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THE SUN, THE SAND AND THE ADRENALIN

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SPORTING NEWS PROFILE – OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALLIST – NATALIE COOK:

Born in 1975, in Townsville Queensland, Natalie Cook, a professional beach volleyball athlete and gold medal winner in the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, confesses that she thrives when on the sand and in the sun because she loves the outdoors, gets to see the best beaches in the world, and experiences such an adrenalin rush when she competes.

To date, Natalie has competed in three Olympic Games—Atlantain 1996, Sydney in 2000, and Athens  in 2004, and she is considering the possibility of going to London in 2012. An amazing feat when you consider that Natalie began playing beach volleyball in 1993 and turned professional only twelve months later.

So, what drives this vivacious, 34-year old to push herself to her limits and strive to be the very best that she can in the sand?

“When you make the Olympic team and you are given a competition uniform, it is so significant because you know that you have accomplished so much. You are about to represent your nation and this, for me, was truly a patriotic moment,” said Natalie.

Reflecting on the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, Natalie recalls how she felt as the event unfolded. “You work so hard for four years and then, when you get to the Olympics, it is tense until the competition starts, and then it becomes so exciting. Winning a gold medal at Bondi was a fairytale — a real Cinderella story — that I was able to share with my family and friends.”

As Natalie says, playing professional beach volleyball is bringing all of those long, hard hours of training and preparation together and then watching them pay off — much like the hours you put into Lifestyle Trader.

First introduced to Aussie Rob’s Lifestyle Trader by Christopher Howard at a training seminar in Hawaii, Natalie says she was attracted, at first, by the passion and enthusiasm that filled the conference room, and then it was the simplicity of the program that really caught her eye.

“Eight years ago, I bought another trading platform but never opened it. I was into my Olympic cycle and I just didn’t have time. I was under the spell of being an athlete. Aussie Rob’s fits into my lifestyle and allows me to incorporate all that I love into it.”

Natalie feels that sports and trading are comparative in that you can’t walk away for a week, from either, and expect everything to be the same when you return. Your trading, like your sports training, needs to be consistent, and you must be disciplined; otherwise, you will take more losses than you are willing to concede. However, having said this, Natalie also knows that with both sports and trading you have to expect to lose on occasions.

“You get wins and losses in sports and trading, and you have to be prepared for the ups and downs if you want to perform at the level you are hoping to achieve. Ultimately, it is about following a system, training hard to be your best, and consistency. You learn to crawl, then walk, and then run.”

To reach the top, as a professional sports player and as a trader, Natalie believes commitment and discipline as well as passion and desire are the main driving forces.

“If you’re not interested, you won’t follow through. You must have a plan and you constantly need to target this and stay on track. In addition to this, you need a good support structure, as in teamwork, coaches and family in sports, and a good educational system with trading. Without such a structure, you cannot be successful.”

In addition to her sporting career and trading interests, Natalie is also a member of the Athletes Commission on the Australian Olympic Committee, which she perceives as being monumental in the development and success of future Australian Olympiads. And, as such, Natalie is extremely interested in the fact that Aussie Rob, founder of Lifestlye Trader an investment organisation, is currently considering the establishment of an Australian athlete sponsorship program to help athletes achieve their sporting goals.

“Lifestyle Trader can offer Australian athletes an ongoing sponsorship whereas most sponsorship is not like this; in fact, it can sometimes be very frustrating, not to mention disheartening,” Natalie said.  “As sporting identities, we continually have to ask our sponsors if they’d like to sponsor us for the following season, and, of course, when they say, ‘no,’ we feel rejected and can take it personally. Whereas, Aussie Rob’s is offering a perpetual sponsorship program, and this gives Australian athletes a future.” Laughing, Natalie says, “In this light, as an athlete, I tend to think of Aussie Rob’s as an Aladdin’s lamp; if you keep rubbing the lamp, it will continually grow wealth. In this capacity, I think Aussie Rob will be a fantastic mentor for Australian athletes as long as the sponsorship program is managed properly.”

Natalie also feels that Aussie Rob’s Australian athlete sponsorship program will offer athletes a great deal more, especially when it is so expensive to compete internationally.

“It is challenging as an athlete. Air fares are becoming more expensive, so if you’re flying here, there, and everywhere to compete, your bank balance soon depreciates. Lifestyle Trader will help athletes build confidence, which will then reflect in their performance. The athletes will be able to reach their goals financially and on a sporting level because the system will fund their interests.” Pausing to consider the outcome of such an idea, Natalie said, “My only fear is that losing money may harm their confidence, but then I think this is where we really need to educate them about the system so that they don’t become too greedy and go outside of the guidelines. I mean, I know personally that athletes’ goals are astronomical, so we tend to think big on all levels. We need to keep it real. I feel that Aussie Rob’s needs to assist athletes to really understand the product, probably more so than other users, so that athletes learn from their mistakes, manage their risks, and grow to be better athletes because they have harnessed life skills and become better people.”

As a trader, Natalie feels that diversity is the key to success, and this means not putting all your eggs in one basket in a trading and monetary sense.

“Trade the whole basket. Don’t just pick wheat or corn. Look at all of the commodities. And, don’t put all of your money into your trading account; put what you can in there. Start small, understand the system, and always ask yourself, ‘can I afford to lose this money?’ If you can’t, then don’t do it.”

The most important lessons Natalie has learned during her trading education is to research and gather her own market knowledge and not to listen to other people’s views and opinions.

“Don’t listen to the butcher or the baker, do your own thing, and really understand the process. Start small and learn from your mistakes and always follow through. Finish your education on the simulated trade before you go to live trading, and watch out for the side streets because sometimes there are boogey-men.”

Natalie sees the boogey-men as the little things and more intricate aspects of trading techniques and skills that she initially overlooked, and it is these that she believes can hurt your account balance the most.

For more information on Natalie Cook, or her book, ‘Go Girl’, please visit http://www.nataliecook.com/

Please Note: This article was originally written by Tricia L. Snell and published in Lifestyle Investor Magazine Vol. 1.1 | Issue July/August 2009. This article has been re-printed with the permission of the Lifestyle Education Group.

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