Hunger, from Craig Mee

June 18, 2009 |

Should golf pros who want to win a major, practice in cold wet windy annoyingly uncomfortable environments?

Should surf pros who want to win the world title do the same, train in crappy onshore beach break conditions?

…so when it's game on, they will be so happy to be warm, and comfortable and hungry for the win?

Should we traders be in cramped humid stuffy rooms, with no daylight, to reinforce the value of money and stay focused?

Scott Brooks disagrees:

Professional athletes as well as military personnel should practice/drill in the worst conditions so they can thrive in the best conditions. But no one performs at his peak in these conditions.

Drilling and practicing are very different from actual live game day executions.

Traders aren't forced to trade in bad conditions. We should trade in conditions that optimize our ability to think clearly and perform.

There is a big difference between drilling/practicing and actual execution of a task. Trading is real life execution. Game days are real life execution, Battle is real life execution. You don't want to be at anything less than your best when it comes time to execute.

If you're a professional athlete and it's raining on game day, both you and your opponents have to play in the rain. If it's the day of the battle and it's freezing cold blizzard, both you and your opponents have to execute in those conditions.

But when you're trading, you don't want to put yourself in a less than optimal situation. Your opponent has probably created the most comfortable environment that he can to optimize his mental acuity. Why would you want to give yourself the handicap of being uncomfortable?

Create the "peak performance environment" so that you have the highest potential to reap the greatest rewards for yourself and your clients.

Riz Din adds:

A documentary series recently aired in the UK that provided insight on the natural life on the small South Pacific islands. In these small islands, life has evolved in strange ways, producing several instances of flightless birds for example. Unfortunately, after many many years of comfortable living, the introduction of new predators onto the islands wreaked havoc.

I agree with Scott that the physical conditions should be optimal, but I would add that the mental aspect needs to be tended to well, as complacency can spell death when market conditions suddenly turn, strategies stop working, etc. Better to retain the ability to fly, just in case.


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