significantly reduced the time in which information is sent, they are widely available, and let us pass messages in various ways.

The advantages of modern communication devices.

First, via the Internet information reaches the other person almost immediately: emails are a faster version of letters, while documents (photos, records, music etc.) can be quickly sent as an attachment or uploaded on the special websites in just a few minutes . Also mobile phones make information get to someone at once which is of great value at work.

Then, both the Internet and mobile phone are widespread across the globe and there is hardly anyone who does not own these devices. Thanks to them people can easily contact with their families or job associates living abroad.

Lastly, while using these two conventions we are not limited to one form of communication. The Internet lets us exchange written information via emails, social networking or IM, but we can also hear and see one another thanks to video chats. Mobile phones enable both texting and calling, with the additional function that lets the users attach pictures, records and photos.

All the benefits of modern communication are obvious and it is out of question for people not to take advantage of them. However, what is worried is that communication by the means of technology is becoming not common one, but the only way of communication. People tend to forget about all the values ​​and advantages of a face-to-face conversation and meetings.

Not face-to-face communication is adapted too much …

So why is communication that is not face-to-face being adopted too much? It is mainly because overworked societies act in haste and suitably to the old saying: "time is money". People find it unnecessary to waste their time on traveling over some distance or getting stuck in a traffic if they can save minutes by calling someone from the place they are.

Rathermore, people began to think that it does not make any difference if they see someone face-to-face or with the use of a video camera. They find these two ways equal while the Internet conversation: lacks true emotions, we can not hug someone when they are sad, or observe their true feelings.

Probably the worst use of modern communication devices is when one wants to avoid confrontation stressful or difficult situations at person. Now, a lot of teenagers break off with their partners by texting them. The result may be that in the future they can be unable to face serious problems that can not be deal with in other way that during a face-to-face talk.

As the mentioned points estimate, instead of developing real relationships, people hit it off with strangers via the Internet; instead of talking to their neighbors, they get on the phone and they no longer know surrounding them people.

If we do not cultivate the traditional way of communication that is face-to-face one, more and more people will: have problems with building real relationships, suffer the feeling of isolation, and be characterized by low emotional intelligence.

Communication Quiz: Are You a Great Communicator?

Communication, which occupations approximately 70% of our waking hours, is what many leaders find the most frustrating. The fact is most of us were never taught how to communicate in a way that produces desired results, so we continue to experience frustration, resistance, conflicts, or breakdowns. Think of a recent important conversation. How many of these questions can you answer YES to?

  1. Did I taking full responsibility for the message being heard by the other person? (Remember, it does not matter what you say, it only matters what the other person hears.)
  2. Did I respect the other person's point of view? (Did I have a reaction to what they were saying that prevented me from listening to their full message?)
  3. Did the other person feel heard and understood? (Did I acknowledge them?)
  4. If I was asking someone to take a specific action, did I make my request clear?
  5. Was I speaking in a way the other person can understand? (Speaking in their communication style.)
  6. Was I communicating openly, without prejudices, expectations and judgment? (Was I focused on having to be right or hearing their point of view?)
  7. Did the other person leave the conversation feeling good – with some value?
  8. Did I leave the conversation feeling good – with some value?
  9. Did I follow-up to see if the conversation was successful – it led to the desired results?
  10. If the arrival of the conversation did not meet my expectations, did I learn what I could improve upon to better communicate with that particular person?

So how did you score?

8-10 Yeses indicate you're the tops. Keep up the good work.

4-7 Yeses is OK. Brush up in certain areas.

0-3 means you have work to do.

Here are four ways to be a better communicator and leader:

Talk less and hear more.

We want to be heard and listened to but we do not always concentrate on listening to others. We focus more on our agenda than on the other person's thoughts, concerns or issues.

Do not assume others are mind readers.

We want some sort of action or response from another person. However, we do not let them know what we really want or how to achieve it. Before assuming the other knows what you want, first inform and then ask for feedback. Take the time upfront to get better mileage later on.

Do not shot the messenger.

We want to understand but our ability to understand is tainted by our perceptions of the person speaking or the outcome we are looking to achieve. So, we often pass judgment on the speaker and disregard the message. Concentrate on the message not the messenger.

Join forces.

We want acceptance and agreement from others, so much so, that we often become consumed with having to be right or providing our point. We push and push our agenda. Rather, stop, look and listen for areas of mutual agreement. Then work from there to co-create a greater outcome together.

The next time you are involved in an important conversation pause your mental and verbal tape player for a moment. Then start really listening. It's amazing what you will discover. Perhaps information that can lead to your leadership and business success.