A: Think about this: If football teams practiced the way most high-performance and race drivers do, they would show up for a practice session and play a game. But they don’t do that, do they? Instead, they break the game down into a number of discreet skills and techniques, such as blocking, kicking, running patterns, throwing, and so on. Then, they practice these with “drills.” Eventually, they put all these drills together and play a scrimmage, and ultimately a real game.
You can do the same with your driving, but it takes discipline. For example:
- Focus on just how you release the brakes – how smooth you are, how hard your initial application of the brakes are, whether you begin releasing before or after the turn-in.
- Focus on how much time there is between the moment you fully release the brakes and begin applying the throttle, and then, what the rate of application of the throttle is.
- Focus on the rate you turn the steering wheel – is it a gentle rotation of the wheel, or a crisp and quick one.
- Focus on using your vision properly (see the Vision Process in this post: https://speedsecrets.com/q-when-im-told-to-look-farther-ahead-how-far-ahead-and-specifically-where-do-i-look/).
- Focus on being aware of the cars around you.
- Focus on reading other drivers, and being able to predict where they’re going to be positioned up ahead or around you.
- Focus on making good decisions about passing and being passed.
- Focus on the timing of your gear changes, both upshifts and downshifts, learning what the result of an earlier or later one is.
Okay, I could go on forever here, but you get the idea. When you break the act of driving down into manageable skills and techniques, you’ll improve quicker than if you simply lap the track, aiming for a faster lap time.
On top of this, I also recommend driving a variety of cars, in different types of motorsport. It’s like the cross training that athletes in other sports use, and it’ll speed up your learning and development as a driver.
Finally, only practice when you can concentrate fully. Don’t practice too much at first, or you’re likely to develop incorrect patterns. Begin with a few laps, maintaining intense concentration and motivation. If you start to repeat an error, or if your concentration starts to fade, stop, clear your head, get your concentration and motivation back, then go again.
Oh, and have fun!
NOTE: If you don’t want to wait for me to answer your question(s) here, you can always use my new SpeedSecrets.ai by signing up at SpeedSecrets.ai. The real beauty of using this app is that you can get out of your car after a session on track, and immediately ask it questions and get your answers, as well as what you should work on for the next on-track session. Since it’s “trained” only with my content, it really is like having me with you at the track.