Q: “After 1.5 years of club racing, I find that on a good day I can fight for 3rd. The problem is, I can only get to that level of performance on Sunday afternoon, after a three-day weekend. There are points on Saturday, and I have neither the time nor money to put in all those Fridays. What can I do to be fast on my third lap out?”
A: This is one of the biggest challenges racers face. It mostly comes down to your mental programming, and how comfortable you are being uncomfortable.
You do what you do because you’re programmed to do so, and don’t do what you want because you don’t have the right programming yet. The key word there is “yet,” as you can build your programming – you’re doing that all the time with experience. But you can also build your programming through mental programming. If you take the time to do mental imagery – visualization – on a regular, daily basis, focused on building a “Fast – fast” program, you will get faster at being fast. That takes some time, and a commitment to doing mental imagery every day for 15-30 minutes. It’s no different than working out in the gym or going running.
Over time, with regular mental imagery, you’ll begin to crave getting up to speed quickly, and even love the feeling of the car moving around on cold tires, you attacking and getting to your best lap times earlier in the weekend, and your confidence in your ability to do that growing.
Of course, this begins to feed on itself, too. As you gain confidence, you push harder, which builds temperature in the tires sooner, you learn more about driving fast earlier in the practice sessions, you see the results, and it continues. But it all begins with you making a commitment to deliberately changing your mental programming through mental imagery.
I’ve written a lot more about this in the Mental Imagery Guide for Drivers eBook that is available at https://speedsecrets.com/ebooks/.