Q: “I’ve been to the track several times this year. I drive BMWs, and the HPDE instruction have helped my driving. I’d like to improve. One thing I have noticed is my ability to absorb visual info while at high-speed (100- 120 mph) versus lower speed. What tips do you have to help? In short, how do I train my brain to absorb info at speeds it wasn’t designed to do?”
A: In short, practice absorbing info. One of my favorite coaching strategies is to have a driver go on track to focus 100% on simply soaking up more visual information; then another session focused on soaking up everything they can feel (kinesthetic sense); and then a session focused entirely on soaking up everything they hear.
I call these Sensory Input Sessions (for obvious reasons), and I’ve written about them in my Ultimate Speed Secrets book, in my Speed Secrets Weekly e-newsletter, and talked about them in some of the webinars I conduct. And I use them with every driver I instruct or coach.
The key is to focus solely on each of these three senses, one at a time, at a conscious level for a period of time. When you do that, after you go back to just driving the track, your brain will be better at taking in more at a subconscious level.
And to be clear, when you’re doing these Sensory Input Sessions, you still have to drive quickly because you want things to look, feel, and sound like they do at full speed. What you’re doing is practicing in a more deliberate, strategic way than just driving the track and trying to go faster. Oh, and many drivers actually turn faster laps when they’re doing these practice drills because they’re not trying too hard (and we rarely turn our best laps when we’re trying hard). Also, these aren’t exercises that you do once, and call it good. No, you do them on a regular basis, so you’ll keep getting better and better.
The more you practice taking in visual information, the better you’ll get at it. But it’s not only the amount of practice that matters – it’s how specific or deliberate you are with it. So practice soaking up more visual information at a conscious level, and then you’ll get better at taking in that same info at a subconscious level.