By Karting1 ~ June 18th, 2006. Filed under: Ask the Karting Coach Answers.
A question from a kart racer who found winning kart races easy, until the he was under pressure to get results
When i was younger i had the mental focus like you would not beleive, i drove “subconscious all the time, but as i started to win championships i started to drive “conscious”, and from reading one of your articles, i agree, “subconscious” is faster. And because this is going to be such a big year, i need to get that state of mond back. I was wondering if you have any specified articles on mental preparation, and way that i can practice every couple of days, and get into this focus without actually being in the
If you have could you please let me know.
Here’s my reply to the kart racing driver
Its a big question and difficult to answer without spending time with you but i’ll do my best. i might not be describing perfectly your situation here, but it sounds like winning is becoming important, and is taking over from just the art of driving.
It sounds like you are saying you used to be able to drive fast without thinking about it. Because back then it came naturally, but now that you have goals and targets you are thinking whilst driving, and thinking your way round the track is slower. And now you want that subconcious natural feel to come back. ok
here’s the problem, when you want something, like a result, a championship or even anything in life, your brain kicks in and starts planning ways to get it and keep it…right? And the problem with that is, thinking takes over and screws things up a bit. So thinking takes over and takes control, its not natural anymore and it takes effort.
So you start with something you want (the championship). your brain comes in and imagines having that, and you start to think about how you will get it…. And slowly all you think about is winning, everything becomes ‘how will this help me get what I want’ and in that process you lose sighte of what you loved, which is driving!
So, for sure that is a problem everybody has and there isnt a easy step by step fix it solution. And if there was one it would just be another way to get what you want, so you would start THINKING about it all over again and be back at the start, thinking your way round!!
So what the hell do you do??
Well, I would ask you to think very carefully and honestly about why you race, do you race to win or is there something more to racing than who wins….Afterall, if all you wanted to do was win then you could go online and play video games against people and win, which is cheaper than karting right?!!. So thats the first question, is winning really the point or is there something special about karting, I mean is there something good
about racing at top level that is nothing to do with who wins.
Now, if you think about that, and come up with honest answers you might find that winning isnt important, and if the pressure of winning disappears then you might free your mind up and be able to drive naturally.
So if you don’t mind, maybe you can write back and tell me what you think about the significance of winning and perhaps I can help you figure things out. After that, we can come up with some practical ways to get into the ‘zone’ so you can enjoy your driving more, like when it was subconcious
Hope this helps and I would love to here back from you on this
The Kart driver wrote back
So i read your insight, and wow!
It actually really helped because you nailed it!. You see as i was reading it i kinda thought about it, and when i was young, it was just about going out there and driving, and when i drove, i got results.
The past few years was just about defending the chapionships, so i was only thinking about that and not just focussing on the driving, and thats what i think i need to do, is just “drive”.
Anyways yea so thats really all i can say, and it really helped.
talk to you soon,