Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Practice and Trading Mastery

Why do sports teams spend hours reviewing game films of games they've just played?  They realize that part of preparation is learning from recent performance.  Watching a game, stopping the recording, and identifying what was done well and where mistakes were made helps to cement lessons that will be tackled during the coming week's practice.  If a basketball team consistently failed to box out the opponent to be in a position to gather rebounds, you can bet that the coach will drill this point home during game review.  That week's practices will likely feature plenty of drills involving boxing out.  By the next game, the lessons will be literally drilled into the heads of the players.

That is how we improve:  review, drill, apply.  Every performance becomes learning for tomorrow's performances.  The true professional, like Michelangelo, is always learning.

How much time do you spend in intensive performance review?

How much of your reviews find their way into actual practice?

How much of your practice guides your next performance?

For many traders, it's the practice element that is missing.  They are like basketball teams that go from game to game with no drilling, no practice.  If teams went straight from watching game film to playing the next game, how much would they truly improve?  

As I've noted in the past, every elite performer--from the Olympic athlete to the Broadway actress--spends more time in practice than in actual, formal performance.  Can we truly hope to become elite trading performers when we're so busy performing that we never practice?

In my next post, I'll discuss practice routines for active traders.  In the interim, check out this excellent example of review from Bella at SMB.

Further Reading:  Maximizing Our Trading Environments