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Waiting for Your Pitch


Eye on the ball!


We played an absolutely amazing game of softball at MM2. With two out and the score tied in the last inning and with one of our runners in scoring position, JB, clearly the best athlete and player on our team, came to the plate. As I watched confidently from my coaching position at third, the unthinkable happened. Kevin Wassong pitched the first pitch 30 feet in the air. The immediate thought as the ball hung over our heads was that he was going to intentionally walk JB (Kevin vehemently denies that in the spirit of the game he would have actually done this). This thought did not escape JB either and as the ball came down he backed up five feet and as I watched in horror he swung at the ball like a tennis serve!

It is a testament to JB's athletic ability that he even was able to hit the ball. He lined it to an infielder...inning over.

I walked up to JB and told him to think about what he just did. That he let emotion get in the way of clear thinking, that the risk for reward of his action made no sense. I told him to remember this lesson as it applies to his trading. I told him all this because it was such a clear and real example of such an important tenet.

Here is what he just wrote:

"I hope everyone at MIM2 learned from my example, no matter how good you think you are, when you swing at something with poor probabilities, the outcome is usually poor. And by losing my senses for a moment, I lost. However, when I saw the softball pictures of the winning team adorning MVHQ last week, I reminded that I really won because I learned so much when Succ kindly reminded me (ok, yelled in my face) that the enemy of a trader is emotion - and I have never forgotten that lesson that he imparted back into me. I vowed after that game to drill into my head what he said, and just wanted a little more time to think about it alone after the game. But thank God he, Terri, and Fokker came back to pick me up - or I wouldn't have made it to the Barn Party in time to see people I never thought I would see in positions with a mechanical bull."

Waiting for the right price at the right time is the first level of risk control. We all strike out sometimes, it is part of the game. I am striking out right now in RFX, but I am not going to let it lose the game. I am not averaging down given the risk. At the same time we have to swing at the ball.

We just have to wait for the right pitch.

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