Olympic gold medalist Lanny Bassham is on today’s podcast. After falling short in the 1972 Olympics winning the silver medal rather than gold, Lanny went home and re-applied himself. He returned to the 1976 Olympics and won the gold medal in rifle shooting.
Lanny was the kid in school that nobody wanted on their team. He was slow, short and uncoordinated. He worked hard, but he was never going to be able to compete against others that were taller, faster and more coordinated. He shares a story about being in school and one of his classmates saying that he would be the least likely person to become an Olympic gold medalist. This prompted him to go home and learn all he could about the Olympics. This began his journey in finding his place in Olympic history.
Lanny moves on to share how much practice and work he had to put in to become an elite performer. He never felt like practice was something he had to do, it was something he got to do. He loved rifle shooting not just because of the action of it, but because he was good at it. He took obstacles and turned them into opportunities.
Next, Lanny says there is a big difference between winning silver and winning gold. When you go back home and everyone asks how you did, they always ask who won the gold, not who won the silver. Lanny relates winning silver saying, “It is like going to the super bowl and losing.” Doesn’t matter that you made it there if you don’t win. He quickly realized the reason he won silver wasn’t because of his shooting capabilities, it was his mental game. He teaches people how to have a mental process and tap into it when they need it the most.
Lanny breaks performance down as a function of three mental processes: the conscious mind, subconscious, and self image. He goes into depth explaining the balance between all of these psychological functions. He says that you need to focus on your process rather than outcome. When you are 100% in control, then you will be much more mentally consistent. Outcome will always follow process. Lanny finishes up the podcast asking the question, “Do you really want it to be easy?”
In this episode of Trend Following Radio:
Creating a mental process
Changing your self image
How the top 5% think
Hard work in practice vs. Hard work in tournaments
Thinking of process not outcome
Valuing performance not just participation
“A lot of people chase the ‘skill’ thinking that is all they need.” – Lanny Bassham
“Outcome will always follow process.” – Lanny Bassham
In finding Leach, an alumnus and fellow acolyte of BYU, Mumme stumbled upon the Paul McCartney to his John Lennon. Neither one of them gave a damn about college football’s hallowed traditions. Both cherished the lessons you could learn from heroic iconoclasts like Davy Crockett or Geronimo. And both liked getting in the car, blasting Jimmy Buffett and driving to any football practice in the country where they thought they could snatch up another crazy idea and make it part of their oeuvre.
Well before Gus Malzahn and Chip Kelly were riding their wide splits and hurry-up offenses all the way to the BCS championship game, Mumme and Leach were running the concept on a small practice field in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. “The more shots on goal you get, the better,” Leach says. “That’s how we saw it. And with so many people touching the ball, it elevates the enthusiasm of the whole team.” In their three years at Iowa Wesleyan, the Mumme and Leach show went 25-10 and led the nation in passing once and finished second twice.
“The more shots on goal you get, the better” is the reason why you CAN’T be a trend follower on one market alone. You need opportunity. Trade one market, you are limited to one opportunity. It’s like running the fullback straight ahead for 3 yards every play. Bad strategy. You need diversity in opportunity.
Today on the podcast Michael Covel speaks with Tushar Chande. Chande is a trader, author, and the co-founder and head of research at Rho Asset Management in Switzerland. Chande has had a long and distinguished career in technical analysis; he brings a unique perspective on how to look at the markets as a trend following trader. Chande was born in India and began his career intending to become an engineer. He came to America and earned his Ph.D. in metallurgical engineering from the University of Illinois in 1984; however, when he came to the end of his Ph.D. studies he started look outside his chosen career path and found the world of finance. Chande’s research skills as an engineer were easily transported to analyzing numbers in finance which gave him a leg up in his early trading days. Covel and Chande discuss Chande’s other early influences, and chart the journey from his days as an engineering student to his accomplishments as a systematic trend following trader. Covel and Chande also talk about the analogy between sports and trading, how the best sportsmen rely on having a stable and predictable environment (unlike the markets); evaluating performance within the context of the market; discretionary trading v. systematic trading; learning through “trial and terror”; the Rho Trend Barometer and the ability to quantify the environment; the problem of indexes; the Sharpe ratio; the importance of market movement to trend following trading; “the black box disease”; trusting your system; cognitive biases; the benefit of the “black swan” and outlier events and why these events are so beneficial to a trend following system; and whether “one-hundred Ph.D.’s are better than one”.
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