Saturday, March 28, 2009

The guy on the other side of the net

I came across a great article recently called 10 Characteristics of a Great Competitor and thought this would be great weekend reading material.

Here is my favorite point of the article:

Analyze their Opponent

Great competitors understand that the challenge in competition is all about outplaying the opponent on the other side of the net. It is a challenge that requires planning and preparation in advance of the match. They rely on past experience from matches against that opponent to determine what the opponent likes to do and what they don’t like to do. They consider how the opponent has been playing lately and the strategy other players used against this opponent that might might have been successful. All this information is factored in before they ever step foot on the court. Especially against unfamiliar opponents, they pay close attention during the warm-ups, to gather as much pertinent information as they can. By the time the match starts, the great competitor knows what to expect and can effectively anticipate patterns of play, what the opponent’s tendencies will be under pressure and it helps them shape a winning game plan.. Through the course of a match, great players stay tuned in to the opponent’s emotional state and will do whatever they can to diminish the opponent’s level of confidence. They look to capitalize on every opportunity to attack True competitors don’t beat themselves up, they beat you up and are masters at getting you to self destruct.

Average competitors tend to be far more self-absorbed in competition, often times almost oblivious about who they are playing. These players feel whether they win or lose it is all about how they played and the opponent hardly factors into the equation. Very little energy is focused on analyzing the opponent. Players, who are too self-absorbed in their match play, often beat themselves before the opponent has a chance to lose. Great competitors realize “it is more about who I’m playing than it is about me”, which takes some of the pressure off their skills and keeps them more tuned in to the battle at hand.

Keep this in mind when you put your next trade on. Are you the amateur who is playing this game without thought of the other guy, or are you analyzing the competition to take your opponent by surprise?

The best trades are an ambush for the "dumb" money. And if you can't spot the "dumb" money in the room - then it's probably you. Wait until the opportune moment when you can capitalize on the "dumb" money's weakness and you will be well on your way to sustaining a trading edge.


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