Focus Practice

This is a discussion on Focus Practice within the General Trading Chat forums, part of the Reception category; One of the biggest challenges I have is concentrating on the market I am trading or rather the lack of ...

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Old Dec 8, 2009, 2:23pm   #1
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Joined Dec 2009
Focus Practice

One of the biggest challenges I have is concentrating on the market I am trading or rather the lack of concentration. I've just put a new post on my blog which I thought could be of interest to you. I hope it's of use.

I remember a trip I made to the floor at the CBOT/CME in Chicago this summer where I was shown around the various trading pits. Whether it was in the organised chaos of the S&P or Eurodollar options pits or the quieter agriculture products all the traders had one thing in common, they were extremely focused on the market they were trading.

Make no mistake; if a screen trader is watching his chart sitting at home 5000 miles away from the pit somewhere in a sleepy suburb, he is still competing against these people. They make it their business to get his money but while most may not have PhDs, they are lightening sharp and able to have an extraordinarily clear focus on price and how it is acting in relationship to supply and demand.

The shorter the time frame you’re trading the better your focus has to be, trading for a few ticks at a time requires you to be immersed in a zone with no distractions and only price demanding your attention. The level of concentration I’ve found I need when day trading means I can physically only watch the chart for 2 may be 3 hours a day and during that time I try and have a sweet spot of concentration from the US open at 09.30 ET for, at best 20 minutes. After that my mind starts to wonder and I can get distracted by perhaps other markets or responding to emails etc.

I’m learning to improve my focus through what you could call mediating but whatever its name, it’s simple and effective. It involves closing your eyes and slowly counting out loud, “one, two, three, four” and repeating this (out loud) for at least five minutes. It sounds straight forward but the objective is not the counting itself but to let your mind focus on nothing else but the numbers themselves. So matter what else you’ve got going on in your life, the bills you’ve got to pay, or the driver that cut you up earlier, you have to make sure you’ve got to commit yourself to doing the task properly.

It’s not easy and I have to say that I haven’t been able to do it properly in the 6 months I’ve been practicing it. If thoughts do pop into your head outside of the counting it’s fair to say you’re not doing it properly but with practice it gets easier and you become more effective.

I’ll be the first to say that I would get eaten alive in the pits and I’m far from being as good as I could be but I like to think that I have the intelligence to recognise this and the work I need to put in to compete with the Chicago traders. Focus practice is one such area and it may be of help to you. Tim,

Last edited by eminifuturesblog; Dec 9, 2009 at 2:11pm.
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