Saturday, October 31, 2015

Every Great Trader Is A Player-Coach

There are two kinds of traders.

One views "coach" as a noun:  a person who can help them.

The other views "coach" as a verb:  something they regularly *do*.

Every great trader is a player-coach:  performing and working on performance.  How we coach ourselves helps determine how we improve our decision-making, how we adapt to changing markets, and how we grow our trading.  

I like the "STRIDE" model of coaching, because it starts with strengths and targets:  building on what is working and setting goals--and then focusing on the challenges that stand in the way of those positives.  

I also like the model because it calls attention to the difference between goal-setting (targets) and concrete planning to reach those goals (action steps).  A goal without action steps is a fantasy.

Finally, I like the model because actions are followed by evaluation.  We're always keeping score, always figuring out what's working and what's not, and using that information to feed future targets and actions.

Coaching yourself means finding your STRIDE:  turning learning into a routine, robust process.

But, wait:  what if we think of the STRIDE process as describing markets??

What's going well in markets?  What's working?
What market patterns could be traded better?
What are the obstacles to trading the patterns that the market is giving to us?
What ideas have we traded?  What ideas are markets paying out?
What will we do to get into sync with the patterns markets are trading here and now?
How will we evaluate the inevitable changes in market patterns?  Changes in our trading?

There are *two* learning curves in successful trading:

When we apply the learning process to ourselves, we act as our own COACH.

When we apply the learning process to markets, we act as our own MENTOR.

Many trading problems occur because we fail to sustain one or both of those learning curves:  we become so focused on trading that we stop coaching and mentoring ourselves.

Further Reading:  Mentoring and Coaching