Monday, July 21, 2014

Getting to the Next Level of Trading Performance: A Group Coaching Experience

Many traders I've spoken with have expressed the feeling that they are very close to breaking out and taking their trading to an entirely new level.  Often, their unspoken assumption is that once they reach that new level, the problems of mastering markets will be behind them.  As the all-too-spot-on quote suggests, however, new levels bring new devils.  With fresh success come the demons of overconfidence, envious colleagues, and the renewed humbling challenges of changing markets

Not infrequently, getting to the next level of trading requires getting to the next level in your personal development.  That can be difficult when a big part of you might be committed to old ways of doing things.  It is easy to do something well, but far harder to turn best practices into established habits.  I find that getting to that next level generally is more a matter of doing many small things consistently well than making any single explosive breakthrough.  You can't have a successful year without having a successful month, and you need successful days to make a successful month.  It's great to have great goals for the indeterminate future, but what is the energizing vision and specific, concrete actions that will transform your work today?  There is no greatness without individual acts performed greatly in the present.

A vivid example of doing small things well is Rory McIlroy, the young golfer who recently won the British Open.  He revealed, before the competition, that he had two secret words that were his cues for success.  He invited the media to guess the words, but no one was successful.   The words were "process" and "spot".  His entire focus was on the process of taking the right swing with his long shots and hitting desired spots on the green with his putting.  No thoughts of where he stood in the competition; no thoughts of how he performed on the previous hole.  Rory was entirely present-centered, absorbed in the mechanics of doing the right things and letting the score take care of itself.

There is no great trading without making individual great trades.  And there can be no individual great trades without great ideas, great entry execution, great position management, great planning.  Process, spot.  That's the focus Bella talks about at SMB when he emphasizes making "one good trade".       

It would be nice to have a trading coach spurring your development, much as personal trainers work with people in the gym.  For most traders, however, that is neither a practical nor available option.  Recognizing this, Terry Liberman of WindoTrader approached me with the idea of offering a webinar on the topic of getting to the next performance level in trading.  Unlike traditional webinars, however, this will not be a didactic session.  Rather, it will be a free group coaching session, where the content is brought to the event by traders in the form of questions, challenges, and keen observations.  My role will be to help traders think about old problems in new ways, both to address trading flaws and build existing strengths. 

The event will be held this Wednesday, July 23rd at 4:30 PM EST; check the WindoTrader site for details and registration.  My hope is to provide a unique, interactive learning experience for traders--look forward to seeing you there!