Q: I’ve been looking at the telemetry data and onboard footage of faster drivers to improve my driving. I’m at the point where I understand what I’m doing wrong and what I can do better conceptually, but I can’t seem to apply it when I go out on track. What’s confusing me is I don’t understand what exactly I’m doing wrong when I’m in the car. For example, if I need to use less brake going into a corner, I’ll tell myself that before the corner, but I just end up repeating the same mistake as before. How do I figure out what exactly I must do with the controls by looking at data?
A: I think there are two issues here. First, it’s using data to tell you what to work on, and then there’s being able to follow through on it and do what you set out to do.
It’s impossible to get into every detail of how to use data to tell you what to work on in this post, however I do have a full webinar totally focused on that. Go to SpeedSecrets.com/Webinars and download the Data for Drivers webinar. I know you’ll learn a ton from it. You’ll learn how to use data to help you prioritize what to work on.
It sounds like the bigger challenge you’re facing is actually following through on what you set out to do. Let’s say, after reviewing your data, you determine that you’re braking too hard or too long for a corner – you’re over-slowing for the corner. But the more you can define what really needs to happen, the better. Saying, “Don’t brake so hard” will not help one bit. Tell yourself what to do, not what not to do. Then, be specific. Tell yourself, “Brake 10% lighter.” The more specific you can be, the better. And that’s just the first step.
Next, I strongly urge you to write what you want to do down on a track map. The physical act of writing, by hand, on a track map will definitely improve your chances of actually doing it.
Then, take at least ten minutes to imagine yourself doing that. In your mind, brake lighter for that corner. Do that over and over again, as many times as you can in ten minutes. And here’s the thing: actually move your feet and hands while doing this. Don’t just visually imagine it, but also physically imagine it.
The reason you sometimes don’t do what you want – in this case, brake lighter or for less time – is because you’re mentally programmed to do that. It’s a habit. The only way you’re going to change your mental program is to physically do it, or mentally do it. Remember, your mind doesn’t know the difference between a real or imagined event, if you imagine it with enough realism. Mentally put yourself in your car, approaching that corner, and do what you need to do – over and over again. (I also have an eBook all about how to use mental imagery – go to SpeedSecrets.com/eBooks and download the Mental Imagery Guide)
The combination of taking the time to really define what you want to do, writing it down, and then visualizing doing it… that will increase the likelihood of you doing it. A lot!