Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Coaching Traders at the Start of the Day

Today I'm at a prop firm all day and will spend the day rotating from trader to trader as they trade, helping them with their trading (and their psyches!) as they are trading. In between visits to the traders, I'm consulting with the firm's risk manager, so that I know how everyone is doing through the day. Is someone not seeing the market well? Is someone overtrading? Is someone chasing markets? There's no better time to work on those issues than when they are happening, live. Interrupting old patterns and replacing them with new, better ones is the essence of what we're all trying to do.

Break the old habits, build better ones.

Each meeting starts with a single question: What are we working on today? You can't get to where you want to go if you don't have your destination in mind.

We take a look at what has been going right and wrong the last few days and, out of that, comes a single goal for the day.

When I then sit in with the traders as they're trading, they are focused on markets. I'm focused on their goal. If the trader is achieving the goal, we focus on what he did right and how we can become more consistent with the good trading. If the trader is not achieving the goal, we take corrective action *before* the losses mount.

Much of this traders can do on their own if they can just set that one goal for the day and take the occasional break from the screens to assess whether or not they're living up to their goal. Not every day can be profitable, but--if you're setting and working your goal--every day can be a success, building confidence, self-efficacy, and mastery.