it Second Nature
by Ryan Watts of WattsTrading.com
Not long ago I was laying on my sons floor throwing
one of his toy balls back and forth in the air to myself
and I had a strange revelation. I noticed that as I threw
the ball up in the air my left arm automatically started
to move to where the ball was going to come down. At the
time I was pretty amazed at the fact and decided to experiment
I wasnt sure if it was really moving automatically
or if I was just reacting consciously very fast and it only
appeared like a seamless act. I continued the act a while
longer and then I started consciously trying to move my
arm to where the ball would go. I was still able to catch
the ball but it was a completely different feeling. I wasnt
sure if I would catch it where as before I just knew I would
so much that I didnt even think about it. When I thought
about catching the ball I experienced a psychological shift.
Just to be sure I went back to my regular method of just
throwing and catching and again it felt automatic.
Next I tried to throw the ball and close my eyes and see
if my hand knew where to go. It did. I didnt catch
it very much but the ball always hit my hand. I tried the
whole thing with my eyes closed next and I didnt touch
the ball very often at all that way.
Now I know you must be thinking - what does any of this
have to do with trading. Well,
Sure, you do need a system that works and capital and time
and desire and effort but beyond that lies the mental state
of being a trader. Not just a trader but a consistently
How did my mind learn to know exactly where the ball was
going? I suppose after many years of throwing or catching
a ball as a kid my subconscious adapted the process in a
second nature sort of way. As I throw the ball the synaptic
messages it sends to my arm direct it to where the ball
will be even when my eyes are closed.
In trading we watch the markets for hours a day. Some of
us all day every day. The successful among us probably hours
after that while practicing. I spend at least an hour a
day after the market just going through trades using my
scalping system. My system is second nature to me now as
a result just like the ball throwing. I still use a system
and follow rules but if I am not thinking about the process
too much and just flow in a zone I usually know what the
market is going to do.
So how do we develop this skill or trait? I believe there
are two ways and they both involve practice. One way is
to work really hard at your craft and put yourself through
an intensive regime of study, practice and work. If you
work hard every day and try to get a little bit better every
day over time it will happen if your account holds out and
you dont burn out mentally. There are mental tricks
you can use to make this way more effective such as building
a reward system for milestones reached or keeping a daily
log of your trading related activities. This method may
sound tiring and for many people it would be.
The other way to gain that second nature insight is to
direct your focus to having fun with your craft. Where the
first method focused on laboriously going through the motions
this method is more light hearted. By no means am I suggestion
that trading should be taken lightly. I am talking about
approach here. If you turn the homework you should be doing
every day into a kind of mental game you will be much more
likely to do it and more importantly draw upon your experiences
in your real-time trading. You should keep the pace fast
if that helps and maybe talk to yourself about what you
are seeing along the way. Make a funny sound or something
as you enter trades and again as you exit. Maybe upbeat
sound effects for winning trades and light hearted crashing
sounds for losing trades. Do whatever works for you but
keep it fun.
There is no getting around this. If your goal is to have
the automatic reflexes that kick into gear when you subconscious
mind sees an opportunity then you need to practice. Every
day I run through the prior two trading days step-by-step
and using the Pivot Trend difference model from my NQ Scalping
System I pick a trading day from the past that directly
follows trading days that resemble the recent activity.
I bet if you ask any professional or Olympic athlete if
they could reflect on what it is that makes them so consistent
that the answer would be practice. I can say for sure that
the extra time I put in after the markets close is the key
to my success.
Good luck to you all. Trade well!
Article by Ryan Watts of WattsTrading.com
, creator of the Scalping
the E-mini Futures and Forex day trading method, a complete
and comprehensive system for making consistent gains daily
with low risk.