Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Development of Talent: Implications for Training Programs and Traders

Mad props to the Camron Systems site, which linked this phenomenal article from the NY Times on the development of talent and how elite athletes are made. I'm usually not one to gush, but this is a must-read article if you're interested in developing trading talent or in designing training programs to develop trading talent. Especially interesting is the discussion of how the brain undergoes changes (myelinization) as the result of proper training.

Discussing Spartak, an elite Russian training program for tennis players, the article explains:

If Preobrazhenskaya's approach were boiled down to one word (and it frequently was), that word would be tekhnika - technique. This is enforced by iron decree: none of her students are permitted to play in a tournament for the first three years of study. It's a notion that I don't imagine would fly with American parents, but none of the Russian parents questioned it for a second. "Technique is everything," Preobrazhenskaya told me later, smacking a table with Khrushchev-like emphasis, causing me to jump and reconsider my twinkly-grandma impression of her. "If you begin playing without technique, it is big mistake. Big, big mistake!"

So there you have it: why so many traders fail. They begin trading without technique. They try to develop their trading accounts before they've done the work to develop their brains.

Technique develops brains: the implications for the development of traders are profound.

Someday, a trading firm is going to get it and become the Spartak of the financial world.

Hats off to Camron Systems for recognizing the importance of the article.


Excerpt From the Trader Performance Book

Toward a Trading Curriculum

What Makes an Expert?