My friend who is a tennis player, recommended that I read this book: “The Inner Game of Tennis: The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance” by W. Timothy Gallwey. He finds that there are many similarities when it comes to tennis and with trading.
“Every game is composed of two parts, an outer game and an inner game. The outer game is played against an external opponent to overcome external obstacles, and to reach an external goal. Mastering this game is the subject of many books offering instructions: on how to swing a racket, club or bat, and how to position arms, legs or torso to achieve the best results.
But for some reason most of us find these instructions easier to remember than to execute. It is the thesis of this book that neither mastery nor satisfaction can be found in the playing of any game without giving some attention to the relatively neglected skills of the inner game.
This is the game that takes place in the mind of the player, and it is played against such obstacles as lapses in concentration, nervousness, self-doubt and self-condemnation. In short, it is played to overcome all habits of mind which inhibit excellence in performance.
We often wonder why we play so well one day and so poorly the next, or why we clutch during competition, or blow easy shots. And why does it take so long to break a bad habit and learn a new one? Victories in the inner game may provide no additions to the trophy case, but they bring valuable rewards which are permanent and which contribute significantly to one’s success thereafter, off the court as well as on.”
After I read this excerpt, I found that it correlated 100% when it comes to trading.
“The outer game is played against an external opponent to overcome external obstacles, and to reach an external goal.” In trading our opponents are with against other traders.
“Inner game that takes place in the mind of the player, and it is played against such obstacles as lapses in concentration, nervousness, self-doubt and self-condemnation.” How many times have you taken wrong trades simply because you were not concentrating on the market action? How many times have you skipped a good setup because you were doubting yourself, since your last losing trade?.
“And why does it take so long to break a bad habit and learn a new one?” How many times have you told yourself, you’ll never repeat same mistake, just to repeat the same mistake?
You can see that as traders, we should go and study great sportsman since there are many parallels between high level achievements in sport, trading and other activities you perform in your life.
And so next time, when you watch a tennis match, just think about how similar trading is to this sport.
Think about how:
- You need to concentrate on the match, like you need to focus on your trading game plan.
- When you feel self-doubt, just remember to reflect on the bigger picture when you trade.
- You can learn from your losing matches like you can learn from your losing trades.
Until next time,
Founder of Trading Wisdoms