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Trading Education Posted by Team Topstep December 5, 2022



We’ve laid out a roadmap for you, and your path to success starts right here. Prep–Trade–Reflect™ is a step-by-step process to help you strengthen your trading skills and build better habits, all while you work toward your goal of earning a Funded Account®. 

As an industry leader and the premiere futures funding opportunity available, at Topstep, we pride ourselves on the trading education and development resources we make available to our traders and trading community at large. We are committed to our role of providing a safe environment for traders to participate in the futures markets and being your path to a better lifestyle. 

Prep–Trade–Reflect (PTR) is the mantra we teach by. It is the cornerstone of our coaching philosophy and technique. We use PTP as a working guide to help you develop an optimized routine, build better habits, and confidently lead you through each trading day.

What is it Prep–Trade–Reflect™?

Prep–Trade–Reflect is your path to finding consistency in the futures markets. Regardless of the timeframe you are trading, PTP breaks down the trading session into three distinct segments; your pre-market preparation, the time you set aside to execute trades, and your post-market self-review of your trading performance.

Because we believe in “learning by doing,” you have the opportunity to use this process while completing your evaluation in the Topstep Trading Combine®. And our team of coaches, alongside Coach T, your personalized digital performance coach, will be there with you every step of the way.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these segments with a few examples from our team of traders.


A significant indicator of how you will perform in the markets is how well prepared you are going into the trading session. Your daily preparation starts with a routine. A highly optimized routine should be designed to set you up for success for the rest of the day. Routines are also valuable in helping to build stronger and more sustainable habits. 

For example, you might try going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, allocating a specific amount of time to studying charts before the market opens, and creating a custom game plan for every trading session.


After you’ve done your Prep work, it’s time to put your plan into practice. First, aside from making good trades, your most critical job as a trader is capital preservation. So, to avoid things like FOMO and overtrading, it’s just as important to know how and when you’re getting out of a trade before you get into one. 

Having an exit strategy before you enter the market takes the human emotion out of a trade and adds a layer of insulation that will allow you to give the position some room to breathe without panicking when the market doesn’t immediately go your way.

And, remember, no one is perfect. Not every trade will be a winner. Try to remain flexible and open-minded (our coaches can help with this), and be prepared to take a loss. Again, your job is to manage risk in a way that will allow you to continue trading again tomorrow. 


For many new traders, an honest daily self-assessment might be the most overlooked part of the process. How can we learn from our mistakes if we don’t recognize how and why we made them?

We recommend starting a journal to document your trading activity throughout the day. A basic trade journal will outline how, when, and why you took each trade. You can also track your results and even go a step further by making a note of your mindset throughout the trade process.

This is your opportunity to build on your strengths, get more familiar with your weaknesses, and make the necessary adjustments to ensure you’re a better trader tomorrow than you were today. 

Our Coaches Are Real Traders

To help shepherd you on your trading journey, we’ve put together a stellar team of performance coaches with over 100 years of combined trading experience between them, going back to the old trading floors of the CBOT and CME. Our coaches are real traders, and they’re here to share their knowledge with you.

To complement our team of coaches, we’ve also created a personalized digital trading coach, Coach T, to help you build your trading plan and provide insight into your day-to-day trading habits. 

From live trading to group coaching to one-on-one coaching, we have plenty of FREE resources to help keep you on the right path to finding consistency and success as a futures trader.

Now get out there and profit!