may be some gains as you pushpast prior levels of commitmentbut driving while enragedresults in serious inconsistenciesand has a major adverseimpact on your judgment.
The fix: You want a senseof firm resolve behind thewheel, not a red mist of angerand desire. It sounds simple,but cool down, then race.
Pay special attention to this one.
This is more of a mental idiotlight than an anxiety balloon, butit’s not to be discounted. Racersare often unrealistic about howmuch they can accomplishin any given timeframe. Theybelieve they can tow 10 hoursand be fresh in the morning.
You need to acknowledge yourcondition and get some rest.
Admittedly, in the throesof the race weekend, this canbe a very tall order, but justknow this: some of my biggestwrecks occurred when I wasexhausted. I stubbornly refusedto recognize the problem.
The fix: Persistence is grand,but only up to a point, and“I’ll be fine when I’m in thecar,” only works to a degree.
Arriving exhausted is simplyno good, so plan ahead.
“I’VE NEVER BEEN ANY
GOOD AT _______.”
It could be any piece of theracing puzzle: the starts,braking, high-speed turns,technical corners, strategy,
Most SCCA racers pull double, or triple, duty in thepaddock, acting as both crew and driver (FAR LEFT). Thatlevel of work can leave you with little time to get in the rightheadspace once strapped into the racecar (LEFT). But whenthe five-minute board is shown (BELOW LEFT), are you readyto race, or are you still stressing about vehicle prep?
and so on. Condemningyourself to some supposedlimitation doesn’t help thelearning process, it just givesyou a ready-made cop-out.
So, do something about it.
The fix: Make a plan toaddress your shortcomingsone at a time and evaluateyour progress. Nobodymagically gets better justbecause they are dissatisfied.
“I’M AFRAID I’LL LOSE FOCUS.”
Some people have a laser focus,others don’t. Everybody losesfocus on occasion; the questionis how quickly you regain it.
The fix: A good tool is atrigger word or phrase, suchas, “back to business,” workswonders. If you feel your focuswaning mid-session, quicklyutter or think the trigger words.
Often, the fact that you have asolution up your sleeve preventsthe issues from even arising.
“I’M GOING TO BE
PERFECT THIS TIME.”
The search for perfection is itsown punishment. Every fastlap has a few sloppy moments,and every good race hassome messy bits. Shooting fornew personal bests inevitablybrings you to moments ofgreat pucker, and those mayrequire a deft catch. Ultimately,having perfection as a goalis a recipe for frustration.
The fix: Focus on improvingspecific skills, and don’tworry about perfection.
The fix: Nerves should beviewed as allies, not enemies.
They are alerting you to be onyour toes. Pay attention, butdon’t freak out. It will feel betteronce the car rolls off the grid.
“IS THE PROBLEM ME
OR THE CAR?”
Drivers often make multiple
racecar setup changes to make
the car better. Sadly, this creates
uncertainty, and uncertainty
breeds tenuous inputs and takes
you farther afield. If you made
multiple changes, there is no
way you can ascertain what did
or didn’t work, and now you’re
even less likely to be able to
concentrate on the race at hand.
The fix: Go back to yourmost basic racecar setup sheetand try things one at a time.It takes longer, but then youknow what works. Confusionis kryptonite to confidence.
“I’M MAD! EVERYONE
OUT OF MY WAY!”
This approach works well inthe movies, but in the realworld, anger is a drag chutehandicapping your performance.For short bursts of time there