The first thing to do when looking for a trading coach is to eliminate the trading coaches that are less likely to be helpful.
The first thing to be aware of is the language that the trading coach uses. Notice if these words are in their written materials or come up in your interview.
4. Profit per day
6. Eliminate emotion
7. Control behavior
8. Be rational
These words are indicators that the coach’s model of behavioral change involves what I call a two-story nut house. In the two-story model we have the rational part of ourselves that is all-knowing and all good that lives in the top story. The bottom story holds our impulsive, greedy and emotional part of ourselves.
A trading coach telling a trader “to be more disciplined,” is like a track coach telling a sprinter to “run faster.”
In the discipline model, our job is to identify with the rational part of our brain and to discipline the animal part of our brain. Simply by setting up the problem in this way, we automatically lose rapport with parts of ourselves. As a result, we end up fighting parts of ourselves that are connected to our survival instinct. This results in a tension that becomes stabilized with equal opposing forces. Thus, we are unable to create the behaviors that really benefit us.
Over the years I have found that coaches with a background in Neuro-Linguistic Programming or NLP tend to have a model of behavioral change that moves us towards rapport with ourselves. Does the coach recognize that our human brain has many functions and that our job is to become aware of, to accept and to work with those functions in a positive way? Does the coach set it up so that our current state naturally unfolds into a new desired state? If so, I believe that this model will produce better results than the two-story model of human behavior.
The second thing I look for in an excellent trading coach is their ability to understand that repeated unprofitable behaviors are simply behaviors that no longer serve in terms of neurological functions. Once we understand that repeated behaviors are a result of well used neural connections, we can then start solving the problems with an intentional method of creating new neural connections that work better in any given situation.
This also has the advantage of removing blame and shame and the resulting self-flagellation when we repeat unhelpful behaviors. Once we view these behaviors simply as vestigial neural connections, we can now, intentionally, create the appropriate experiences that can change our behaviors to ones that meet our goals.
So, avoid trading coaches who want you to discipline yourself and find a trading coach who supports a growing awareness and acceptance of all the parts of yourself in your quest for consistently profitable trading behaviors.
At the Mind Muscles Academy, our core guiding principle is “rapport.” Rapport with ourselves and rapport with the markets we are trading. To see how we put this principle into action, please review our description of our current offering, our Pathfinder course.
I invite you to find more peace and joy when trading and I am eager to work with you towards this goal.
A veteran broker and floor trader, Rich went from the "worst trainee trader ever", to building one of the most consistently profitable options trading firms on the Pacific Exchange by training his traders using neuroscience. Rich also holds a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology, a B.A. in Philosophy, and is a graduate of the Gestalt Institute in San Francisco along with Master’s training in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP).
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