The Mental Edge in Trading

July 20th, 2022

Who is the greatest athlete of all time? Is it Michael Jordan? Usain Bolt? Michael Phelps? Simone Biles? These are all good answers to an impossible question. But let’s consider another idea. What makes them the best of the best? Is it winning the most awards? Showing the greatest amount of skill? Having the most physical endurance? According to psychologist Créde Sheehy-Kelly, the answer is none of the above. She says the key to their success is found in their mental edge – and futures traders can apply the same mental edge in their trading.

Sheehy-Kelly recently co-hosted a NinjaTrader Ecosystem webinar with ChartPros founder Tom Winterstein. In the event, she pulled from her experience working with professional athletes to explain how your mindset can impact your trading consistency. She said, “at the highest levels of performance, it’s the technical pieces that everyone has down. So, when you get to the Olympics, or whatever sport you’re operating in, you likely have a very similar level of technical expertise to the athlete beside you”.

This means success is found in these athletes’ mental edge. Their mindset and psychology make the difference in a field of equally-adept technical players. Sheehy-Kelly said that it is the same for traders. She defined a trader’s mental edge as “the competitive advantage you experience when your mindset, emotions and conscious actions all support the consistent and successful execution of your trading plan.”

In other words, you need to be resilient under pressure, disciplined, and emotionally composed in order to trade with consistency. As those elements begin to slip, you get results like overtrading, revenge trading, etc. In order to find success, “your beliefs, your thoughts, your emotions and your actions” all need to be in alignment, focused on executing your trading plan, exactly as you planned it.

In this short clip, Sheehy-Kelly expands upon the idea of the mental edge in trading.

If you want to learn more about sharpening your trading edge, you can watch Sheehy-Kelly and Winterstein’s full-length webinar, Breakthrough Techniques to Improve Your Technical and Mental Edges. You can also explore the NinjaTrader Ecosystem’s full library of archived trading webinars and register to attend upcoming free live events! To receive email notifications about these events, simply enter your email address into the submission box found directly below this blog!


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