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Recommend a few good sports psychology books
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Recommend a few good sports psychology books

  #21 (permalink)
Oslo, Norway
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Lornz's Avatar
Posts: 1,198 since Apr 2010

omni72 View Post
In theory this seems logical, but from what I've seen (both for myself and others) being able to execute it in trading is a different matter. I've tried, done, excelled at, and succeeded doing all sorts of stuff. I approached trading with the same type of effort/commitment/focus/etc. that had previously brought me success. Trading kicked my ass pretty hard for quite a while. It has taken a completely different approach than anything else I've ever attempted. And I'm not talking trading methodology or strategy or whatever. No, the same thing that had contributed to my lifelong successes was stunting my growth as a trader: me.

Also, while it may seem like a matter of semantics, there is a difference between trying to control emotions and developing an active understanding of them. In the latter, I will seek out situations that complement my emotional framework and less likely to pit me against my emotions in some sort of internal pissing contest. I think it was Oscar Wilde who said, "I can resist everything except temptation." I like the idea of willpower as much as the next guy, but the bottom line is avoiding negatively tempting situations has a higher chance of success than trying to tackle it head on. It has taken me too many years of accumulating cinder block indentations on my forehead to erode the tendency to bulldog my way through stuff.

I'm not trying to deflect or detract from your ideas, not at all. I'm just saying that as simple as trading is on a purely functional level, there are reasons retail brokerages see so many retail traders blow out account after account. And a lot of those who blow out are smart, capable people who have also had their own history of success.

Also, to the original poster, I hope this side dialogue isn't too off-topic. I think it's related, but I can relate almost anything to anything. And I have been known to on occasion.

Anyway, I'm tired now and feel I've stumbled into ramble-y, so I'm gonna tap out for now

I think you're misrepresenting my view. We are mostly in agreement, I think.

Regardless of free will, a veto of thoughts (Libet et al., 1979) or complete determinism; it will always feel like one is making the decision. If there is a slight chance of self-directed neuroplasticity, then it is worth pursuing.

You equate willpower to force, to winning (?) - I think of it as self-control. Like remaining in the lotus position while lit on fire, or something like this:

I will argue, if I understood your post correctly, that the willpower you have used in other endeavors is a negative one. You wanted to be better than others, gain status or win a game. I am talking about attempting to gain total control of one's thoughts and bodily functions. The world is irrelevant, it's only how you react to it that is of importance. Internalize everything.

That kind of willpower works in trading, and it works in all other areas of life. The brute force type of willpower is probably the worst thing a trader can attempt....

I've been quite good at competitive sports, especially soccer. I have never focused on winning, though. I only envision what I need to do, the muscles I need to activate and then do it. No need for internal motivation, no need for emotional mumbo jumbo.

I'm still human, of course. Thus, I fail quite frequently -- but it's a very different view of the world to most. It's probably why I succeeded at trading within a month; I simply don't feel the need to be right or show off -- I just observe and act...

(This is written quite hastily in a drunken haze, so try to absorb the essence rather than the grammatical errors and egomaniacal portrayal of a non-ego personality )

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  #22 (permalink)
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I checked out In Pursuit of Excellence today. Quite good, lot of tools from many different sources, comprehensive and relevant.

"The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven." - Milton
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  #23 (permalink)
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Just to be clear, Ice Man has a mutation which allows him to do that, it's not something anybody can do if they apply themselves. You might as well try to grow taller through the power of positive thought.

Dovie'andi se tovya sagain.
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  #24 (permalink)
Oslo, Norway
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Lornz's Avatar
Posts: 1,198 since Apr 2010

Hotch View Post
Just to be clear, Ice Man has a mutation which allows him to do that, it's not something anybody can do if they apply themselves. You might as well try to grow taller through the power of positive thought.

I agree that I used a poor example, but this thread is about sports psychology -- not reality. I also don't have time to participate on message boards at the moment, so I tried not to get sucked into discussion regarding a field I am quite fascinated with.

As for regulating body temperature, I will refer you to my previous post about the Buddhist monks. There are also many examples with regard to freedivers. They usually combine exercise, yoga and meditation.

The best example is probably Stig Severinsen. He broke the world record by holding his breath for 20 minutes and 10 seconds:

@Deucalion will probably enjoy his comment about neuroplasticity.

He also wrote a book (which I've only glanced through): Breatheology (9781928649342): Stig Avall Severinsen, Mark Colberg Goldsmith, Per Diemer: Books

I really don't like all the spirituality both he and Schwartz in includes. I'm not a very spiritual person, but I am very fascinated by the unconscious mind. I think the vastness of the brain's complexity is cheapened by invoking spirituality.

I've always been very aware of breathing as a way to control the mind. My mother, a former opera singer, taught me the benefits of practicing abdominal breathing at an early age. Then I read about biofeedback in high school and developed my own brand of meditation based on that. This was refined further after I discovered self-directed neuroplasticity. I had always believed in my power to shape myself, and used various methods to induce change in behavior and physiology, but this solidified my belief in the results beyond a potential placebo effect.

I'm done with this thread now and will confine my participation on this board to my journal. However, I would like to add that a deeper control of the body and mind is achievable, but the usual war metaphors, and other motivation based in anger, hinders one from reaching this deeper level. Under relatively normal circumstances, the world around oneself is largely irrelevant, it's how one reacts to it that shapes one's reality.

Last edited by Lornz; April 21st, 2012 at 09:44 AM.
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  #25 (permalink)
Boston MA
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patrader65's Avatar
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Old thread, but may be time to awaken it...

I just picked this one and am enjoying it so far. May not be confined to sports, but falls in the same theme.

Navigating Chaos: How to Find Certainty in Uncertain Situations by Jeff Boss

Some excerpts from the early few pages:

"To perform optimally physically, one must also possess the mental, emotional, and spiritual faculties to face hardship, endure difficulty, become motivated even when not, and ceaselessly pursue a higher purpose that drives him or her to continually improve."

"Anybody can perform a task that he or she already knows and understands. Itís when obscurity, doubt, and stress are interjected into the equation against the backdrop of survival that the
creature of the unknown exposes us for who we are, not just what we know how to do."

"To shoot, move, and communicate in the SEAL Teams is to perform, adapt, and lead in the private sector."

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  #26 (permalink)
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the inner game of tennis

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  #27 (permalink)
St. Louis
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All or Nothing

Brett Steenbarger tells a great story about how Nolan Ryan used to practice in his Enhancing Trader Performance.

I watched 4 seasons of the All or Nothing series in the Amazon Prime library. Its behind-the-scenes stuff around American style football. There isn't a lot about specific techniques, but it strongly reinforces the need to have a balanced psychological state. You get to witness the guys who never descend into deep emotional holes and they are the consistent performers. And the ones who are ate up perform very inconsistently.

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