First off, I’m sorry about your loss of BeeGee. It’s never easy to loose a pet.
A huge part of Motorsports is mental and getting into the zone is critical to being able to perform at our best. My race results have gotten worse since I became our clubs CDI. Instructing others is helpful but I’m so busy on race weekends instructing and jumping from lead ca,r to right seat, to classroom that when I finally strap into my car for the feature I’m thinking of everything but my race. It’s generally two or three laps before I can finally focus on what’s happening on the track. By that time the field is spread out and there’s no way to catch up with the pointy end of the field. It doesn’t help that I start dead last due to skipping practice and qualifying but I’ve done that in the past and I can usually dispatch that slow back half of the field in a lap or two when my head has been in the game .
One of the best books I’ve ever read on the mental part of Motorsports is Keith Codes The Soft Science of Road Racing Motorcycles. My wife is a musician and we’ve found through discussion that a lot of the mental parts of racing are exactly the same as in music. I haven’t read it but it sounds like The Inner Game of Music by Barry Green and Timothy Gallwey could also apply directly to Motorsports.
1/10/22 12:54 p.m.
I like Motorsports specifically because it is a mental game.
Kieth Code books got me really in tune with the mental aspect of racing way back in the 80s when I road raced motorcycles…………………………….I now use those techniques with students at track days.
I make no bones about being the ADD poster kid but one of the joys of an ADD brain is driving at speed seems normal, it also grabs your attention making it all the more easy to focus. A friend marvels at how I can be pin ponging off the walls out of the car yet laser focused in the car. Note autocross is a bit tougher as there are more distractions between runs, this is why I stay buckled in the car.
The mental aspect is also why I hate unreliable / cantankerous cars, no matter how fast they are, it’s hard to focus when you’re wondering if it’s going to break.
My son is now learning why I have everything ready to go a week in advance of a road race weekend and why I like to be at the track early. It’s all about focus, I want nothing in the way mentally.
This discussion reminds me of the 4-minute mile track-and-field “barrier” which once existed.. Over the years, many talented men tried, but no one was able to get into the 3’s until the late Roger Bannister did so in May 1954.
Once Bannister ran his sub-4:00, that mental barrier was broken and the floodgates opened: soon thereafter, dozens of runners followed suit. Now it’s routinely done and I believe ~ 1500 runners have done so in the intervening 68 years.
I once had a PGA pro golfer tell me that, at his level, 90% of the game was mental. I believe him.
In reply to 65289Cobra :
When I’m really in the race I’m considering where and how to pass everyone starting ahead of me on the pre grid. It’s like playing multidimensional chess. You have to be thinking several moves ahead plus potential competitors coming from behind.
That’s when it’s fun. When you’re flat out and the race is going as you’ve planned. Here’s the Corner Dave overdrives when pushed on the outside. Tuck in behind the Corvette to get the pull down the straight where you can use your superior braking to pull ahead.