The possibilities of thought training are infinite, its consequences eternal, and yet few take the pains to direct their thinking into channels that will do the good, but instead leave all to chance.” Brice Marden
Your mind is a powerhouse of possibility. We can do mentally what often eludes us in reality. If you can’t trade consistently in real life, you can do it in your imagination. Without the surprises and the tension of real life trading, without risk entering the equation, you can learn to follow your rules in your mind. In this way you create an experience that you can later rely upon in actual trading.
Some years ago there was a well known and documented experiment conducted by psychologist Alan Richardson. A group of student basketball players was divided into three groups and tested as to their ability to throw a basketball into a basket. One group was instructed to practice every day for a month. Another group was told to imagine throwing balls into the basket for thirty minutes every day for the same month. The third group was told to do nothing, not even think about basketball.
After a month the first group, the group that actually physically practiced had improved an average of 32%. The group that did the mental rehearsal had improved an average of 31%. The third group was unchanged in skill level.
I experienced a similar improvement in my tennis game by doing mental rehearsal during the winter when I was not playing tennis. I used to apologize before playing in the spring saying I had not played all winter. When I played strongly, people simply didn’t believe me. I stopped the explanations and knew that I could rehearse before any match as I lay in bed. There were no bad bounces, no surprises. I could practice all my strokes with consistency. When the game came, I could handle anything that came up.
I teach my clients do the same kind of mental rehearsal with their trading. They trade consistently, following their rules, accepting losses and profits, taking the long view, as they mentally rehearse following their plan. As they do this, they are setting their intention to trade their methods effectively in the next live session.
Now, this is different from paper trading. Paper trading is useful to understand a method and to verify that method’s profitability, but it does not teach the trader the ability to actually trade. It does, in fact, do quite the opposite. The trader learns simply to observe and be immune from risk. Paper trading for too long a period teaches a person to simply be a spectator, not an actor. When they later start to trade, they may not be able to pull the trigger.
Mind rehearsal is different. You imagine putting the trades on and accepting whatever the market gives you. You imagine your ultimate, long term success even as you accept temporary losses and set backs. You hold the faith as you build your faith. You build your confidence as you build your skills. You build the experience of consistently doing the right things. You strengthen your weaknesses as you build on your strengths. Then, when you actually trade, you have the support and the background experience of having traded effectively.
You can do this by simply imagining yourself going through the trading day applying your methodology to the market. Better yet, you can purchase my Power Trading for Power Profits audio course which includes a mental rehearsal CD. I strongly recommend it. You’ll be amazed at how your trading improves.
The mind is a powerhouse of possibility. We can develop skills and build confidence and trust through thinking. We can change the meanings we give to events and we can change our results. In short, we can alter our factual reality through using mental rehearsal. We can do this to create what we want—as opposed to what we fear or don’t want, which is what most people do unwittingly. What if you could take control of your trading through effective mental rehearsal?