What do you do when you make a trading mistake? Do you get down on yourself and let emotions run your trading? Does the rest of your day suffer or do you look forward to the next trade setup so you can trade again?
This difference in attitude is huge. In team sports, good coaches look for the players who may make mistakes but want that ball again right away. They look for the player who is has strong overall desire to play and who possesses the belief that “a miss just gets me that much closer to my next win.”
Walter Hagen – one of the great U.S. golfers of the 20th Century (3rd behind Jack Nicklaus & Tiger Woods for most majors won) and the first athlete to become a millionaire – believed that in any round he played, he would have seven errant shots. “Therefore, when I make a bad shot,” he said, “it’s just one of the seven.” He had a deep understanding that the only shot that matters is the next one.
This would often frustrate his opponents. After losing in 1926 to Hagen, Bobby Jones said, “When a man misses his drive, then misses his second shot, and then wins the hole with a birdie that gets my goat!”
Hagen knew he had limitations on longer shots because of a sway in his swing, but he also knew that as long as he got near the green, he was a contender. He knew and played to his strengths.
Most importantly, Hagen never let a poor shot get him down. He had a true champion’s attitude.
Traders would be wise to adopt Hagen’s winning mindset. A trade is a probability only with prospects for both a win and a loss. When you make a losing trade, think like Hagen: It’s simply one whose likelihood for loss became true. Let it go and start looking for your next trade, the one that will be a winner.
The technical side of trading is only part of the picture. The mental side is just as important