Rock Climbing has evolved into several different styles and variations. Two of such variations are Bouldering and Free Climbing (traditional or sport climbing, depending on whether protections are removed after the ascent or fixed permanently to the rock).

In sport climbing, routes are typically 20-30 meters long while in bouldering, ascents are typically shorter (a few meters). Due to such difference in lengths, different type of efforts are required and then different physical qualities are needed. Pure strength is dominant in bouldering vs stamina in free climbing.

Nevertheless, in both styles it's your mind that makes the difference before and during performance.

When you are engaged in a project close to your performance limits, it can take a lot of time, work and preparation to achieve the result. A lot of motivation is needed in this phase not to let failures discourage you and give up.

When you are performing, mental control is everything. You must be 100% focused on movements, even little details can make the difference between success or failure. A mistake drains effort and mental energy. And it might sound strange, but in my case the most critical part is when you have passed the crux of the route. If you fall before, that's fine, the route is hard. After the crux, you start to feel the pressure to succeed, falling there is a real failure. Then you need to be able to stay in control of yourself.

Due to different lengths between bouldering and climbing, also type of mental engagement during the performance is different. For those who do not climb let me try to make an analogy with athletics: bouldering is a 100m race while free climbing is 1500m (marathon is could be compared to great ascents on big walls …).

In markets you can choose trading (bouldering) or long term investments (free climbing). Different qualities are needed in the two cases, knowledge of statistics, market behavior and dynamics for trading short term, fundamentals of economics for long term investments.

A lot of study and work is needed in the preparation phase in order to decide which trades to make or what asset to invest in, whatever approach you choose. And motivation as well is necessary, as it's easy to get discourage by your failures, even more when you are losing money.

Also in trading and in long term investments, time scale is different but the bottom line is the same: in the performance phase, you need focus, discipline, stick to the rules you decided to entry and exit the market, you need to keep control of details and of yourself, do not let the emotional part take control.





Speak your mind

3 Comments so far

  1. Paolo Pezzutti on April 9, 2009 5:32 am

    The preparation phase is the one that fascinates me the most. In all fields it is the prerequisite for success. This phase is hard. It puts you under pressure. It challenges your motivation as every single action is analyzed, corrected, and repeated hundreds of times until it is well impressed in your muscle memory. All the different courses of action are rehearsed; in the execution phase this gives you a tremendous advantage. It is true that the unexpected can always happen, but a good preparation allows to manage “new” situations more comfortably and increases your chances of success. I think this true in any discipline. Sometimes, because of preparation you can often see less talented athletes win over natural talents. This may be true also in trading. When you have time, rehearse. When you do not have time, find it!

  2. T Shimizu on April 10, 2009 12:02 am

    I trust central tendency theorem. The market moves right and left. I believe that the market will start going down sometime within two weeks. It will last about five weeks. Then we may be able to see when we hit the bottom.

  3. legacy daily on April 12, 2009 3:42 pm

    This reminded me an Armenian saying that climbing is hard but getting off is twice as hard. I have found this to be true in life quite frequently. Opening a position is hard but closing is often harder. Starting a project is hard but winding it down is harder. Stimulating the economy is hard but preventing the negative consequences from stimulus may be harder. Sometimes the “crux of the route” lay on the way down.

    I think people sometimes forget about the round-trip nature of various events and actions and expend all of the energy on the initial leg. The winners somehow seem to have superb control over the expenditure of energy through the entire process. Be it money, food or human energy, they seem to spend just the right amount at every stage of the journey.


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