View Full Version : Mental preperation before an event

05-03-2003, 06:20 PM
How do you guys handle getting psyched up for an event??

Right now, I'm not very psyched up at all, with a good 3 - 4 hour drive ahead of me for the next AutoX event (man, I hate when people whine "Oh!! I street race cuz the nearest drag strip is 30 minutes away!!").

Before the first event I was psyched. It was with a club that I'm not really looking to compete in seriously, so I knew I was going to have fun. I was .071 seconds off my mark (the time I thought I could reach with a really good run) so I felt like I was ready for the first NER event (where I take things more seriously).

Going into that event, I was like "Oh man... competition is gonna be tough... (2 SR's, 2 KAt's in my class alone)" but I felt as though I was gonna give them a good run for their money. So before that event I just couldn't wait to get my runs in, and was riding off the confidence I had built in the previous autox, where I felt I had learned the car enough to be smoother with it. As luck would have it, the course was boost friendly, and I came out with a win.

The most recent event, I wasn't as mentally prepared, I think. I had that 1st place finish, but the confidence really wasn't there, since tech found I had a loose drive nut (from the e-brake install) and I had to fix that, giving me enough time for only 1 walk through. I didn't really know the course as well as I could have, and I was worried about the win from event 1 going down the drain, and I was worried about my suspension still lacking, only to find out Jeff (JMCN from FA) had SusTech swaybars the whole time and never knew it till I looked at them (they apparently came on the car when he got it). Suffice to say, I ate cones that afternoon. 2 on my 2nd run, 1 on my last run (which I at least hit my target time with, but the cone ruined it). I ended up in 6th place for that event, leaving me a 1 point lead for the series only because the guy who finished first this event wasn't there for the previous event (although if the driver in 2nd chooses to come back for more events, we're all screwed. He was 4th at Nats., and 10 seconds ahead of the next fastest guy during that event for our class.)

Now, I feel as though I'm not really psyched up about going to race. I know that I'm a capable driver, even with the disadvantages of having an underdamped suspension. I proved that at the first NER event. I know my car is capable too, even with supposedly "worse tires" and such (FM901's). Right now, it feels as the only ting that's slowing me down is my state of mind.....

So, reiterating the original question: how do you guys get psyched up before a race??

p.s. I tried out my magnets that I just made ($15 shipped in materials). It looks great... but I'm still down....

05-03-2003, 11:45 PM
mental prep?
before any event i visualize my driving. since i drift i'll just think a lot about throttle and corners and how much this and that and then before sleeping i'll watch a koguchi vid
yeah its not as much as you but i when i go out, i got all those images and visualization in my brain and am 100% pumped. first time out is the best hehehe..

but for prep just think about it a lot before going and keep my mind clear of anything.

if its the same track i'll think of the track and its layout and where to do this and where to do that. get my brain in the midn

my work at my job the day before the event SUCKS. poor productivity!

05-04-2003, 12:27 AM
I once saw a guy listen to the theme song of Tog Gun while on grid.. a joke, obviously, but it just added insult to injury that he DNF'ed the next run.

If being relaxed induces better driving, try out some relaxing music..

While more of an 'instructional read' than a mantra for driving well, some have printed out Andy Hollis's 'Driving Tips' and poured over them before driving.. maybe it fills the brain with the right words.. http://www3.telus.net/solomotorsport/andy.htm

What do I do!? Stay up late the night before, and if the situation permits, socially imbibe spirits. The success of this, however, has only been based on the results turned from mazda’s ‘revitup’, where I’m sitting in the 95th percentile, with having (barely, mind you.. rear wheel in front wheel drive) taken down a cone on the fastest (first) run. That night’s/morning’s event was a bachelor party.

05-04-2003, 12:37 AM
If you ever watched downhill skiers minutes before their run, you'll see them acting out the physical motions of thier run with thier eyes closed, in a relaxed almost medatation like state. The same thing works great for racing.

I used to practice this all the time when I raced karts to reduce tension when you're on the grid and to help keep me calm for the start (standting starts are especially stressful.)

Being mad or pumped can be just fine but I belive Ayrton Senna (RIP) said you must KNOW that you're goin to win to be able to, or something to that effect.

05-04-2003, 06:33 PM
I never been to any event, but am seriously planning to go starting this summer. I think DD7 is the next one since DD5 is too soon and already filled. Any tips, pointers for a first time absolute begginer at drift day welcome! I bet I'll be nervous, especially when I have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA or experience how to drift, get sideways or weight transfer to slide.:p

05-04-2003, 11:59 PM
fooddude, come out and WATCH DD5 if you dont drive. come BOTH sat and sunday if you can, if you cant get in, email me and i'll get you as my guest, so you do. bring your helmet too. my friends can give you a ride too. i drive sunday, they drive saturday.

05-05-2003, 12:32 AM
aw dont tell me i missed registration for ANOTHER event!!

i just emailed Naoki, begging her to email me back if there are still any spots so i can send a check tomarrow (paypal doesnt work with my bank for some reason), and hopefully get a spot.

anyway, for mental prep before an event i do almost the same as dousan. watch some drifting the night before (NOT INITIAL D!!!) and just get enough sleep so i will be alert but not groggy (6 hours is perfect for me), and just clear my mind at the track before i run. think of the line, trace with my eyes where i want to bee, then do it. *feint here, e-brake there, throttle throttle, clutch kick...* just try different techniques and variations until i get it down. and make sure you have some breakfast since it will be a while before you eat again, that is if you dont get too excited and forget to eat lunch all together! drink plenty of water all day and stay out of the sun. rest yourself and car every 6-8 runs or so.

i have only been to 2 events so far so im no expert, but i think i have learned a whole heck of a lot at just those 2 events.

good luck to you all out there, and HOPEFULLY i can get a spot and be out there with you!

btw, anyone got any stock calipers for a 1990 s13 non ABS? all 4. a friend of mine got hers screwed up and needs replacements. see post "WTB: all 4 stock calipers for s13" thanks.


05-05-2003, 12:52 AM
Well.... end of the day, and I came home with a 3rd place finish. I was something like .1 seconds away from first, and .050 away from second. The even playing feild (or at least the extremely close times) ended up getting me revved up after my first run (which put me in 2nd by .1 seconds). Natural competative spirit kicked in and I ended up battling against a turbocharged 2.5 Impreza. Unfortunately, the afternoon runs had us both beat by a pair of VW's. If it wasn't for the afternoon runs I would've had a first place finish :P But, I should've improved my runs more, so it's my fault for not keeping the lead.

I'm not sure if some of the in- car video shows it.... but if you watch me before a run, I just try to get as comfortable as possible, and get loosened up. Make sure I'm as snug in the stock seat as possible....

As for the mental prep before the entire event.... I'm already looking forward to the next event. Why did I go from a half depressed state to a very excited one?? Well, I'll finally have a real suspension (ordering AGX's and getting Whiteline sways, and possibly a VLSD to boost) before the next NER event. If I can do trophy runs with the amount of body roll I have now, and the loose rear end from having blown shocks.... I think I can do some real damage with working/ better components. So, maybe I just need to buy new parts before every autox?? :p (or just trophy and not eat cones the event prior).


05-05-2003, 01:11 AM
Good to hear you did well!

As for prep... I try find not sleeping the night before works for me. I drink lots of coffe and have no breakfast the next day, and end up running for the bathroom JUST before and after each run. :)

Okay, that's what I DO do, but not what I SHOULD do. =D haha... I TRY to get to sleep, but am always bogged down with repairs/fluid changes the night before... I'm often too excited to sleep for the few hours that I could possibly get anyway. Then I finally get to bed 5 minutes before my alarm goes off, and I end up getting out of the house LATE and not having time for breakfast and usually forgetting to bring water to the event. :) haha... great, isn't it?

What I would do, mentally though, is one of two things: let the competitive spirit take over (when you're in that sorta meditative, calm state) or if you just can't shake the nerve, I go back to thinking of all the fun that driving is for me, and trivializing the embarrassment that's about to come when you eat 3 cones. :D haha... trivialization and turning a competition into *pure* fun works well.

05-05-2003, 09:22 AM
Originally posted by adey
trivialization and turning a competition into *pure* fun works well.

That sounds like when a couple of us tried to turn an FCSCC autocross event into a mini drift day.... it's so much easier when the points aren't on the line :p

05-05-2003, 04:04 PM
WTF is wrong with you MANG!! I just hear the word "Track" or "Race" and I get fired up.. I usually have to worry more about Calming the F*ck down, then getting hyped up..

Sounds to me like auto-xing is getting boring for you? Time to build yourself a race Kaaa! or hit a real track with no orange cone worries. :D

05-06-2003, 08:46 PM
Originally posted by sykikchimp
WTF is wrong with you MANG!! I just hear the word "Track" or "Race" and I get fired up.. I usually have to worry more about Calming the F*ck down, then getting hyped up..

Sounds to me like auto-xing is getting boring for you? Time to build yourself a race Kaaa! or hit a real track with no orange cone worries. :D

I dunno what's wrong with me. Might just be school and the ex-gf catching up on me, plus finals have come so I'm bogged with work and stuff. But, I'm getting back into it. Waiting impatiently for my AGX's and swaybars to come in so I can test and tune everything at an FCSCC event (which I don't really care for), then go to the next NER event (which I do points in) fully prepped and ready for another 1st place finish!!!

Drifting Ricer
05-10-2003, 09:30 AM
Has you your fellow competitor. ;) I usually try to do my best. I never have strategy. But is time I take this sport serious. But I try not to pressure myself to much cause then I'll end up like event 2. Were I was clean but slow.

05-20-2003, 09:00 PM
I don't know how many of you have a membership to SCCA, but their monthly magazine SportsCar, has an article about mental imagery in this issue. Mental imagery takes it a step further than visualization, to imagining the feeling, sights, sounds and smells while driving. Something worth reading, I believe the mag is available at Barnes and Nobles. The article was written by Ross Bentley, he has written several books: Speed Secrets, Inner Speed Secrets, Speed Secrets II, and Bob Bondurant on Kart Racing.

David J.
'89 240sx

Drifting Ricer
05-20-2003, 09:19 PM
I read that,Good stuff. It's my new guide book

05-28-2003, 05:37 PM
Originally posted by Drifting Ricer
But I try not to pressure myself to much cause then I'll end up like event 2. Were I was clean but slow.

I think lately (the last 2 events specifically) I've been over-pressuring myself to do well. I've spun twice, and railed more cones than ever in a matter of 11 runs. I really think I need to do an intermediate driving school, or even a novice school to relearn some of the basics again and hopefully become more solid at basic driving skills.....

05-28-2003, 07:30 PM
Before a roadracing event I make sure that everything is ready to go and packed up the night before. I have an area in my garage that I store my "track stuff". I use the plastic boxes with the flip top lids. I buy two of certain things like fluids, air guages and spare parts. They just stay in the box in between events so I know I don't forget anything. The next morning I get up eat a decent breakfast and away to the track I go!

Right as I get there in the morning I check tire pressure and fluids, tork the wheels and I am ready to go. Ususally you will have some time on the grid waiting for your session. If it is only a few minutes I will get belted in and relax. I prefer to sit qnd try to clear my head, completely blank, almost try to fall asleep until they blow the 1 minute whistle. Then I fire up the car and do what I have to do!

The preparation is key. If you are behind first thing in the morning you will be playing catch up all day.