Last week was exceptionally busy with my coaching. I bounced between Virginia International Raceway and Road Atlanta for several different clients and events.
At VIR, I was able to join Will Cox once again as he evolves from go-karts to race cars. It’s incredible to see how a young talent like him learns and develops so quickly, taking feedback and immediately applying it. We had a very productive day, probably our best to date. He’ll be participating in some local races this spring, and I’m excited to see what he can do.
I was also coaching Mazda drivers during the SCCA Majors Super Tour event at VIR. I got to see a lot of great friends who were competing there in preparation for the SCCA Runoffs, which will be hosted at VIR in October.
Each of the Mazda drivers was eligible for a 30-minute one-on-one coaching session. That may not sound like a lot of time, but it can be extremely productive if it’s properly optimized. Here are a few tips for how to take advantage of a short coaching session.
First, video can be the quickest and easiest platform to start the conversation. There are a lot of aspects to video that you can easily dissect, such as driving lines and brake points. Even more detailed things can be assessed, too, like car dynamics, driver inputs and—if watching video of a race—race craft.
Another thing that can be beneficial is reviewing data, which can offer a more specific set of tools to work with. The key to data is having a reference point, such as another driver’s data or multiple laps in an outing, to provide comparison. Very quickly, you can look at braking traces, minimum speeds through a corner and even footwork, believe it or not. From there, a coach can give you feedback on those various aspects.
And no matter what, you should always go into a coaching session with a track map and a pen! That might not sound like much, but you can take some notes and study them later.
Even during a short coaching session, you can develop a short list of action items or goals in an efficient manner to help steer you in the right direction, no matter what your experience level is.