Let’s return to the sporting world… because there is so much we can learn from the way that professional sport manages mindset and performance.

In particular today, let’s consider the half-time team talk.

The team has walked from the field and is back in the locker room. You’re the coach. You’re responsible for guiding this team and providing them with the best chance at winning the game.

Your primary aims:

  • Adjusting your game plan – adapting your style of play, tactics, or team structure if necessary, to best suit the conditions and the style of play of your opposition.
  • Ensuring good process – assessing and adjusting the way the team implemented the game plan, reinforcing whatever worked well and correcting whatever didn’t.
  • Managing players – adjusting behaviour or mindset in order to provide them with the best chance at peak performance on return to the field of play.

In an ideal world, we’d have the same available to us as traders. But unfortunately most of us do not have that luxury. And so it’s up to us to implement it ourselves.

Yes, you’re the trader. The player. The team.

But you’re also the coach.

And your primary aims are exactly as before:

  • Adjusting your game plan – adapting your style of trading or tactics, if necessary, to best suit the conditions provided in the market.
  • Ensuring good process – assessing and adjusting the way you implemented your game plan, reinforcing whatever worked well and correcting whatever didn’t.
  • Managing yourself – adjusting behaviour or mindset in order to provide yourself with the best chance at peak performance on return to the screens.

There are multiple ways to implement this.

The most common and obvious approach is to purposely schedule a half-time team talk into your daily routine.

Take your standard daily routine:

<image: One Week - Five Innings>

And split it into two halves:

<image: One Week - Five Innings>

It doesn’t need to be exactly half-way. I prefer to see it after the opening 30 or 60 minutes; long enough to get a feel for the initial structure of the market, the nature of price movement and the potential day type.

A short break (no more than a couple of minutes)…

  • Adjusting your game plan – adapting your style of trading or tactics, if necessary, to best suit the conditions provided in the market.
  • Ensuring good process – assessing and adjusting the way you implemented your game plan, reinforcing whatever worked well and correcting whatever didn’t.
  • Managing yourself – adjusting behaviour or mindset in order to provide yourself with the best chance at peak performance on return to the screens.

But there’s also another option, which I REALLY like. And which perhaps, for some of you, will be a much better fit to your trading plan.

Instead of seeing an individual session as “the game”, with self-imposed pressure to WIN that day. Why not see the whole week as “the game”. With five individual innings. And an aim to WIN over that whole week, with less pressure on any individual day.

This may not be so relevant to those who take dozens of trades per day. But many retail traders only take a small handful of trades each day (say 3-5) and will probably find this longer term perspective much easier to manage.

The whole week is one game. With five individual innings. And coaching talks in-between innings, to manage your game, your process and your mindset as you guide yourself towards winning THE WHOLE WEEK.

<image: One Week - Five Innings>

Cue the internet trolls who will now comment: “Duh Lance… we already do daily post-session reviews“.

No, you’re missing the point. Most post-session reviews are carried out as if that day was one discrete and complete unit. One complete game, independent of others.

I want you to consider a slight mindset shift. That these are not discrete and independent games, but instead they’re each one-fifth of a larger game. A mindset shift that takes some of the performance pressure off individual days. A mindset shift that allows you to more easily cut a session early, at a small loss, so that grossly unfavourable conditions do not destroy the whole week. A mindset shift that allows you to more easily put aside frustration and disappointment from a poor performance, because it’s only one fifth of the real game and you’ve got time to correct it.

The idea was hinted at in a recent social media post, published before the market opened on Tuesday 20th April, one day into the trading week.

<image: One Week - Five Innings>

I was really happy to see that at least one person got this concept.

<image: One Week - Five Innings>

Five innings – with an opportunity between each to adjust your game plan, ensure good process, and manage your behaviour and mindset. And most importantly as you get towards the end of the week – adjusting your game plan to lock in gains and ensure you don’t stupidly give them back and screw up your weekend (come on… we’ve all done that!).

One week. Five innings. Show me how good you are. Coach yourself to peak performance, through daily team-talks, and see if you can win the week.

Go team,

Lance Beggs

 


 

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