There are many theories as to what is best to improve to be a better racing competitor. Some people think to invest in the car and equipment. Others will say that it is the application of knowledge gained from driving schools and practice lapping sessions. These are both good and applicable areas for racing results improvement.
One other area that many seem to miss resides between our ears, improving our mental advantage. Here is a quote from Tami Eggleston, Ph.D., of RacingSecrets.com:
What makes the difference between a good racer and a great racer? It’s not the car, it’s not luck, it is–the mental advantage! Sports psychologists believe that psychological factors are more important than physical factors when it comes to determining the primary difference between winners and losers. If you talk with any top athlete from golfers, to basketball players, to racers; 99% of them will say that mental strength, determination, concentration, and psychological influences are the most important factors in their success. This mental advantage is what takes them from good to great and from failure to success.
Tami is the leading authority on Auto Racing Psychology. She has a B.S. degree in Biopsychology, a M.S. in Psychology and a Ph.D. in Psychology. She has authored many articles on the subject and has been published in many racing magazines. Tami also does an annual trade show seminar on racing psychology.
I have not met Tami nor am I currently promoting her product “Spun Out! Psychology of Stock Car Racing“, at least not for now. But she brings up a great point. I have met and gotten to know Ronn Langford, of MasterDrive,. He has trained professional drivers to significantly improve their mental game, greatly improving their racing competitiveness. Without going into details, for the moment, one of the areas he teaches well is that of visualization.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I attended a MasterDrive conference in March of 1993. Ronn gave an introductory session titled, “The Performance Driver – The Psychology and Physiology”. I still have the 36-page booklet that fully describes this topic, along with associated articles. Last month I was able to reconnect with Ronn via e-mail. I asked, and received, his permission to publish his copyrighted work, as long as I credit him with the concepts.
This will be an ongoing project of mine, to transcribe this work and offer it in byte-sized pieces for your consumption. The end goal here, as always, is to make you better Racing Ready!