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The psychology of choking
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The psychology of choking

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The psychology of choking

I've read (audiobook) a book called "Bounce: How Champions are Made" by Matthew Syed.
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Is not about trading but psychology, I really recommend it, but the purpose of this thread is to highlight some paragraphs of an article I've read from him in the BBC News webpage ( BBC Sport - The psychology of choking ) that I recommend you read it directly, I think that lots of traders will be identified with his words:


Quoting 
Both men have testified how treacherously difficult it is to score from 12 yards when you are shouldering the hopes of millions.
It is not the difficulty of the task - most top players invariably score during practice sessions - but the enormity of the moment. The problem is not ability but nerve. This, of course, is the essence of performance psychology.


Quoting 
.....now consider what happens after hundreds of hours of practice. Now, you can perform these skills effortlessly, without any conscious control, so that you are able to arrive at your destination without even being aware of how you got there.


Quoting 
But now suppose an expert were to suddenly find himself using the "wrong" system. It wouldn't matter how good he was because he would now be at the mercy of the explicit system.
The highly sophisticated skills encoded in the subconscious part of his brain would count for nothing. He would find himself striving for victory using neural pathways he last used as a novice.
This is the neurophysiology of choking. It is triggered when we get so anxious that we seize conscious control over a task that should be executed automatically.

The problem was not insufficient focus, but too much focus. Conscious monitoring had disrupted the smooth workings of the subconscious. He was, in a literal sense, a novice again.


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  #3 (permalink)
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BCNTrader View Post
I've read (audiobook) a book called "Bounce: How Champions are Made" by Matthew Syed.
Please register on futures.io to view futures trading content such as post attachment(s), image(s), and screenshot(s).

Amazon link

Is not about trading but psychology, I really recommend it, but the purpose of this thread is to highlight some paragraphs of an article I've read from him in the BBC News webpage ( BBC Sport - The psychology of choking ) that I recommend you read it directly, I think that lots of traders will be identified with his words:



The problem was not insufficient focus, but too much focus. Conscious monitoring had disrupted the smooth workings of the subconscious. He was, in a literal sense, a novice again.


Thanks for the quotes . Choking I guess happens to all of us and to me ( in trading ) its caused by thinking too much . I do best when I think once , get a plan of action , execute that plan without thinking about it - and walk away . I come back later and just keep executing the action plan and managing positions accordingly , like any other business . Its works "good enough" and keeps trading fun and interesting instead of stressful and depressing .

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choking and panicking

Chocking: Too much thinking. Paralysis by Analysis.
Panicing: Too little thinking. Fear taking over.

These words are commonly thrown around in sports when a team manages to lose from a winning position or when a favorite team loses.
Other aspects like technical superiority, game plan,team composition and luck are conviniently forgotten.

A nice article here....
http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/508868.html

From the Article:
If I may draw an analogy from tennis: when a player chokes, he keeps hitting safe shots, bang in the middle of the court, ensuring they miss the net and are well inside the baseline, hoping the opponent will make a mistake. When the same player panics, he goes for non-existing winners, resulting in enforced errors.
Sam

You can practise your skills all day long, but it's comparatively easy to get better at playing. The hard thing is to get better at winning--anonymous

Last edited by tradersam; May 27th, 2011 at 03:02 AM.
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I would describe choking basically as over thinking, and I believe it stems from lack of confidence or experience with your system or the situation in front of you (charts).

My recommendation is to journal at the exact moment you make a trade decision. You want to record your exact reasons/feelings about the trade at the time you made them, so after say 100 trades you can draw some very substantial conclusions. This data will in turn help you to have more confidence and lessen your mistakes.

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