Ken DrydenThanks to Ryan for recommending The Game by Ken Dryden. It is a very human and personal analysis of top level pro sports that makes it applicable to all high level activity. Also touching to me was the part about getting old. Ironically he wrote it in his twenties. I face this out in the big wave lineup competing with the young guys. I wonder how much longer can I do it. Of the many lessons in the book a few really jumped out at me. First was his routine before games designed to give him emotional equanimity and balance and to quiet all the inner voices that might throw him off. I've read of the trainers of the high level sumo wrestlers in Japan who protect their fighters from emotional upset that might affect their sport performance. I know I need to come to the fray each day on an even keel. If there is an imbalance in the force, I'll walk away.

Dryden wondered about the difference between his own, or his own team's, performance and other people's mistakes. In my life as a lawyer, I see people make mistakes, high powered guys who act like they should have known better. In trading, I believe I can see when people make mistakes. Today for example, bidding up the contract to a new high on the belief that the Fed can solve our problems. Well, that was a 2% mistake right off the bat. In the summer of '07 I wondered about the 9K plus bidders buying the tops at days end. I wondered what they were doing up there. They are too, now. Sometimes its not so obvious, but there are times to be aware of. I sure know when I blow it. The dangerous times are when you blow it and don't know it. Dryden always lived in fear of that, as should we all.





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1 Comment so far

  1. Steve Leslie on March 19, 2009 11:45 am

    I correlate a goalie in hockey to a pitcher in baseball, a goalie in soccer, a quarterback in football, a point guard in basketball. They are the foundation of a team, indispensible and the key piece of putting a championship team together.

    My colleagues who are experts in hockey proclaim Ken Dryden to be one of the top goalies of all time. Patrick Roy, Martin Brodeur are some others. Dryden is royalty in Canada. He also is very big at 6'4" which made him a bit of an anomaly as goaltenders tend to be smaller stature. If Mr. Dryden has some insights he wants to share then they must be priceless.

    To Mr. Sogi's comment about high end attorneys' making mistakes, everyone makes mistakes. It is called being human. In my experience, the top professionals, regardless of their field of expertise, make fewer mistakes than their counterparts, and adapt, improvise and overcome. This is where they derive their edge, in the long run.


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