Trading Strategies: Improve Your Mental Game, Enter The Zone: Jared Tendler


  • Jared Tendler has coached hundreds of elite poker players, esports stars and traders on their mental game.
  • Tendler shares with Insider key information from his latest book, “The Mental Game of Trading”.
  • It breaks down the simple steps to “get back to the zone” and the warning signs that it may be time to correct your mental game.

A chance encounter on a golf course changed the career path of three-time American golfer Jared Tendler, as well as that of hundreds of traders and poker players.

As a varsity champion, Tendler was close to joining the pro tour, but continued to underperform at the critical juncture.

The problem was emotional rather than physical. To improve his performance, Tendler studied a Masters in Counseling Psychology to delve deeper into the underlying foundations of weaknesses in mental play. He then set up his own practice as a golf coach while working to become a pro.

Along the way, Tendler met a poker player who was making $ 20,000 to $ 30,000 a month playing at multiple tables online. However, the player suffered from tilt – an expression that refers to the angry or frustrated emotional state of a player.

“We coached over a period of about four months,” Tendler said. “During that time he made $ 600,000. A pretty big jump in profitability. Obviously there’s some variation to that, but for the most part he was able to play a lot more, play a lot better. “

Jared Tendler, MS, LMHC, a leading expert on the impact of your mental game on performance.

Jared Tendler, MS, LMHC, a leading expert on the impact of your mental game on performance.

Jared Tender


After being introduced to the poker community, Tendler coached many champion players and wrote “The Mental Game of Poker,” which quickly became a must-read for any serious poker player.

It also gained a cult following among traders and Tendler also regularly built up a list of trading customers.

Lessons learned from working with high performing traders led to Tendler’s most recent book, “The Mental Game of Trading,” which aims to shatter myths about emotions and provides step-by-step guides to uncovering the underlying causes. underlying emotional issues and how to work towards their elimination.

I would say that every trader, every investor has mental weaknesses, it’s impossible to be perfect, ”Tendler said. “… Everyone needs to be aware of their own psychological, mental or emotional weaknesses. [and] understand how emotions affect your decision making because it will happen. “

Signs it’s time to work on your mental game

Tendler lists three key warning signs that it is time for traders to work on their mental game.

1) A regular feeling of underperformance

For example, if traders think they’re continually leaving money on the table, Tendler said.

2) your overconfidence becomes a problem

The overconfidence that hinders a trader’s ability to see downside risks is another red flag.

Most traders don’t reach out when they’re feeling overconfident or doing well, but it’s actually a good time to take advantage of emotional capital to avoid future slippages, he said. declared.

3) Denial

Anyone reading this says, ‘Oh, it’s not me’ – it’s called ‘denial’ and denial is generally dangerous in the markets, “he said.

“Get back in the zone”

Most people overlook the importance of adjusting their mental game. But by not eliminating weaknesses in this area, their performance will suffer, Tendler said.

Like a computer with many programs running in the background, traders have to mentally shut them down to clear their minds and focus on what is happening in the markets.

“When you look at every amazingly successful trader, every amazingly successful athlete, they are ruthless in eliminating weaknesses in their processes… they constantly strive to be better, not only when they are at their best, but when they are at their worst.” said Tendler.

Tendler focuses a lot on understanding the differences between a trader’s game A, game B, and game C, and then uses strategies to figure out how they can trade more frequently at their level of play A.

For traders who are feeling exhausted, out of their A-game, or more “in the zone,” Tendler identifies two key starting points:

1) Energy

It’s not about having as much energy as possible, Tendler said. First and foremost, it’s about preparing to get into the right energy state through proper rest, maybe even a workout, he added. Energy comes from motivation.

Clearly defining your goals can be very important to improve your energy and motivation, Tendler said.

2) clarity

“I think a lot of times we allow ourselves to be more distracted than necessary,” Tendler said. “But to be in the zone, to be your best, you need clarity, you need this purity of your focus.”

Thirty minutes to an hour before the start of the trading day, Tendler asks clients to write down all the things they are concerned about. It’s a bit of a data dump, he said.

Then draw a line in the sand and agree not to think about it until the end of the trading day.

“What it does is that throughout the day, when a thought about it may pop up, you just say the word ‘no’,” Tendler said. “And you refocus and stay on track.”

“Sometimes when we lose our focus when we do two things badly enough,” Tendler said. “First, you don’t solve the problem better, you just ruminate on it. Second, you actually negotiate less well because your focus is poor.”


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