There are dozens of books written by successful sports coaches. Bill Walsh, Nick Saban, Tony Dungy, Bill Belichick, Bobby Bowden, Mike Krzyzewski and John Wooden are just a few sports leaders who have shared their secrets of success in various books.
Every coach has his or her own style and approach, but one of the most striking similarities in all these books is that the primary focus is on execution on the individual level. Bill Walsh takes this thinking to such a degree that his book was titled The Score Takes Care of Itself.
These coaches are all passionate and intently focused on winning, but their message is that the focus must be on hundreds of small things that impact performance to be successful. Many factors will come into play, such as luck and injuries that make it impossible to control the final score. What can be controlled, however, is preparation and execution. When you prepare and execute properly, the score will take care of itself.
Focusing on execution is instrumental in the success of coaches like Nick Saban.
Coaches like Nick Saban are sometimes accused of running up the score when they have already won a game, but what Saban is doing is focusing on execution. The scoreboard is not the most important thing. The most important thing is executing on every single play until the game is over.There are some very obvious lessons here for traders. It is impossible to control the outcome of our trades. No matter how hard you work or how smart you are, luck will also play a part in trading. There is no way for us to know the future. We can't predict when a pandemic might hit or a giant computer program will cause vicious rotation.
Many market participants are so focused on predicting what might happen that preparation and execution become secondary. It is very easy to focus so much on the potential outcome of a market thesis that we don't play the game with the necessary rigor and intensity. When things go wrong, the focus on execution helps you recover and go on to victory.
The current market has been quite difficult and challenging for many market participants. They feel like they will never be able to make money again and want to give up. They are looking at the scoreboard, and the scoreboard tells them they are losers.
When things go wrong, the focus on execution helps you recover and go on to victory.
It is an understandable emotion, but over the years, I've learned numerous times that if I keep executing, it will pay off. Sometimes my optimism about how better results lie ahead can be annoying to those that are wallowing in the misery of a poor market, but I know -- without a doubt -- that if I keep on pressing, executing, and stay disciplined, then I'm going to start having some success again. The momentum of positive results will build.
Many folks are predicting that 2022 will be very difficult as we deal with a hawkish Fed. Maybe. I don't know what the scoreboard will show for the S&P 500 at the end of the year.
What I do know, though, is that I have to keep executing every day. I have to keep pushing and looking for new opportunities. I have to shift my strategies as the market goes through its gyrations.