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Learning from Baseball’s “Mental Reset”

 

I recently sent out the following two posts via social media, discussing the importance of having a plan in place to quickly clear your mind and get back into the game, whenever you sense frustration of any kind:

<image: Learning from Baseball's "Mental Reset">

<image: Learning from Baseball's "Mental Reset">

In response to these posts, I received the following exceptional email:

Hi Lance,

I liked your recent Twitter post about your "Regroup Procedure" after losses and thought I'd share something I learned while playing college baseball that I have applied in my trading.

We practiced what we called our "Mental Resets" while batting. A mental reset is required whenever anything "shocks" you and gets you off your plan at the plate. Every time you walk up to the plate, you should have a pre-meditated plan of the pitch you are looking to hit and anything that can dissuade you away from that plan has to be combated with a mental reset to get you BACK to your plan.

The physical act of mentally resetting is to: Step out of the batters box, focus on a small spot on your bat (we call it our "zero point"… We want to get back to zero emotionally), and take a slow deep breath. You then reaffirm your plan in your head, and step back into the box with confidence.

Our 5 Automatic Mental Resets were:

1) Swinging at a pitch that doesn't match your plan… – Swung at a bad pitch… step out of the box and RESET.

2) NOT swinging at the pitch that you were looking for… – You had a plan and for whatever reason you didn't pull the trigger on your pitch… RESET.

3) Bad call by the umpire… – You didn't think it was a strike and your upset. The umpire is out of your control… Step out and RESET.

4) Brush back… – You almost just got hit by a pitch. Your heart rate is too high and you aren't in a good state to be confident stepping back into the box… Step out and take a MENTAL RESET to bring you back to zero.

5) Changing of plan… – Something happened that requires a quick change of your plan (the most often one being moving to a 2 strike approach once you get 2 strikes on you)… – Change of plan… Environment has changed, we need to RESET here.

You don't have much time in between pitches to cool off, so if something upsets you, it is extremely important that you use a Mental Reset to keep your focus and get back to your plan. I think it is the same thing with trading… especially shorter time-frame trading. You don't have a lot of time to sit there and be upset. You have to RESET.

I thought you might find this parallel of Trading to Baseball interesting.

Cheers,

Alex

Thanks Alex. That is EXACTLY what I was talking about. Except your baseball analogy explains it just SO MUCH BETTER.

I called it a regroup (based on a term from my military days where a unit facing attack might drop back in order to reset and reorganise, in order to continue fighting).

Baseball calls it a mental reset.

The concept is the same.

When something has put your mindset on tilt then you need to step back away from the charts and reset or reorganise yourself, in order to return to the game with a clearer and more highly-focused mindset.

I've found this most effective when it involves a predefined and practiced ritual, such as my regroup checklist or Alex's routine for focus on the bat, slow breathing and reaffirmation of the plan.

To continue with the baseball theme, I'm reminded of a video which I shared a few years back.

The whole video is worth watching from a trading mindset perspective. But take note at 7:55 and you will see Evan Longoria complete his version of a mental reset.

(If the video is not playing here, click on this link to go direct to YouTube.)

Do you have a regroup or reset procedure?

If not, develop one now. Start with mine. Or adapt the baseball mental reset shared by Alex.

And then over time, amend it and make it your own.

As they say in the video, you need to have something to go to when the garbage hits the fan. Because the garbage will hit the fan. So let's be ready for it.

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

Higher Timeframe Pattern Breakout – 2

 

Last week we looked at the following chart sequence showing an obvious symmetrical triangle pattern within my higher timeframe chart.

<image: Higher Timeframe Pattern Breakout>

See here if you missed the recent article – http://yourtradingcoach.com/trading-process-and-strategy/higher-timeframe-pattern-breakout/

I don't know if I was somehow influenced by that article. I don't usually look for patterns on the higher timeframe chart. It's primary purpose is for establishing an S/R framework.

But since putting that article together, I'm seeing them everywhere!  🙂

As I said last week… sometimes they just stand out as so obvious that you can't miss them. So I watch them for potential trade opportunity around the edges of the pattern structure. Usually for two alternatives – a breakout failure or a breakout pullback. 

So let's do one more example. A little different this time in that the breakout extends much further before commencing the pullback. The same concept applies though – take the first pullback against the edges of the structure.

Here's the higher timeframe chart…

<image: Higher Timeframe Pattern Breakout>

Zooming in now to the Trading Timeframe chart at the time of entry.

<image: Higher Timeframe Pattern Breakout>

<image: Higher Timeframe Pattern Breakout>

<image: Higher Timeframe Pattern Breakout>

Two steps:

(a) Higher Timeframe pattern

(b) Trade BPB / BOF around the edges of the structure.

It's not how I typically trade, but I expect a whole strategy could be based around the idea.

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

Higher Timeframe Pattern Breakout

 

I don't actively seek to find patterns on my higher timeframe.

But sometimes they just stand out as so obvious that you can't miss them.

So I watch them for potential trade opportunity around the edges of the pattern structure. Usually for two alternatives – a breakout failure or a breakout pullback.

Of course, in either case the trade idea must make sense from my usual trading timeframe analysis. And also make sense in accordance with my philosophy on price movement and where & how it creates opportunity.

Keep an eye out for them. They can provide good opportunity.

<image: Higher Timeframe Pattern Breakout>

<image: Higher Timeframe Pattern Breakout>

<image: Higher Timeframe Pattern Breakout>

<image: Higher Timeframe Pattern Breakout>

<image: Higher Timeframe Pattern Breakout>

<image: Higher Timeframe Pattern Breakout>

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

What if you Narrowed Your Focus?

 

For those day traders who might be stuck in a cycle of continual failure… what if you narrowed your focus?

<image: What if you narrowed your focus?>

<image: What if you narrowed your focus?>

<image: What if you narrowed your focus?>

Some days there might be no opportunity. That's fine.

Other days there might only be one trade opportunity. Again that is fine.

The idea is that this is not necessarily a permanent change to your trading.

It's simply a narrowing of focus to ONE key segment of the trading session.

Master this one key segment – the opening hour.

Prove you have edge in managing the opening sequences of your trading session.

And only then expand to further opportunity.

Let's look at another session:

<image: What if you narrowed your focus?>

<image: What if you narrowed your focus?>

<image: What if you narrowed your focus?>

And again:

<image: What if you narrowed your focus?>

<image: What if you narrowed your focus?>

<image: What if you narrowed your focus?>

For those who trade differently, whether through higher timeframes or multiple markets or in fact any other difference, see if you can adapt the same general concept to your own trading.

Narrow your focus. Build expertise and prove edge in ONE key sequence at a time, or ONE market at a time, or ONE A+ setup type. Whatever works for you.

Narrow your focus.

And fight to get off that cycle of continual failure.

Best of luck,

Lance Beggs

 


 

A Failed Break of One Side Leads to…

 

In preparing my daily entry for my Market Structure & Price Action Journal, I sometimes venture away from my usual market and timeframe if there is an example that REALLY catches my interest. This was one of them.

We're looking here at the Crude Oil 30 minute chart.

<image:A failed break of one side of a range will often lead to a test of the other side.>

Why did this interest me?

Because breaks from a structure like this can lead to some really nice trading opportunity.

<image:A failed break of one side of a range will often lead to a test of the other side.>

Sometimes!

But not always!

Sometimes the market will present me with one of my favourite rules of thumb. If you've been following me for a few years you will have no doubt heard this one before.

  • A failed break of one side of a range will often lead to a test of the other side.

 

<image:A failed break of one side of a range will often lead to a test of the other side.>

And that's exactly what we got the next day.

<image:A failed break of one side of a range will often lead to a test of the other side.>

Let's zoom in to the 3 and 1 minute charts and look at the price action from the session open.

<image:A failed break of one side of a range will often lead to a test of the other side.>

<image:A failed break of one side of a range will often lead to a test of the other side.>

I didn't trade this. It's not my current market. It's just a great example of one of my favourite rules-of-thumb, which caught my attention and made it into my Market Structure and Price Action Journal.

But have a look over the 3 Min TTF chart and the 1 Min LTF chart. See if you can identify the places you might have caught entry short.

In particular the BOF entry short from the top.

And keep an eye out for this scenario in your own markets.

  • A failed break of one side of a range will often lead to a test of the other side.

 

It may just provide some nice trading conditions as you profit from the move that occurs after the breakout traders are stopped out of their position.

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

When Obvious Expectations Fail

 

Take note when the market offers something that many traders will see as obvious.

Because when "obvious expectations" fail, you will often find a clear directional bias and good trade opportunity in the opposite direction.

Monday 30th April 2018

<image: When obvious expectations fail>

And that is a quite reasonable expectation. You SHOULD be seeking opportunity LONG.

At least until the market proves otherwise.

For me though, I always take note of anything I consider to be an "obvious expectation". Because I also know that there is no certainty in the markets. And when obvious expectations fail, that often provides some of my favourite trading conditions in the other direction.

Let's zoom in to Monday's price action (it's the 5 min chart – a little higher than my trading timeframe but it fits the image better!)…

<image: When obvious expectations fail>

Tuesday 1st May 2018

Another example…

<image: When obvious expectations fail>

<image: When obvious expectations fail>

<image: When obvious expectations fail> 

Wednesday 2nd May 2018

And again…

<image: When obvious expectations fail>

<image: When obvious expectations fail> 

Take note when the market offers something that many traders will see as obvious.

Because when "obvious expectations" fail, you will often find a clear directional bias and good trade opportunity in the opposite direction.

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

30 Days to Becoming a Better Trader

 

Before departing on holidays recently I preloaded Facebook and Twitter with 30 posts to help improve your trading business.

And it seems that people loved them. I had a few requests to put them all together in one group.

So here they are. (Also in PDF form here if you prefer – http://www.yourtradingcoach.com/products/ebooks/30-days-to-becoming-a-better-trader.pdf)

They're all quite simple. Just 30 questions to get you thinking about your trading business. If something catches your attention, explore the idea deeper. It might lead nowhere. But it might also lead to improvements in process or even new sources of edge.

<image: 30 days to becoming a better trader>

<image: 30 days to becoming a better trader>

<image: 30 days to becoming a better trader>

<image: 30 days to becoming a better trader>

<image: 30 days to becoming a better trader>

<image: 30 days to becoming a better trader>

<image: 30 days to becoming a better trader>

<image: 30 days to becoming a better trader>

<image: 30 days to becoming a better trader>

<image: 30 days to becoming a better trader>

<image: 30 days to becoming a better trader>

<image: 30 days to becoming a better trader>

<image: 30 days to becoming a better trader>

<image: 30 days to becoming a better trader>

<image: 30 days to becoming a better trader>

<image: 30 days to becoming a better trader>

<image: 30 days to becoming a better trader>

<image: 30 days to becoming a better trader>

<image: 30 days to becoming a better trader>

<image: 30 days to becoming a better trader>

<image: 30 days to becoming a better trader>

<image: 30 days to becoming a better trader>

<image: 30 days to becoming a better trader>

<image: 30 days to becoming a better trader>

<image: 30 days to becoming a better trader>

<image: 30 days to becoming a better trader>

<image: 30 days to becoming a better trader>

<image: 30 days to becoming a better trader>

<image: 30 days to becoming a better trader>

<image: 30 days to becoming a better trader>

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

Daily Market Structure & Price Action Study – 4

 

Week 4 of 4 while I'm away from home…

From the original post:

I've been writing online for over a decade now. And for that whole time I've been promoting the idea of daily study in both Market Structure and Price Action.

It's a simple task that takes no more than five minutes, but which offers incredible value to your own learning and development.

Sometimes this study fits within certain themes, if there is a particular feature of market structure which I want to focus on for a period of time.

Often though, it's completely unstructured. Simply searching for whatever captures my attention.

Either way, every trading day after the session is over, I look to the charts to find something interesting. Having done this for so long the findings are usually just reinforcing prior lessons. But occasionally, they'll uncover something new which can lead to further exploration, further learning and further growth and development.

As I'm away from home for the month of April, celebrating my 50th birthday, and unable to prepare any new articles for the YTC newsletter, I though I'd simply preload the email system and blog with a few articles which share some daily market structure and price action study.

I hope you find it useful. If you do, consider starting your own Market Structure & Price Action Journal.

 

Tuesday 20th March 2018:

The first step in managing difficult trading conditions is to QUICKLY recognise potential for difficult trading conditions.

Let's look at a higher timeframe (15minute chart).

<image: Daily Market Structure and Price Action Study>

Notes:

  • A = A very neutral open. There is no suggestion of any emotion or directional sentiment in the market. Note it's position is approximately the middle of the prior day's range (from B to C). Note also the fact that it has barely moved from the prior day's close at D.
  • E = A sideways narrow range overnight session. Again, there is no suggestion of any emotion or directional sentiment in the market.
  • Review of the scheduled economic news events for the day show nothing of interest.
  • F = Subsequent price action throughout the session displayed no clear or persistent directional bias.

 

Lessons:

  • A neutral open can be a sign of a potentially slow day with potentially difficult trading conditions (non-trending chop).
  • The default option given a neutral open is to expect difficult conditions UNTIL PROVEN OTHERWISE.
  • Prioritise defence over attack. Survive to trade another day. But always remain alert for a change of conditions. Anything can change at any time.

 

Tuesday 20th March 2018:

Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best.

Here's an example which stood out while flicking through other markets. It's from the EUR/USD spot forex 3 minute chart.

(Do not be afraid to extend your Market Structure & Price Action study to markets and timeframes beyond those which you usually trade.)

<image: Daily Market Structure and Price Action Study>

Notes:

  • A = Choppy, narrow-range difficult conditions (yellow shaded region)
  • B = Lower boundary of the sideways chop environment.
  • C = Break from through the boundary level.
  • D =
    BPB opportunity SHORT.

 

Lessons:

  • Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best.
  • When a market is choppy and tough to read, consider standing aside: (a) define the "edges" of the structure, (b) wait patiently for a break from the structure, and (c) only then seek trade opportunity.

 

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

Daily Market Structure & Price Action Study – 3

 

Week 3 of 4 while I'm away from home…

From the original post:

I've been writing online for over a decade now. And for that whole time I've been promoting the idea of daily study in both Market Structure and Price Action.

It's a simple task that takes no more than five minutes, but which offers incredible value to your own learning and development.

Sometimes this study fits within certain themes, if there is a particular feature of market structure which I want to focus on for a period of time.

Often though, it's completely unstructured. Simply searching for whatever captures my attention.

Either way, every trading day after the session is over, I look to the charts to find something interesting. Having done this for so long the findings are usually just reinforcing prior lessons. But occasionally, they'll uncover something new which can lead to further exploration, further learning and further growth and development.

As I'm away from home for the month of April, celebrating my 50th birthday, and unable to prepare any new articles for the YTC newsletter, I though I'd simply preload the email system and blog with a few articles which share some daily market structure and price action study.

I hope you find it useful. If you do, consider starting your own Market Structure & Price Action Journal.

Friday 16th March 2018:

One of my LEAST favourite types of market opening price action:

<image: Daily Market Structure and Price Action Study>

Notes:

  • A = Price drives higher from the open. It pauses (smaller range candle at the top). I'm watching the lower timeframe for potential opportunity to enter LONG for continuation higher.
  • B = Nope… the market drops lower.
  • C = Price drives lower. Again, I'm watching the lower timeframe for early signs of potential opportunity to enter SHORT for continuation lower.
  • D = Nope… the market pushes higher.
  • At this point, we have the start of a broadening formation. Certainly one of my least favourite environments from a market open.
  • At this point, I need to step back from the chart a little to avoid any impulsive action. It could well continue for another few legs. I am NOT ALLOWED to act unless I see some form of partial decline or partial rise.

 

<image: Daily Market Structure and Price Action Study>

<image: Daily Market Structure and Price Action Study>

Notes:

  • E = Price pushes higher. I'm not interested.
  • F = Price pulls back and stalls. One candle. Two candles. It's finding support. This is a potential partial decline. Now I'm interested.
  • G = Take the PB trade opportunity for continuation. Manage aggressively. It needs to break to new extremes, or you have to get OUT OF THERE.

 

Lessons:

  • A broadening formation is a sequence I have struggled with in the past.
  • I recognise a potential broadening formation through rejection one way and then again the other way.
  • The best way I have found to manage this situation is to stand aside until recognising either a partial decline or partial rise.

 

Monday 19th March 2018:

One of my favourite technical analysis concepts – volatility contraction leads to volatility expansion.

On ALL timeframes.

Let's look at a higher timeframe (60 minute chart) example.

<image: Daily Market Structure and Price Action Study>

Notes:

  • H = Multiple-day volatility contraction
  • I = Gap open (above the prior days high and clearly beyond the boundary of the volatility contraction pattern
  • And again…
  • J = Multiple-day volatility contraction
  • K = Gap open (below the prior days low and clearly beyond the boundary of the volatility contraction pattern
  • In both cases the gap open led to a strong trend for several hours.

 

Lessons:

  • Higher timeframe volatility contraction can lead to highly directional trading sessions, when the open gaps beyond the pattern boundary.
  • Watch the TTF opening range for confirmation of potential continuation.
  • On a confirmed break of the opening range, anticipate a trend day UNTIL PROVEN OTHERWISE.

 

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs

 


 

Daily Market Structure & Price Action Study – 2

 

Week 2 of 4 while I'm away from home…

From the original post:

I've been writing online for over a decade now. And for that whole time I've been promoting the idea of daily study in both Market Structure and Price Action.

It's a simple task that takes no more than five minutes, but which offers incredible value to your own learning and development.

Sometimes this study fits within certain themes, if there is a particular feature of market structure which I want to focus on for a period of time.

Often though, it's completely unstructured. Simply searching for whatever captures my attention.

Either way, every trading day after the session is over, I look to the charts to find something interesting. Having done this for so long the findings are usually just reinforcing prior lessons. But occasionally, they'll uncover something new which can lead to further exploration, further learning and further growth and development.

As I'm away from home for the month of April, celebrating my 50th birthday, and unable to prepare any new articles for the YTC newsletter, I though I'd simply preload the email system and blog with a few articles which share some daily market structure and price action study.

I hope you find it useful. If you do, consider starting your own Market Structure & Price Action Journal.

Wednesday 14th March 2018:

When obvious expectations fail:

<image: Daily Market Structure and Price Action Study>

Notes:

  • A ridiculously fast and long bearish price swing (A). Price just collapsed.
  • Note also the massive increase in volume (B), proving eventually to be the highest volume of the day.
  • Price then stalls for half an hour (C). Whatever caused the momentum drop is clearly no longer driving sentiment.
  • Price breaks the low at D. Surely expectations are for continuation lower? Well, that's what many will expect. But those familiar with my writing will know that, while I'm ready for that potential, I'm more excited by the potential for the break to fail. Obvious expectations OFTEN fail. And that failure can provide nice opportunity in the opposite direction.
  • Area D offers some beautiful price action to trigger BOF entry LONG. Lower tail rejection. Stall with an inside bar. A tiny break of the low of the inside bar. Then compression against the level and eventual break higher.
  • Step through the candles following the break lower at D and place yourself in the mindset of anyone who might have entered SHORT on the break down. Feel their emotion as price stalls. And stalls. And stalls. This is how you play the metagame – playing against the other traders who find themselves stuck in the market and subject to extremes of emotion.

 

Lessons:

  • Whenever you find any price occurrence which suggests OBVIOUS expectations (especially in accordance with standard technical analysis), pause and ask yourself the following question: "What if it doesn't?"
  • Obvious expectations CAN and DO fail. This failure can provide good trade opportunity and good trade conditions in the opposite direction.

 

Thursday 15th March 2018:

Patterns repeat…

Looking at a higher timeframe (5 minute chart) to get a wider perspective:

<image: Daily Market Structure and Price Action Study>

Notes:

  • F = Strong bullish drive from 11:00 to 11:30
  • G = The strong bullish drive is unable to continue, settling into a tight sideways congestion.
  • H = Strong drive down.
  • I = Opportunity available on a retest of the tight sideways congestion.
  • And again…
  • J = Strong bearish drive from 13:45 to 14:05
  • K = The strong bearish drive is unable to continue, settling into a tight sideways congestion.
  • L = Strong drive up.
  • M = Opportunity available on a retest of the tight sideways congestion.

 

Lessons:

  • Watch for a potential top or bottom when a very strong bullish or bearish drive suddenly stops and fails to continue.
  • If a top or bottom pattern forms as a tight sideways congestion, with a subsequent strong break from that congestion, look for trade opportunity on any retest.

 

Happy trading,

Lance Beggs