Q: When do I stop trying new approaches to performance driving?

Q: “When I listen to your podcast, a question always pops up to my mind. I know an open mind is very important in all the learning process and I am always trying to keep my mind open. But sometimes other drivers will introduce their method to me, for example, a very different line and braking technique in a certain corner. I tried a few times however it didn’t work as good for me or I didn’t see much different. But I did see some other very reputable drivers also do that. So my question is that in these cases, should I keep trying until it works for me (open mind) or go back to my original driving (not so much open mind?)? Is there a boundary like open mind and too open mind? In this case I want to go back to my original driving, however I am afraid that I am just being closed minded. Thank you!”

A: It’s important that you keep an open mind and try things, and then if it doesn’t work, go back to what you were doing before. There’s nothing wrong with that – you tried it, and that’s being open to trying new approaches. But not everything that someone else does or suggests is going to work for you. As long as you gave it a good effort to make it work, then you kept an open mind. You might find that some things work for you, and some don’t.

The other thing to keep in mind is that just because you tried something once or twice or three times, if it doesn’t work that doesn’t mean that it won’t ever work. It might be that as your driving techniques and skills develop, what didn’t work at one time might work in the future. So that’s part of keeping an open mind – you have to go back and try things again, every now and then.

Since other drivers have made a certain technique or approach to a corner work, then it’s likely that you just haven’t figured out how to make it work… yet. Keep at it, and ask yourself what you might be doing that is different from the others. I’m not saying that just because others do it, that it’s the right way and you should be using it. But it’s possible that you’re not getting everything out of your car because you haven’t figured out how to make this other approach work.

It’s easy to get stuck in our usual ways of doing things. In fact, it’s much easier to keep doing what we’ve always done than it is to make a change work. That’s why I say you need to keep working at it until you make it work. Then, if it still isn’t as good as your “old” way, then go back to what you’ve done in the past.

Of course, just because a technique or approach works for one driver, or even many drivers, that doesn’t mean it will always work for you. Different cars and different driving styles make a difference.

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