Monday, June 22, 2009

Breaking a slump

A few months ago I read a book entitled "Breaking the Slump" by Jimmy Roberts.  The book is about golf but has a number of crossovers with trading.  In light of the U.S. Open which is in its final round as I write, I want to highlight a chapter about David Duval.  Take a look at the ups and downs of his career:


Georgia Tech: 4 time first team All American, 2 time ACC player of the year, 1993 National Player of the Year
1998: 2nd at Masters, 7th at U.S. Open, 11th at British Open
1999:  took over the #1 world ranking twice from Tiger Woods.
1999: Ryder Cup team (including this awful double fist pump):

1999: shot a final round 59 at Bob Hope Chrysler Classic
1999: 4 wins in first 8 starts
1999: 6th at Masters, 7th at U.S. open, 10th at PGA Championship

2000: 3rd at Masters, 8th at U.S. Open
2001: 2nd at Masters, 16th at U.S. Open, 1st at British Open, 10th at PGA Championship


2005: Missed 16 straight cuts
2005: earnings $7,630
March 2008: ranked #772 in world, 5.5 years without a top 10

The Return:

later in 2008: contends for British Open for first 2 rounds before finishing 39th
And as of 11:45 am est in the top ten at this years U.S. Open:

U.S. Open Championship - IN PROGRESS

1Lucas Glover (USA)-493
2Ricky Barnes (USA)-395
3Ross Fisher -291
T4Phil Mickelson (USA)-1101
T4Hunter Mahan (USA)-1101
T4Mike Weir (CAN)-1111
T7Tiger Woods (USA)E15-1
T7David Duval (USA)E93
T7Peter Hanson E12E
T10Henrik Stenson (SWE)+1F-2

So when interviewed by Jimmy Roberts last year what did David Duval say he has done and will do to get back his golf game?

  1. Take a break, do less
  2. Work on the basics of his game
  3. Build up his confidence to a point of bordering on cockiness (often heard fake it until you make it)
  4. Work on both physical mechanics and his mental game

All of the above sounds like great trading advice.  If things are not working do less.  Do what works.  Build your confidence.  Work on basics.  Take a break (an hour, a day, a week) if you need one.   Take small steps.