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Steve ward fx trader, forex, Forex trading books, trading books, books, Steve Ward, tradermind, get, mindful, edge, in the mMarkets,savvy trader, trading psychology, book, Wiley Trading

FXTM.   

You are one of the industry’s most respected trading psychology and performance coaches. Are you a trader yourself? and does a good performance coach need to be a good trader?

S.W.

Thank you very much Emmanuelle. I have traded myself on my own account, from 2006 to about 2010, starting with stock indicies and then moving to FX, mainly intraday with a little bit of swing trading too. I started trading to really help me to understand more about the markets and to experience the psychological demands of trading first hand so that I could be a better coach to the traders I was working with but the ever increasing demands and extensive travel involved with my work meant that continuing to 

trade actively was not really possible so now all of my time and effort go onto what I am passionate about – coaching and training. I don’t think a good performance coach needs to be a good trader because the coach is not helping the trader directly with technicals, fundamentals or strategy, but I do think it is very useful if they have trading experience from an empathy perspective and understanding the uniqueness of the traders world. When you engage a performance coach you want a good performance coach –someone who understands trading but who’s skills and expertise are in trading psychology, performance enhancement, neuroscience and behavior change.

 FXTM. 

Your last book “High Performance Trading” was full of useful training techniques and exercises to help traders improve their trading performance. What’s new in this book and what are the new concepts you want to pass to traders?

S.W.

The new book has come out about five years after the first one and a lot has happened in that time in terms of what we know about the brain, how that relates to traders, and also in how my own work with traders has. Two areas where I have spent a lot of time reading and studying over the last five years have been neuroscience and mindfulness, and the two have some very neat crossover. The new book is based around the use of mindfulness based approaches in trading with their neuroscience underpinning centered around themes that are central to trading psychology such as emotions, mindset, stress, decision making and behaviour. Tradermind is completely different, but very complimentary to the first book. As with the first book I have tried to ensure that there are plenty of practical exercises and techniques to make the book useable and useful for people – which is always key for me in my work. Some new concepts that traders will find in the book include the use of focused attention training techniques to develop ‘mental muscle’, to help with emotional regulation, fear modulation and self-control; the idea of not controlling emotions, but learning to work with them, to embrace them, to see them as data; the importance of the mind-body connection in terms of gut feel decision making and how to enhance it, and also the impact of physical energy on the brains capacity to make decisions – there are even some ideas here for improving your sleep; there is a key theme that challenges the old ‘have a plan and trade the plan’ discipline paradigm, looking at the importance of having a flexible response to maximize your market returns; and then there is a piece around building effective trading habits and overcoming limiting ones, there’s an interesting section on ‘values’ based trading, and a whole chapter on dealing with the highs and lows in trading and developing resilience through mindfulness based approaches. There are a lot of new ideas for traders in the book and that is why I was so keen to write it.

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