Time Your Mental Laps To Be A Faster Driver

Performance & Race Driving Tip

Speed Secret: If you can’t do something in your mind – in your mental imagery – you will never be able to do it physically.

aim-stopwatchHow many laps will you have driven on track this season? How many laps will you have done mentally, in your head, this season? Or, perhaps I should ask, how many should you have done?

I don’t need to remind you of the cost of every single lap on track. But what about the cost of every lap you do in your mind? It’s free! And free is not something we see a lot of in our sport!

Here’s a challenge for you: Get out a stopwatch, and time your mental imagery of a lap of your favorite track. Close your eyes, relax, and then as you mentally approach the start-finish line, start the timer. Mentally drive a lap, and then click the timer again as you pass the start-finish line. Check your lap time.

How did you do? With practice, you should be able to get within a second of your real lap time. In fact, this is a good form of feedback about how well you do mental imagery. If you’re many seconds off of your actual lap time, then you definitely need to practice in your mind more. And even if you’re within half a second, keep doing it. The more you practice in your mind, the better you’ll be on the track.

Check back here often for more tips and advice for performance drivers, race drivers, high performance driving instructors, and anyone else interested in learning to get around race tracks quickly.

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  1. It seems to be more difficult to do imagery on a track like Road America, where the straights are so long. Does it matter if you “skip” ahead?

    • Tony – For sure it’s more difficult when there are long straights, as it’s harder to get the timing right. Yes, you can skip ahead. But it’s interesting to see if you can soak up enough references so that you can imagine driving the straights with the right timing, too.


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