Trading Like a Pro Just Like Tiger

Trading Like Tiger

Every now and then, we as traders need to learn how to let loose and to learn from other successful people around the world. Noticed I said people and not Traders. That’s right to become successful there is nothing wrong when you learn from successful people outside the realms of the trading world. In fact, I would argue that there are plenty of benefits when learning from people from other fields as there are plenty of transferable skills.

Today we are going to look at a well-known professional golfer – Tiger Woods. Tiger Woods is one of the world’s most successful golfers in this era and has been one of the highest-paid athletes in the world for several years according to Forbes. He won his first majors at the age of 22 in the 1997 US Masters and he won tournament by leaps (12 strokes ahead). He also reached the number one position in the world rankings in the same year. His achievements since then have been phenomenal and he continues to break numerous world records (most recent being the winner of 2013 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational tournament).

With that, let’s break down some of the useful habits and lessons from Woods that we can adapt in our trading.

Its About the Mindset

While some may argue that Tiger Woods was a ‘cradle golfer’, he had his ups and downs in his professional life too. In 2010, he went through a rough patch and he had to take leave from golf when his personal life was in turmoil. That led to his ranking falling to a low of No. 58 in November 2011.

In case you didn’t realise, that was nearly 2 years of psychological mess that Tiger had to go through. The truth is, some traders go through that as well because even successful traders can go through a bad patch. In fact, trading careers of both new and seasoned traders can be affected by their personal life. However, traders need to learn to take leave from trading and sort themselves out before you come back stronger.

More importantly, traders need to realise that this is all about mindset management and not just your technical trading. Tiger Woods realised that and he fought hard to manage it and, in March 2013, he ascended back to his No 1 rankings once again.

With the right mindset, let’s identify some useful habits that traders can learn from the Golf Pro.

Visualisation Is Power

Visualising SuccessVisualisation is of one the many techniques that professional sports people use. According to studies, they found that ‘by using brain imagery, visualisation works because neurons in our brains and those electrically excitable cells that transmit information, interpret imagery as equivalent to a real-life action. When we visualise an act, the brain generates an impulse that tells our neurons to “perform” the movement that we want.

This creates a new neural pathway (clusters of cells in our brain that work together to create memories or learned behaviours) that influences our body to act in a way consistent to what we imagined. All of this occurs without actually performing the physical activity, yet it achieves a similar result.’

Another way to look at this is, our body remembers whatever that happens in our mind (whether real or not) and it reacts in the present as if it is happening now. Examples of this are nightmares and phobias. While most of the events may have happened in a dream or in the past, our body has the tendency to act when a similar picture appears in front of us.

Professional sports men uses this techniques in their favour as well – golfers, runners and even swimmers use it. In fact, Tiger Woods was thought to use this technique at a very young age by his father, Earl Woods. Tiger visualises exactly where he wants the golf ball to go and he sets the pace for himself before he hits the ball.

The great thing about this technique is that even traders can do it. Yes, if you practice visualising your trades, sooner or later you will be able to visualise your trades very clearly and trade it like a professional.

Coaching

Even Tiger Woods has a coach. No one does it alone, and you need a network of people to help if you want to be successful” – says Jean Otte, Founder and CEO of Women Unlimited (an organisation that partners with companies such as American Express, IBM, and Yahoo!).

I am an advocate of learning from people who know what they are talking about. Even Tiger Woods, who starting playing golf at a very young age spent a significant investment in coaching for his career development. While many traders view coaching as a sign as weakness, those who value it see success much earlier than others.

Being in the Zone

Visualisation and Coaching are only one part of the equation. Tiger Woods have been commendable for consciously being unconscious stepping into his golf zone. This is especially true during major tournaments while the world is watching him play. This is because Tiger has an incredible amount of focus in his swing and he pretty much builds for himself a zone where he puts all his effort into hitting the ball the way he wants it.

While some of you might consider this a challenge, Tiger Woods has practiced doing so in many occasions before he is able to do it unconsciously. In other words, the key to doing it is practice, practice and practice.

Attached is a short video of an interview with Tiger Woods sharing his experience of being in the zone. Hope you’ll enjoy it.

Conclusion

Tiger Woods, professional sportsmen and even professional traders, they all have similar traits. One may differ slightly from another but, today, we’ve learnt something about Tiger Woods that we can transfer into our trading career. Make sure to harness those lessons and works towards success.

Once again, hope you enjoy the video and I wish you nothing but success.

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