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Old 02-07-2012, 11:11 PM   #1
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Default Mental Focus

I have too many things going on in my head out there on the track, I hold my breath in corners, pant like a dog on the straights, and I'm a general cluster of circles.

What do you do to get your head right before you go on the track and how do you focus and maintain a relaxed state of mind on the track?
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:18 PM   #2
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:26 PM   #3
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For me, it's all about the beginning. Before you go out to the hot track, close your eyes, and breathe out slowly. You know what to do, and how to do it. So just do it.

I'm not familiar with what track you run, but if it has any straights, use them to you advantage. Keep the pedal down, and try to organize yourself. Check the gauges, adjust your junk, and get ready for the next section.
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:29 PM   #4
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Music and deep breathing exercises, not kidding. Forget about the competition, take a good friend/gf/bf/m4m CL swinger to the track and just have fun with it. In school people tend to be good at the things they like, if you stop enjoying racing then you will not be as good at it. I'd also take a brake from it for a while and relax. Stresses off the track are also probably contributing to your woes.
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:38 PM   #5
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Just relax and dont worry, Im not kidding when I say that Ive fallen asleep before on grid. shows you how relaxed one can get.
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:44 PM   #6
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Just relax and dont worry, Im not kidding when I say that Ive fallen asleep before on grid. shows you how relaxed one can get.
There was a day, years ago, when driving the car was relaxing and offered a chance to "check out" for a little while. I want to get back there. I managed to get within 5 seconds of SM record back when I had 185mm Azenis, 84whp, and GC/Bilsteins. I didn't look at the gauges mid-corner, didn't worry about the wheels falling off, it was bliss. I need to figure out how I'm going to get back there. Every time I've looked at that water temp gauge, oil temp gauge, AFR gauge, oil pressure gauge, and whatever else, everything has been fine. Time to stop pretending it won't be.
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:50 PM   #7
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Daily the green supercar, sell other miata, buy super cheap NA6, cut ---- off to make it lighter, add stuff to make it stronger, cage it, make it like your racecar was. Have fun.


Is there any problem I can not solve?

No.
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:51 PM   #8
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Daily the green supercar, sell other miata, buy super cheap NA6, cut ---- off to make it lighter, add stuff to make it stronger, cage it, make it like your racecar was. Have fun.


Is there any problem I can not solve?

No.
The only racecar I'm getting into has an iron V8 and single-port injection.

I never had a racecar, that was my green car before I changed it up.
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Old 02-08-2012, 12:00 AM   #9
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skype me, I'll help you relax
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Old 02-08-2012, 12:00 AM   #10
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Every time I've looked at that water temp gauge, oil temp gauge, AFR gauge, oil pressure gauge, and whatever else, everything has been fine. Time to stop pretending it won't be.
Get rid of all your gauges. It's not possible to constantly check them and stress out if they're not there. Keep all the sensors in place, but hook them up to an ECU/datalogger that has the ability to just give you a warning light when something goes outside of the ranges you set. All you need on the dash is a tach (or just a shift light), a bigass warning light, and maybe a lap timer.
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Old 02-08-2012, 12:05 AM   #11
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My version deals in drag racing.
I feel the adrenaline when my staging lane starts to advance. Once I get up to the light, I'm calm and it's like nothing exists. When I trigger the pre stage lights and I'm waiting for the other guy to hit his...I'm all business. Everything happens so fast, I don't really pay attention to anything but the track and my tachometer. It's over before I know it. Then I pick up my timeslip and review my datalog/ make minor adjustments, and do it all over again.
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Old 02-08-2012, 12:16 AM   #12
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The only racecar I'm getting into has an iron V8 and single-port injection.

I never had a racecar, that was my green car before I changed it up.
What's your racecar? What are you doing with the green car? I'm guessing there is a thread I failed to read.
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Old 02-08-2012, 12:23 AM   #13
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Back in high school I used to puke before every match due to nerves and then would over think everything and freak out during a match. Eventually, training and instinct kicked in and I started to just wrestle. I no longer thought about all the what ifs or about who was watching and just did it. I basically found the zone. You have the skills, you have the passion, go back to your basics and trust your instincts. Once you get back in the zone, your mind should be clear and non essential things are just not there. That's the definition of "the zone" to me. A place where things are clicking, muscle memory is happening, and I'm just along for the *** kicking.
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Old 02-08-2012, 12:50 AM   #14
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Try shifting way early, like 5000rpm. It'll ease your mind about the car and focus on driving. I did this at ORP when I was learning so I could focus on a new track and my line. Don't push braking points either, you might find some time by letting the car settle after braking and before turning.
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Old 02-08-2012, 01:44 AM   #15
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Carol Smith has a bunch of recommendations about this in either Engineer to Win or Tune to Win, but the simplest solution is to remove the things that you obsess about. If your old lady hassles you at the track, don't bring her, and make sure she knows that calling for anything but an actual emergency is grounds for a beating she won't soon forget (but remind her that it hurts you worse than it hurts her). If the car worries you, stop working on it yourself. If you can't afford to pay someone to keep it healthy, and still run as many days as you want, then dial it back to a point where you don't have to do anything but check the oil and turn the key every weekend. As far as stressing about going faster, don't look at your lap times until the end of the weekend. At the absolute least, wait until the end of your session, and just go back and watch the video. Yell notes to the camera or make hand signals on the straights to keep track of what you're doing. My point is that if you add complication (more data, more time spent obsessing about it, heart monitor, Pusha whining in your ear between sessions about how hot it is in the trailer and how his perm is going flat) you're not going to be all Comfort Eagle, and NOT being Comfort Eagle apparently hasn't worked very well so far.


Once upon a time I either read or was told about how The Army of Darkness (legendary WERA endurance team) made a decade long string of championships out of enforcing a total goosfraba environment in their pits. They brought masseuses to the track with them. They built the bikes to be indestructible, and never worried about them. They Bro'd out all weekend. The racing was fun, and the championships flowed. I'm sure it didn't happen overnight, but they learned to remove everything that distracted them from enjoying themselves.
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Old 02-08-2012, 02:59 AM   #16
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"Inner Speed Secrets" is a good book to read if you haven't already. Usually if I get to grid early enough that I can get all my crap turned on and belted in with time to spare, I spend the rest of the time visualizing what I'm going to do on track. If I start to lose focus on track, it helps me to talk myself around the track out loud (i.e., "brake now, downshift to 3rd, turn in, roll off brakes...."). A lap or so of doing that constantly gets me back into subconscious driving mode.

But I'm still a nub, so what do I know...
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Old 02-08-2012, 03:09 AM   #17
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I go and have fun. It relaxes me and helps me to kick it up a notch. Reading the track and watching gauges and enjoying it keeps me too busy to worry about other things.
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Old 02-08-2012, 04:07 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpreston View Post
Get rid of all your gauges. It's not possible to constantly check them and stress out if they're not there. Keep all the sensors in place, but hook them up to an ECU/datalogger that has the ability to just give you a warning light when something goes outside of the ranges you set. All you need on the dash is a tach (or just a shift light), a bigass warning light, and maybe a lap timer.
^This, this is what I'm doing personally.

Dump everything you can onto the ECU/computer/etc., and just focus on what you went out there to do.
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Old 02-08-2012, 08:33 AM   #19
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+1 on inner speed secrets. Great series.
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Old 02-08-2012, 10:06 AM   #20
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All about grid for me, focus, breath, relax and drive a few perfect laps in your head. In inner speed secrets they talk about creating a mental trigger, when you perform this action you know its game time. For me in my old car it was when I held down the button to turn off all the electronic nannys it flashed on the dash "esc off" and from that point on nothing else mattered, you go into your zone.

Maybe you need to dig deeper into what causes this? Fear of mechanical failure, or fear of not performing your best or messing up?
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