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Readers reviews of The Trading Athlete

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This is an adaptation of a sport motivation book and its antecedents clearly show. Despite this, the book successfully bridges the gap between sports performance with individual athletes and the changes that are helpful in improving trading success. Traders need the same degree of focus, the same confidence in themselves, and the same ability to take losses in their stride on the way to achieving a larger goal. Such similarities need to be more than superficial if they are to be particularly relevant to traders.

There are many very useful snippets of information in the body of the book. It starts from the premise that trading is as much a mental game as a game of skill. There are many other books that focus on the skills of trading. This book examines how traders can more effectively work with their skill set to build foundations for success. This includes developing better mental ways to handle losers, to use trading pressure to advantage and to develop a winning focus. The section on dealing with distractions is particularly useful.

This is more than the personal psychology of trading. The book is successful in showing the practical implementation of these psychological factors. It draws widely – and perhaps a little too frequently - on sporting examples to illustrate each point. Although similar, hitting a home run, or missing a basketball goal in a competition final is not the same as winning a trade, or closing a losing trade. When a sprinter loses a race he does not feel the loss immediately in his bank balance. This is an important difference and traders need to remember this when transferring sports psychology to the trading floor.

Although the book is written for day traders, it is very relevant for position traders and active investors. Some aspects, such as the need to make instant decisions are not relevant to other trading styles. However, the mental attitudes necessary for continued success remain relevant to all traders.

The final section of the book set down a detailed evaluation outline. This is one of the most practical and useful examples of this type of material that I have come across for traders. These are the strategic and tactical planning sheets that should go hand in hand with every individual trade. Trade planning too often concentrates just on the mechanics of the trade and risk management. These worksheets provide traders with detailed assessment steps which put each trade into a context and provide a sound basis for wider evaluation.

Despite the sometimes very heavy reliance of sporting anecdotes, this book is well worth reading for traders. This is practical trading psychology.



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