Getting in the Zone

If a driver has followed our previous articles, they will be prepared and ready to do business out on the track. Their equipment will be sorted and they won’t be worrying about anything other than the race ahead. There is one last, key area that a driver must master to maximise their chances and that is the matter of being in the correct frame of mind – getting in the zone.

The majority of drivers can relate to those races where they’ve not felt ready for the race ahead. They end up making a total mess of the start, finding themselves in a position they shouldn’t have been, missing opportunities they should have taken, finally leaving the track disappointed in themselves for obtaining a result lower than what was possible. It is fundamental for a driver to be fully focused and raring to go every time they hit the track – they must find their trigger.

The Trigger

The human mind is an incredibly complex maerthat is cable of an untold number of things, it is therefore important to understand how to use it toour advantage. Monday morning generally triggers tiredness and a lack of motivation (especially after a weekend of racing). Seeing someone eating something really nice tends to trigger hunger. Triggers can be used to release adrenaline before going out on track. Each driver will have their own individual trigger, however there a number of common areas that triggers can be found:

Music

Music is produced to evoke feelings within oneself, the right kind of music can therefore be utilised to trigger adrenaline and focus in a driver. Athletes from around the world, in all forms of sport will often talk about listening to music before they perform, however different genres are often spoken about depending on what the athlete is looking to achieve from it. With drivers often struggling to balance being fired up alongside being focused, certain genres of music will help more than others. Some drivers who need firing up will listen to fast paced music, while those looking to focus will listen to something more calming. It is all about learning yourself as driver, deciphering what you need to get in the zone and choosing music accordingly.

Human interaction

Some drivers can be forced into the zone with a speech from mechanics/family/ teams/motivational speakers telling them things along the lines of “get out there and show them who is boss.” Some drivers respond better to a set fist pump or handshake before hitting the track. This can trigger the necessary emotions to get them in the zone.

Superstition/Patterns

A large number of drivers use patterns without even realising. Some drivers are incredibly superstitious and use patterns because they feel they need to. Either way, it is another area that can be used to get a driver in the zone. These patterns can be anything from always putting the right glove on before the left, putting a lucky penny in your race boot or even giving your mum a hug before going to the grid.

Ultimately, there a many types of triggers that a driver can use in order to get into the zone before a race. It is down to each driver to discover which works best for them. When used correctly, a specific trigger can be incredibly powerful when it comes to maximising a driver’s potential for winning.