Imagine walking onto Centre Court at Wimbledon or onto the Rod Laver Court at Melbourne Park, picking up a tennis racket, and challenging Roger Federer to a game of tennis. Not only thinking you have the right to be there, but that you might even beat him as well? Madness, right? (Unless, of course, Novak Djokovic is reading this.) 
However, that is what thousands of retail traders do in the financial markets every single day and then wonder why they lose. Yes, Roger might slip once or twice, or you might be half decent and win a couple of points here and there, but if you are an average person off the street, Federer is going to beat you 6-0, 6-0, 6-0, without even breaking a sweat. 
Do you think you could walk out at Wembley and curl a free kick in the top corner like David Beckham or Cristiano Ronaldo? Or stroll out at Lord’s and hit a century like Don Bradman? How about getting in the ring at Madison Square Garden and going toe to toe with Muhammed Ali? No? Then why would it be any different entering the financial markets, where professional traders have spent their entire careers cultivating their skillsets? 
Professional athletes spend most of their time on the training grounds and practice courts, honing their talent. Incessantly repeating whatever skill they want to improve so that when ‘Game Time’ comes, they are prepared. ‘Game Time’, when they are actually competing, is just a fraction of the amount of time they dedicate to their chosen sport. 

We need to practice, just like athletes do, so that when ‘game time’ comes for us, we are match-ready. 

Practice comes in many variations, Sim Trading, trading from a plan, analysing our trade journals, completing our pre-market routines, and many other forms. Every time we enter the market with our own money, we are choosing to compete. Compete with the best in the business - with more experienced institutions with much larger resources and better technology at their disposal. Sounds like a tough job? That’s because it is; nothing in this life is easy. But… 
One thing I was always told when playing sports as a kid was always to respect the opponent. So next time you want to compete against Roger Federer in a game of tennis, please, promise me, you will get a coach and practice. So that when ‘Game Time’ comes, you are the very best version of you, that will give you the greatest chance of success 
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