The National Sports Day, 29th August, is celebrated on the birth anniversary of hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand. This day marks the birthday of the hockey player Major Dhyan Chand Singh, who won gold medals in Olympics for India. He scored more than 400 goals in his career from 1926 to 1948. Sports is composition of Physical and Mental conditioning, underneath to that it is a mixture of Physical, technical, tactical thinking, analytical abilities, foresight, motor ability and psychology which comprises motivation, emotions, adaptation. As we pay close attention to attributes of sports, we will find that there is close resemblance between Sports and Trading.
As a Trader, It will give us lots to insight by understanding how Athletes trains themselves and how they do mental conditioning. In both the profession, mental conditioning is very important because be it sports of trading, we experience anxiety, fear, pressure of performance, lack of problem awareness.
What is inside the mind of Athletes? What factors are liked to success in sports?
Very first thing, they develop right intrinsic motivation by being specific, agreed, relevant, time specific and engaging. So from Trader’s perspective, we need to be specific in our purpose, it can be for cash flow (Short term) or Wealth creation (Long term) or combination of both. Relevant in terms of their return expectancy and engagement in regards to practice and developing oneself.
Confidence, it is a belief in one’s ability to master a situation. No one born with experience, everyone starts with zero. Confidence is like muscle: the more we use it, the stronger it builds. In sports of trading, more we practice, more confident we will be.
There are some tools and techniques used by elite athletes to boost their confidence and keep on moving in spite of obstacles. One is Self-Talk, In every sports person career they have gone through phased of underperformance or pressure of performance. Same in Traders life, every trader had witnessed drawdown or series of bad trades. In such tuff time confidence level moves down. To revive from bad patch, they have positive self-talk. It is about having a positive voice in a mind.
Visualization….what happens to our brain when we visualize? When we visualize doing something, our brain responds as if we are really doing it. Our brain doesn’t know the difference between what’s real and what imagined. Many successful Traders have mental rehearsal before trading session. They do rehearsal about executing their trade plan, their process for identifying good set ups. It helps to stay discipline and not to get swap away along with market movement.
Anxiety Management plays very important role in Sports and Trading. Because in both professions there is an immediate result, for every winner there is looser. If one team wins other loses. If we had profitable trade then other may have made loss. Lots of athletes do breathing exercise, stretching, listen music and do meditation before their key event. So as Trader, we can opt some techniques before trading session begins.
Last but not least, after lots of hard work, practice and sweating…Relaxation helps a lot. It helps to repair damaged tissues and gives new vitality. In same manner periodic break in trading will pay off. In those times, we can introspect and reinvent ourselves. We need to ensure that trading should not be at top of our emotional priority list otherwise self-esteem, mood, energy level become correlated with P&L.
(Article by- Kapil Shah, Trainer at FinLearn Academy )