Saturday, November 09, 2013

Jack Nicklaus and trading

In my opinion, Jack Nicklaus is the greatest golfer of all time. While he undoubtedly was one of the most powerful players in his prime, I believe his greatest asset was his mindset, and a lot of what he has said can easily be applied to trading as well. Below are some quotes made by him over the years, which hopefully will be thought provoking when placed in a trading context. Some of these might provide an "Aha!" moment or two when applied to your own trading:

"I couldn't control Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Tom Watson or Lee Trevino. The only person I could control was me. The only person I could prepare for events was me. And if I didn't play well, I didn't play well, and I wasn't going to compete."

"Sometimes the biggest problem is in your head. You've got to believe you can play a shot instead of wondering where your next bad shot is coming from."

"My ability to concentrate and work toward that goal has been my greatest asset."

"I think I fail a bit less than everyone else."

"Confidence is the most important single factor in this game, and no matter how great your natural talent, there is only one way to obtain and sustain it: work."

"Don't be too proud to take lessons. I'm not."

"Focus on remedies, not faults."

"Well, the biggest rival I had in my career was me."

"But if I played well and prepared myself properly, then all I had to do was control myself and put myself in a position to win."

"One of the fastest and finest lessons I learned that summer of 1959 in my encounters with the pros was to quit trying to play "hero" shots from severe trouble situations... Frequently, all that did was compound small errors into large disasters. Playing with the pros, I learned that the best of them had progressed far beyond this kind of immaturity."

"For two years [as an amateur], I was expected to win every tournament I entered. If I didn't, I was a bum. I liked being top man. You've got to have the confidence that you can win; you've got to expect to win. If you don't, you have no business being there. As an amateur, I had it. I was on top. Now I've just got to work my way up the ladder again."

"Most putting troubles stem from being scared or indecisive, or both."

"Self-control demands self-honesty above all else. Learn to fight emotionalism with realism. Accept first and foremost the cold fact that every shot you hit, good or bad, is the product of only one person: YOU. Accept, secondly, that you rarely if ever will play or score quite as well as you think you can and should. I never have."

"I think anybody, any businessman, any athlete who's successful has to be egocentric. I don't think there's any question about that. If you are going to try to be good at something, you can't let somebody else do it for you."

"I've never missed a putt in my mind."

"Getting good at this game, then staying good, is a tough and lonely and endless journey, with lots of dead-ends and other frustrations to strain your body and stress your mind along the way. Which, of course, is why so few of the tens of thousands who set out on it get very far along it."

"Life is an adventure. You do the best you can to plan, but you never know what's going to happen. It's kind of nice to not know what is around the corner. That's the adventure."

1 comment: