Do you have a routine before you start your days trading?
Now I don’t mean twenty star jumps, a few sprints and some hamstring stretches. Although physical exercise could be part of your routine.
But a set routine that puts you into the right state of mind for what you are trying to achieve. A routine that lets you trade your A game as often as possible.
The mental aspect of trading is a huge. A lot of successful traders state that the mental aspect of trading is everything.
So unless you are automating your trading then you should really take a look at how you can improve your mental game.
Sports Trading Psychology – The Warm Up
I was introduced to the idea of a warm up quite early in my gambling career. Poker was the first area of gambling that I took seriously. At the time the general level of play in poker was getting better and better. In order to maintain an edge poker players were looking at every area of their game.
Improving your mental game was something that became very big in the poker. Sports psychologists ended up venturing into the poker world. A lot of new information was shared. Experts such as Jared Tendler and Elliot Roe started to produce content that was specifically aimed at poker players.
So I started to really look at my own mental game. What was I doing before a good session, what happened before a bad one.
I tried Meditation, Studying hand histories before every session, Repetition exercises, Listening to audio tapes. I trialed lots of different methods and then measured the results.
Now poker and sports trading are different animals but there are some similarities. Making quick decisions when you are multi tabling 10 tables of poker or trading the last few minutes of a horse racing market have similar feelings.
There is money on the line. Sometimes you may only have a few seconds to act. You have a lot of different information to process and then you have to make a decision.
Sports Trading Psychology – A Routine
Eventually I found a few general rules which helped my poker game and continue to help me when trading.
- Make sure I get some fresh air and exercise before I trade (Can be as small as a 5 minute walk to the shop. Just something that I feel helps me to wake up.)
- Keep a trading diary (Look over the last few days notes before trading.)
- Take deep breaths after each trade (This acts as a mental reset between trades.)
There are a few extra things that I do now I have a wife and children. I don’t trade when I am looking after my children. It is distracting and I can’t give trading or my children my full attention.
If for any personal reason I feel pissed off or annoyed I will avoid trading. Sometimes feeling frustrated leads you to taking things out on the trading markets. The markets usually win!
That’s it a few simple rules that I have found personally help me trade better. I think if you are trading the in play markets or the horses. Setting up some kind of warm up routine is a good idea.
Don’t neglect adding some psychology to your sports trading. Try a few things out yourself, measure your results and see if it has a positive effect on your trading. Small improvements add up in the long term. Improving your mental game could be the final piece of the jigsaw in making you a successful trader.