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What does a performance driving instructor offer you? [Part 1/3]

Disclaimer: After handing this over to my better half for a quick read she argued that it’s too big to be read in one go and that I should split it into segments if I wanted more chances of people actually reading it to the end. And I do – So I did.

I love my work, I really do.

You see, everything that it’s associated with and revolves around, happens to be my long-lasting passion, since I was a teenager. Cars. And more particularly going fast with them.

From the preparation before each training day, to get all your things in check, your gear, empty your memory cards, charge your batteries, wash your clothing, to preparing yourself by having a good night’s rest and onto the actual day of driving and training.

You arrive to a place full of motorsport. Same passionate people, usually with a grin on their face and other times with some kind of troubling look. Who knows maybe something isn’t working like it should or simply they don’t like getting up very early.
Oh yes, motorsport usually comes with a very early start.

A lot of familiar faces, usually gathered around for the mandatory driver’s briefing, to make sure that we are playing the same game, under the same rules that day.
Smiles, a few nods and some small laughs during some parts of the briefing – a nice way to start your day, don’t you agree?

Then there are two ways that the day unfolds. If it’s a driver that you have trained before then things are quite simple and straightforward. You do your catch-up since last time you went to the track together, you go through what you are going to be doing today, what you are going to be training on and hit the track as soon as it goes green.
I usually also take this time to try and evaluate the driver’s condition. It is very important to do this, look for details that might give you indication of something out of place. Maybe too little sleep, maybe too many hours on the road the day before, too much alcohol during the night or even too much trouble/worries at work – all of which can take processing power from what you will be doing later on, when you really need it.

If on the other hand it’s a new person that we are training with, there is a certain amount of time getting to know each other. Like with every professional relationship, trust has to be built between the two parties and allow me to say that in this case it is the driver that has to generate trust to the instructor so then he can help him develop furthermore.

Through my years of experience, I have found that this is a prerequisite and many times the point that this relationship can break.

Any good instructor out there, will firstly evaluate the skillset of the driver and adjust the training program based on that.
What good is it, showing someone something that he simply cannot replicate at that time?
What good is it, trying to impress someone by showing them how good you can drive or how fast their car can go when they don’t know how to get there.

Performance driving instruction should not be about what we can do behind the wheel but what the driver can and based on that, how we can help them get closer to that.

Performance driving instruction should be selfless.

Stay tuned tomorrow for part 2/3.

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