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How does it start? You hesitate taking a trade and... Phew! You just dodged a bullet. So the next trade you hesitate.

But now you're on the sidelines watching the price zoom away, leaving you behind. What's worse, it was the one trade you sweated over coming up with. "[insert expletive here]"

Here's what another trader said to me:

"Hesitation has saved me money in the past but also cost me a lot in missed opportunities."

So like him you're see-sawing between hesitating & not hesitating. Correct? And know what else he said?

"I have found that many of my best trades are ones where I didn't really 'think' about it."

Sound familiar? You seel what I shared with him in a minute. It includes getting to the root of the problem. Because knowing the core cause makes it much easier to apply a solution. Agree?

Your trading might start like this: After you've outlined a few ways the market might move - which we'll call your game plan - you wait for the market to align. Sound right?

Next you're watching the market and Boom! Everything has played out as per your game plan including the direction price is moving. So you enter the trade. Right? Wrong. Why's it wrong?

Back up the truck. Hear those reverse warning beeps? First, you want what Linda Raschke calls the playing field. And to illustrate picture a soccer field:

The soccer field shows you when the ball is in play and out of bounds. When it's out of bounds, play stops. The ball's returned to the field so play can resume. Exchange the ball for price and now you have your trading playing field. If price goes out of bounds: You wait for it to come back into the playing field. Makes sense?

So you're watching the market and presto everything has played out as per your game plan including the direction price is moving. You go to your checklist and price is in-bounds. Now can you enter the trade?

Sorry but the answer's still no. Wow! Talk about a clear-cut checklist. And you'll see it get even clearer in a minute. But first:

The crux of the playing field

The crux of the playing field is knowing who are the market participants impacting price and what's their influence today. For a quick example of:

  1. Mapping out the playing field, and
  2. Seeing the market stick to it like glue

See this clip - and relax the entire clip is so short you'll be into the related stuff before you know it. 

Further clarity

We'll use soccer again. Watch closely and you'll see the ball move almost the same way through the same angles and players from one end of the field to the other as you've seen before. That's a well-drilled set-play from their playbook.

And the same goes for trading. Your next step is entering when you see one of your set play trades from your playbook. What's the connection to hesitation? Imagine you are once again learning to drive. What's going to happen a lot?

H-e-s-i-t-a-t-i-n-g. Agree?

But now that you're an experienced driver are you still hesitating? Exactly. And speaking of driving - ever wholly lose track of the last 10 mins driving as if you were on autopilot? That's driving while not thinking about it. And it's the same as winning trades you made without thinking.

But can you automatically switch to unconscious driving when you want? No! And same goes for trades where you didn't hesitate. But that's okay because now you have your clear-cut roadmap to enter when it's a playbook trade.

And like driving you don't hesitate to take a playbook trade.

Live trading excerpt

In the following excerpt you are going to see:

  • The role of the playing field.
  • No entering a trade despite the market moving as planned.
  • A playbook trade finally surface to trade.
  • Exiting the trade at edge of the playing field.

Esteemed trader, author and trading coach Dr Brett Steenbarger put it best:

"Not all movement is opportunity"

Playing fields and playbook trades limit your trades to behaviours you know intimately (through repetition) to the point of no hesitation.

The challenge to developing traders? Reaching the point of having an expansive playbook to engage in markets frequently enough to make trading worthwhile.

So what's the solution? You can:

  1. Go it alone, accepting there's no end date of when you'll get there. Or
  2. You trade at a firm or work with a mentor to learn their playbook in over nine or more months.

In that time, you'll gain a large enough catalogue of playbook trades to interact with the market regularly. And your playbook will continue to grow with your screen time experience.

Forex and derivatives trading is a highly competitive and often extremely fast-paced environment. It only rewards individuals who attain the required level of skill and expertise to compete. Past performance is not indicative of future results. There is a substantial risk of loss to unskilled and inexperienced players. The high degree of leverage can work against you as well as for you. Before deciding to trade any such leveraged products you should carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite. The possibility exists that you could sustain a loss of some or all of your initial investment and therefore you should not invest money that you cannot afford to lose. You should be aware of all the risks associated with trading on margin, and seek advice from an independent

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