5 Sports to Boost Your Trading

Trading the financial markets can often feel like a sprint to the finish, requiring you to flex your analytical muscles and make complicated decisions on the fly. While this is certainly true of day trading, achieving long-term success requires more than just quick wittedness. If you’re thinking about building a lucrative career in the financial markets, be prepared to develop many specialties. Discipline, endurance, strategy and precision timing are all necessary for success. That’s where sports can come in handy.

Many of us who spend countless hours in front of the computer screen don’t think a lot about how physical activity can improve our trading. Although becoming a successful trader requires a lot of screen time, it also requires other forms of training. We argue that certain sports can certainly aid you in your quest to become a well-rounded trader. Just as athletes put in hours in the gym lifting weights, traders should be prepared to try sports that will improve their trading psychology and develop higher levels of focus. The following five sports may be an excellent place to start.

  1. Yoga and meditation

While yoga and meditation come in many forms, they are primarily aimed at improving your focus and self-awareness. As a trader, you can certainly benefit from greater focus and improved breathing, especially when the times get tough. By attending a few yoga classes or learning basic meditation techniques, you can learn to control your emotions and avoid being distracted by irrelevant information. In financial trading, this is key to success.

  1. Long distance running

We mentioned at the outset that financial trading often feels like a sprint, but in reality it’s more analogous to a marathon. Long distance running not only improves your endurance, but teaches you to pace yourself. These are the sorts of skills you need to develop as a trader. If you plan on being in it for the long run, you need to have endurance. You also need to learn how to preserve your capital, establish appropriate trading guidelines and adopt risk management strategies that can be self-governed. These will help you pace yourself so that you reach the finish line.

  1. Weightlifting

Lifting weights makes you stronger, and strength is the most basic adaption humans can make. Strength improves your quality of life across the spectrum, including trading. When you lift weights, you establish a mind-body connection that requires focus, consistency and determination. The best weightlifting programs are structured and organized, helping you make quantitative, incremental progress over time. This may be the recipe for trading success. By applying what you do at the gym to your trading strategy, you may start making immediate progress.

  1. Tennis and golf

As individual sports, tennis and golf require absolute focus in order to succeed. In order to conquer the golf or tennis courts, you must first master your own psychology. This will not only help you hit the ball harder and with more accuracy, but give you the frame of mind to anticipate where the ball is going to go. Traders require the same sort of psychology when entering or exiting positions. This is especially true when anticipating and trading a reversal, which requires anticipation and accuracy in order to end up on the winning side.

  1. Chess

The final entry on our list is a true mental sport, one that is world renowned for its emphasis on strategy. However, chess isn’t solely about strategy; it’s also about how much information you can retain and how well you can use that information to execute decisions in real-time. Trading is similar in many ways. It requires strategy, but also depends on making quick decisions that are based on new information. It’s impossible to predict the market with 100% accuracy every time. Understanding how you can reapply your strategy based on new information can be critical to your success.

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