Become A Better Sports Trader with these 5 Things You Can Do in January.

As 2016 winds down, many of us are looking towards 2017 wondering what we can do to take our sports trading to the next level. Will next year be the year we finally:

  • Enjoy a second income from your trading
  • Eliminate those weaknesses that have been holding you back
  • Learn and master a new sport to build your trading portfolio?

Whatever our individual goals might be, every sports trader can benefit from doing the following five things in January:

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1. Take A Break!

The first week in January!

One or two things will have happened over the Christmas period, either you have been very active trading the intensive sports program.

Or; you have been in holiday mode enjoying everything that comes with the festive celebrations.

Either way, you probably not had the time to re-charge from a busy year of working or trading.

It’s important that you take a complete break from the markets and watching sport. The idea here is to come back completely refreshed and ready to focus fully on your trading journey.

2. Reflect On The Past Year

Taking a break is the start of trading journey in 2017 and as that sabbatical draws to a close, it’s a good time to reflect on your trading journey the previous year.

You should dive deeper into your trading diary and your stats, analyse where your strengths are so that can be your immediate focus.

In all the time that I have been mentoring traders they tend lose focus on simple trading rituals that they learn, resulting in them missing out on easy profits.

By identifying your strengths and how you will focus on them will highlight weaknesses in your trading approach.

This will give you the opportunity to put your weaknesses in some kind of order. At the end of the day your trading profits will be determined by your weakest skill, eliminating that first will automatically improve your profitability as a trader.

Then you move on to next weakest skill and work on that, the only difference between a novice and full-time trader is that the pro traders weakest skill will have less impact on their trading as yours does.

3. Set Goals & Think Like A Pro Trader

January is not the time for vague statements like ‘I want to be a better sports trader in 2017’. January is the time for identifying exactly what you want to achieve and then ensuring the things you are striving for are SPORT goals:

S – specific & structured

P – patience & practice

O – opportunities & organisation

R – rituals & reviews

T – time-management & trackable

What your 2017 SPORT goals might look like:

  1. Keep a better trading diary
  2. Managed my schedule better
  3. Plan ahead to maximise trading opportunities
  4. Start a post trading review ritual
  5. Focus on the goals you set yourself

To quote renowned American philosopher and writer Elbert Hubbard:

“Many people fail in life, not for lack of ability or brains or even courage, but simply because they have never organised their energies around a goal.” Elbert Hubbard

4. Map Out The Steps To Achieve Your Goals

Telling yourself ‘I will keep a better trading diary’ is one thing. Doing it is another. (Sounds silly, but quite often I see people thinking the setting of the goal is all they need to do to achieve it.)

What actually allows you to achieve your goal is mapping out, step-by-step, the things you are going to do to get there.

The steps for keeping a better trading diary might look like this:

Record all the P/L on the trades that you make

Record all the P/L on the trades you thought about and didn’t actually take

The reasoning behind your trading decisions and what happened to the markets

Details of the research you did before the end and review of markets based on this research

If your goal is to trade one football game on Saturday and Sunday, plus a midweek game on Wednesday, you will benefit from writing down exactly which day of the week you’re going to:

  • Start your research on match
  • When to start monitoring the pre-match markets
  • The time when your main trading starts and ends
  • When you will complete the diary entry on the match you have traded.

As an example on a match being played on Saturday, you might start your research on the teams on Thursday, monitor the markets from Friday. Begin your main trading session an hour before KO and end it an hour after the final whistle once your diary is complete.

Studies have shown that writing down your intentions about WHEN you are going to do the things involved in achieving your goal significantly increases the likelihood of you achieving that thing – and I have certainly found that to be during my trading journey.

5. Choosing A Guiding Word or Mantra

Sometimes, when we’re toiling away deep in the bowels of our sports trading, it’s easy to lose sight of why we do this thing.

Particularly when things aren’t going as well as we’d like. At times like these, it’s handy to have a guiding word or phrase that acts as a reminder to ensure we keep our focus. Phrases like:

  1. K.I.S.S – Keep It Simple Stupid
  2. Patience & Discipline
  3. Stick to the plan
  4. Research - Rituals - Review

While we’re all trading for some kind of personal gain whether that earning a second income or the challenge of trying to master sports trading.

It’s important for any trader to remember is that they can’t be successful in 2017 if they have the mind-set of just switching on the TV and trading on the event that is live on the screen, no matter what it is.

The chances are the person on the other side of the screen will have been working on their game and will be more than happy to relieve you of your hard earned cash.

Bring on 2017…….

Matt Finnigan

Full time professional sports trader and founder of Pro X Trading.