February 29, 2024

How Do I Remain Focused During a Longer Stint?

Dion von Moltke

Car Racing

How Do I Remain Focused During a Longer Stint? Image

Driving a racecar is one of the most mentally demanding things you can do.  A common misconception I find a lot of grassroots racers have is that pro drivers never lose their concentration, they are just robots fully in the moment at all times.

The reality couldn't be farther from the truth!  Can a pro maybe sustain focus a little longer than an amateur driver?  Sure, but where a pro is able to separate themselves is in their ability to realize they have lost focus early and regain focus quickly.

Today I want to discuss exactly how pro drivers do this!


Losing Focus

The most important thing to understand is that losing focus happens to everyone.  We need to accept this and build towards how to correct this.  Let's first cover ways to realize you have lost concentration faster.

I was taught the following concept at a training center for professional racecar drivers called, Formula Medicine.  

Negative Brain Chatter

Every human deals with that internal brain chatter.  That's the voices you have in your head all the time.  In scientific studies they have nearly 70% of that brain chatter was negative and that percentage was the same in pro athletes and amateur athletes.   That chatter is happening all the time, it happens while we are competing, before we compete, and just in regular every day life.  In fact, it's happening so often that a lot of the time we don't even realize what the voice is saying.

That's exactly where we want to focus first.  That negative chatter is us losing focus, it's us thinking about that apex we just missed, or that work call, or anything other than what our next reference point is.  How do you get better at realizing what that brain chatter is saying and then redirecting it?  It all centers around your breathing.

Things like stress, anxiety, etc. tend to increase the rate of negative brain chatter and the amount of it that is negative.  We need to fight that and the best way to fight this is with square breathing.  We have quite a few in-depth articles on the science behind breathing like this one, essentially is hits on our parasympathetic nervous system which calms us down.   This slows down the rate of thoughts and helps us tune into that more.

Where I first want to focus is, by building in a pre-racing breathing routine.  The more you can build this off the track and get better at tuning into that voice the easier it will become while you're on the track.


Re-Directing Focus

Now that we have established the first step is just realizing we lost focus, how do we work towards regaining it?  We need to have outlets for us to purposely redirect our focus to.  

Before anytime I get on track I want to have a list of 2 or 3 things that if I focus on and execute on I know that I will perform.  Examples here can be things like:

  1. Eyes up at my next reference point
  2. Engaged core at turn in for light braking zone corners
  3. Min speed location in turn 13

When I feel nerves, or when I lose focus, I just intentionally bring these things back up in my mind.  A combination of that and breathing is how I regain that focus quickly.  Always have your list of things that you can focus on and they need to be things within your control.  Need help coming up with this list?  Work with your Blayze coach on coming up with these!



The final part of this is making sure we have proper reference points in all corners.  In fact, a recent scientific study found that those with visual impairments had more trouble sustaining focus - that is how close the correlation between the two systems are!

When you don't know where to look and when to look it's going to be easier for us to lose our focus.  I would study the following articles that explore the 5 reference points in every corner and proper vision:

Reference points article

In-depth video on vision in motorsports

If you can focus on these three things and build in practice reps you will get better at remaining focused longer.  For a bonus you can even do our Blayze sim racing drill on mental endurance here.

Blayze | Dion von Moltke

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About the coach

Dion von Moltke

Daytona 24 Hour Winner

Car Racing

I've spent 20 years of my life in this sport that we all love so much. During that time I was fortunate enough to have a 10 year professional career where I won the Rolex at Daytona 24 hour, the Sebring 12 Hour (twice), and became an official driver for Audi. After retiring from professional racing I became a co-founder at Blayze. My goal with building this platform is to make it more affordable, accessible, and convenient to learn personally from the best coaches in the world!

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