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High Performance Sport - What We Can Learn For Trading

While still enjoying a summer holiday from trading, I went to the Heineken Open Men’s International Tennis Tournament in Auckland, New Zealand.

Being a tennis player myself, I really relate to the similarities between high performance tennis and high performance trading.  Here I’ll share a few observations with you.

Correct Practice Repeated

Great tennis players are created by correct practice repeated over and over and over.  Habits are formed by practice and it’s extremely important that what gets repeated is going to enhance performance.  Poor practice reinforces poor performance and you’re better off not even practicing rather than cementing in poor technique.

Great traders are created by executing a trading system with an edge over and over.  Mistakes in execution are not eliminated by watching other traders, backtesting or sitting on the sidelines paper trading.  Great traders are made by repeated execution of a trading system with an edge combined with a monitoring process to identify ways to improve.

Consistency in Execution is a Goal

Great tennis players’ work on developing consistency in the execution of their technique.  A player can improve by working on their own game without worrying about trying to control the opponent.  Having a reliable killer first serve, a trusted second serve, consistent baseline returns and reliable net play will improve a player’s game.  These are able to be developed by the players themselves and are within their area of control.  They’re not something external to them.  It’s about reducing the unforced errors; errors you make.

Top tennis players like Caroline Wozniacki have built successful tennis careers on having reliable court play in all areas of their game.  A low unforced error rate where they’re able to consistently return the ball over the net.  If you can consistently get the ball back over the net you’re still in play to potentially win the point.  If you keep getting the ball back over the net you can wait out the opponent to make the first mistake or they may try some other risky shot in an attempt to finish the point.

A trader who’s consistent in the execution of their trading system, that doesn’t make errors in execution, can keep their capital in play to realize the profitable edge of their system.

Consistency in execution and the elimination of your own errors in trading is a primary goal that must be achieved as a top priority.  This is totally within the trader’s control.

Self Reflection

  • What similarities do you see between trading and high performance sport?
  • Is your trading execution faultless?
  • How can you improve your trading execution?
  • Are you consistent with the application of your trading system?
  • Have you eliminated all mistakes or errors with your trading?
  • Do you have an effective monitoring system to monitor your performance?
  • How regularly do you review your performance?

Pictured above: David Ferrer, winner of the 2013 Heineken Open Men’s International Tennis Tournament, Auckland, New Zealand © TraderRach

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About Rachel Hunter TraderRachAbout the Author: I’m Rachel Hunter, TraderRach, a Forex Trader who helps traders achieve the life they love with forex.  Be strategic and design your trading business for sustainable success and have fun!  That’s my mission.  Join many traders’ gaining the edge with “10 Powerful Lessons for Forex Trading Success” plus other goodies.  Years of precious learning specially packaged up for you.  My background before trading is as a Chartered Accountant and Chief Financial Officer.   I know what it takes to make a trading business rock on.  It would give me great pleasure to make a difference to your success.

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Categories: Trading Psychology

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