In 2005, sports and performance psychology coach Steve Ward received an invitation from an unexpected quarter: a major trading institution in London.
Till then he had worked with elite athletes, sports teams and corporate clients, teaching them key techniques for operating under mental pressure. Now he found himself on a trading floor in the heart of the City, tasked with helping traders to improve their profitability.
The two worlds turned out to be surprisingly similar.
Over the next year, Ward led the traders through a course that focused on maximising performance by reducing psychological weaknesses and bolstering discipline and resilience. With the traders making strong advances by the end of the year, he went on to work with other financial institutions across the globe. He even began trading himself.
The results of all this work are now available in his well-regarded book High Performance Trading, which brings together 35 core psychological strategies for successful trading.
The book is structured around the three key stages of trading: preparation, execution and evaluation. For each, the author introduces a range of techniques to help minimise unhelpful trading behaviour and maximise effective actions. Appropriately, the book has a strong practical dimension, with exercises and examples throughout, and the advice is all reassuringly concrete ? so whilst the subject matter is often psychological, things never descend into psychobabble.
Successful traders know that an effective trading strategy is only one half of the battle. There couldn?t be a more helpful handbook for those who want to get on top of the other: the mental game of the markets.