I think of trading as a competitive sport. And good traders are the same as high-performing athletes.

Over the last 15 years, I’ve had the opportunity to coach thousands of traders. Most of these folks didn’t come to me with prior industry experience.

Many of them had their own day jobs. They were teachers, engineers, surgeons, enlisted military.

A few were even former professional athletes themselves.

One thing that quickly became clear is there was a pattern between those traders who were successful… and those who weren’t.

Discipline Is the Common Key

The successful traders, by a wide margin, tended to come from military and athletic backgrounds. That’s because these two types of people have something in common.

And that is discipline.

In that respect, athletes and military personnel aren’t all that different. They’re both used to prescribed routines. They’re also used to being in control of their emotions. They know how to perform under intense pressure.

That’s not to say that other professions don’t have any pressure. My point is simply that if I had to identify professional backgrounds that are highly correlated with trading success, it would be those two. 

When I made this discovery, I became obsessed with figuring out how to effectively coach discipline into the traders I worked with.

You see, most traders’ biggest problem is their struggle with discipline. What I’ve overwhelmingly found is that most traders actually know what a really good trade looks like.

Their problem is they take too many bad trades. If they don’t find an A+ setup, they’ll settle for a B- trade. And of course, those are the ones that end up being losers.

My solution was quite simple. If most folks struggle with discipline while trading, why not start off building discipline in other areas of their lives first?

Now don’t me wrong, I wasn’t about to order my traders to polish their boots and iron their uniforms…

Instead, I started treating my traders like athletes.

The Three Pillars of Optimal Health Is About Performance

On December 18, I shared my three pillars of optimal health with you. In that essay, we focused on diet and nutrition – key aspects of athletes’ lives.

Because this topic is a bit different from our usual beat of covering the markets, I asked for feedback on whether this kind of thing is interesting to you or not.

The response has been overwhelmingly positive. Thank you if you wrote in with your thoughts and opinions.

The next pillar of health we’re going to dig into is sleep.

But first, it was important to set the stage. My focus on the three pillars goes beyond just trying to optimize health.

It’s really about optimizing performance, too.

Free Trading Resources

Have you checked out Jeff’s free trading resources on his website? It contains a selection of special reports, training videos, and a full trading glossary to help kickstart your trading career – at zero cost to you. Just click here to check it out.

Stack the Deck in Your Favor

An athlete at the top of their game makes use of every advantage they can have over their opponent.

They’ll eat well, sleep well, and of course train well. And when it’s finally time to compete for real, they’re confident knowing they’ve stacked the deck fully in their favor.

It’s no different for traders. And I can personally guarantee you the benefits from optimizing your health will translate directly into better trading results.

Happy trading,


Imre Gams
Analyst, Market Minute