#385 Racing is life – S4 E4 – The Road into Motorsport – Mindset

Being a realist? Ok! Being a believer? Good! Being a dreamer? Better! Standing with both feet on the ground? Excellent!

Motorsport is expensive. Motorsport is dangerous. Motorsport consumes a lot of time. Motorsport requires a lot of traveling. Motorsport is not just a hobby. Motorsport is a lifestyle.

Depending on your goals in this special field, you have two options. Either you want to become a professional driver or you don’t. I am not saying that a “gentleman driver” is just a fool, but it will take a completely different mindset to become a pro, that is for sure.

What is racing?

Auto racing began 5 minutes after the second car was built.

Henry Ford

But honestly, what is racing? If you have a look at the big picture about something, you will always realize pretty soon, that most of the time things are in reality completely different to what we are expecting them to be.

The definition of racing might be, that two or more cars compete against each other, while following some rules in order to proof who is the fastest.

But is this really it? Is it really all about winning or loosing?

If I talk with people about the topic of motorsport, they do not seem to understand. They think that racing is all about being the fastest. But this can hardly be all.

If you want to become a race car driver, you need to understand the different interests of all the stakeholders in the game. Sure, your team boss expects from you to win this thing, but he or she also wants you to do not damage the car. Your sponsors want to be in the media. Being in live TV coverage or shown fighting for positions all the time. Your race car engineer might want you to save the tires for later on in the race, or save some fuel. And the car manufacturer that built the car? Well, they don’t care who is winning as long as their brand is on the top of the podium.

But what do you want? What do you expect? Having mentioned this already in this series, we are specifically focusing on amateur race car drivers and not on the professional ones. Why? You are asking? Because the mindset differs so much.

Getting started in motorsport is an expensive step. You will need a team, a car, equipment, and all the other things you need. If you pay all of this on your own, well, you need to be really careful with your car. You simply can’t afford to crash. Therefore, what do you do? You don’t risk your car in every corner. You lift the accelerator sometimes. You don’t fight extremely hard for a position. Honestly, you need to get some experience first.

The mindset of an amateur race car driver you need!

  1. Pretend to be a professional race car driver

“Fake it until you make it!”. Ask yourself. What would a professional race car driver do? And simply do the same. Get behind the wheel, practice on a simulator, do sport, eat healthy, work on your reaction time. Get ready for the big fight.

2. Have no fear but respect

Fear is the wrong emotion. If you are getting too frightened, go some steps back and try to get used to it again. What you need is respect, but never fear! Respect is getting your senses in alert, fear overwrites the safety procedure and will cause you to make mistakes.

3. Master your mind

Racing is starting in your mind. Sure, a lot of people do not understand this, but it’s true. If you have been already beaten in your mind, it’s only a matter of time until you will lose your position in the race.

4. Be open for a constant improvement

In the last five years, sure, I have learned a lot about racing. But still, this doesn’t mean anything. There is still so much I need to learn. I am open minded to criticism, I reflect my doing, I try to improve and get a little bit better every single day.

5. Learn from mistakes

Mistakes just happen. Especially in the world of racing. You are constantly right at the edge of what is possible, therefore, overdoing it is just a matter of time. Making a mistake, sure, no problem. But making the same mistake again? That shouldn’t happen too often. Learn from your mistakes!

6. Simulate high stress situations

There is nothing won by explaining later on after the race, that the car wasn’t good, or the weather was bad or whatever, when in fact, you simply lost it because you were panicking. Dealing with high stress situations, sure we all know how hard it can be. But especially in racing you can get used to the procedures. You can practice the race starts, the overtaking, or the bad weather.

7. No excuses

A good driver will always find an excuse somewhere around him- or herself, an excellent driver will see the reason in his or her own doing. Sure, sometimes the car isn’t the best, the setup is wrong, or you can’t get your tires into their working temperature window. But still, the driver is the one in control. There is nothing won by blaming others.

8. Care about your car

As a gentleman driver, you can’t crash a car. You crash two times and this thing is over. Especially if it isn’t your car you are crashing. Therefore, take your time and don’t overdo it. Be gentle to the car and it’s component. Have respect!

9. Be a team player

Without your team, you can’t win anything. Therefore, it is never you who is winning the race. It is your team. Don’t you ever think that you are something better! If you do not respect your teammates, you will not have a team. Each and every job within a team is important!

10. Respect your opponents

There are rules! There are things you are allowed to do and certain behaviors that are expected from you. Act according to the rules and show your opponents respect. They will automatically respect you as well.

And that is it. Sure, you can hardly implement all of these things at the same time into your life. But honestly, nobody is expecting from you to do this. Pick one topic a time and make it become a part of your identity. In the end, even the smallest of step you take is leading you one step closer to your goals.

See you next time!

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