Q: Something I’ve been pondering lately goes well with improving the mental game, I think. I guess it’d be called mindfulness? I go out in the car for an HPDE session with a plan of a few things to work on and I think I do pretty well sticking to that – most times anyway! 🙂 But then I get out of the car and while I can remember certain moments from the session, like a huge pucker factor moment carrying too much speed into a turn, the rest of it is all a blur. Did that extra trail braking really help on lap 5 or was it lap 6? How did the car really feel through the chicane? It’s like my analytical memory is shut off while being analytical in real time. Going over data afterwards helps, but that download is usually a couple of days later and having more immediate recall right after the session would be great. Is there some sort of corresponding technique to visualization for this?”

A: Have you tried writing your thoughts down right after a session? Often, the act of writing makes a difference.

The other thing is having a specific process, or set of questions to ask yourself. If you know what questions you’re going to ask yourself before you get into the car, sometimes the answers will stick in the back of your mind a bit easier. That’s why I created the How to Tune Your Car’s Handling Debrief document (you can download it here – fill in the box and download it). It’s a template that will prod you to debrief the right way, every time you get out of the car. It may sound like it’s only for tuning your car, but it’ll also help with your driving. And it’s simple and to the point.

Try using this document. And make sure you write the answers down on paper after each session. Just thinking through the questions and answers is not good enough. The act of writing it down will make a big difference, especially since you know when you get in the car that you’ll have to do this. Priming your mind with the thought of writing things down after a session will automatically help you remember things better.