Pro Athlete Trading Tips


This week we thought it would be a great opportunity to look at how trading relates to professional sports. There are many more similarities than you would expect and one of the biggest aspects to this industry is the lifestyle it can bring; people see the high-flying traders who have the means to drive nice cars or go on holidays (albeit most of these people on social media are actually fake and are doing this to paint a lifestyle to sell a dream) but we’re excluding the fake gurus for this week as these aren’t the people we’re worried about.

What you see is the equivalent to watching someone like Tiger Woods, Lewis Hamilton or Roger Federer. All of these individuals make what they do seem effortless, performing at the highest level with what looks like ease, but what you haven’t seen is the daily practice for years and even decades to get to that point. And even the countless failures they have been through to achieve success.

I think the following quote from Mark Sptitz is the epitome of where people go wrong;

“If you fail to prepare, you’re prepared to fail.”

Let’s now dive into a few individual sportsmen and some of their best quotes and see how closely they relate to trading.

Tiger Woods – a professional golfer and one of the best to have ever played the game, Tiger Woods has won 82 official PGA Tour events and has won 15 majors.

“Winning is not always the barometer of getting better.” – Tiger Woods

How can we as traders relate to this?

I think this quote is a great reflection of what we do, you can be rewarded for doing the “wrong” thing, for example; holding a trade even though there was an exit signal and the trade then going to target. In this example you would be rewarded for poor management, you may get away with it this time but over the long run this will have a huge detrimental impact on your equity curve. A winning trade isn’t the barometer of good decision making. As I have said in previous blog posts, the process is more important than the individual results.

Lewis Hamilton – a seven-time world champion formula one racing driver, he also holds the records for the most wins, pole positions and podium finishes in the sport.

“What people tend to forget is the journey that I had getting to Formula One. There were plenty of years where I had to learn about losing and having bad races” – Lewis Hamilton

What can we as traders take from this?

You can look at professional traders and their amazing lives they live, but that is just traders at the top of their career, we cannot forget about all of the years that they failed to make money and all of the failures they had to push through to get to that stage.

I find this really helpful to think about during the tough times, if you can make it through these difficult times, the reward will be that much sweeter.

Roger Federer – all-time joint record holder of 20 Grand Slam singles titles in tennis.

“There’s no way around hard work. Embrace it.” – Roger Federer

Does this relate to trading?

Of course, just as much as any other quote this outlines what is necessary in order to achieve successful results in trading. If you are not willing to work hard then you will never achieve the results you dream to achieve, but if you do work hard then you might just survive in this game long enough to make something out of it.

The final quote I would like to highlight and leave you with is that from Michael Jordan:

“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan

Use the failures to drive you on further, failures will only define you if you allow them to.

I hope you were able to take some motivation from the blog this week so until next week, safe trading!