3 Simple Tips For Learning How To Drift Faster

drift-technique

I want to share with you some really simple tips for learning things faster, now this could be used for Drifting, riding a bike, dancing anything really. A lot of what I talk about when it comes to learning things quickly have to do with the subconscious and areas that most people don’t even think have to do with the sport or topic itself.

Without fail, when I start to talk about “deep stuff” most people answer with something like “what the hell does that have to do with drifting?”.

Sometimes its hard to see how things we don’t often talk about as men like mood and feelings influence our actions and our abilities. For example, if you’re really sad its safe to assume that whatever you do will be tinted with that sadness, happy-same thing, scared- again same thing.

Good news is that all the tips I have for you has nothing to do with deep-touchy feely stuff.

Before you start on the journey of new skill acquisition even if its a hobby, there are a few things that you must do…

  1. Have a genuine excitement towards learning that thing
  2. Be open minded to the fumbling and bumbling that will occur with learning something new
  3. Commitment (time, money, energy, resource) to learning this

Let me give you a quick breakdown of the above mentioned…

1.Genuine excitement- Its safe to assume that you wouldn’t start a new sport or strive to pick up skills in areas you didn’t like or weren’t genuinely excited about but in case you do that for whatever weird reason, strive to link it back to whatever it is you do care about. For example if you had to learn gymnastics to make you a better football player, don’t think of how gay you will look doing gymnastics as a grown man, think of how that will empower your football skills and keep you in the game longer.

Excitement plays such a large roll in terms of follow through that without it its almost worthless to even move forward, so if you’re excited- great and if you’re not then find a way to get excited.

2.Open Minded- Before one can learn you have to be open to the thought of learning something new from someone else. If you show up with ‘know it all’ attitude there is not much for you to learn. One must be open to your teachers training style and to all that attempting something new entails.

Remember you will be pushed and stretched as an individual by learning something new, your insecurities and bad habits around learning will also come up so be ready for that vs thinking it won’t happen to you. Awareness is key my friend!

3. Commitment- When it comes to learning something new there are different requirements and therefore commitments you must make in order to really give it your absolute best. There are money commitments, time, energy and resource commitments that will all be required to learn a new skill or take on a new sport. Even if you are looking at this as a hobby, commit to what you will need in order to do it right and don’t be surprised if you totally fall in love with it in the process!

Now after you start and have committed to this new area of interest then there are the tips for After you start…

  1. Plan of attack (meaning you break down all the big moving parts of this sport/topic)
  2. Pregame & postgame process (ALL great sports players do THIS!)
  3. Ability to get into FLOW quickly

Its funny when you sit back and really realize just how easy it is to learn something new, most of the time though its our own crap that gets in the way, so lets breakdown the above…

1.Plan of attack- Think this one is pretty obvious but you would be surprised how many people start something without a clear end goal in mind and then a breakdown of how to get there. Furthermore in any sport or skill there are mechanical pieces that when put together make the thing you’re trying to do, we need to figure out what those are.

Drift Example: In drifting I break it down into 3 phases (learning how to initiate and hold a drift, Battling and drifting against others, hitting clipping points and scoring highly in comps)

Then inside each one of those phases there are sub-parts (example)…

  1. Learning how to initiate, hold & switchback
    1. Initiating a drift – get to 2nd gear, rip handbrake, then turn wheel (BOOM you’re sideways goal 1 accomplished!)
    2. Holding a drift- Throttle control and learning what feathering the gas while sideways actually does and where it puts the car
    3. Switch backs- Once you’re sideways hitting throttle and moving now its time to figure out when/how to touch the steering wheel to get it to shift weight and kick the other way.

You wouldn’t move onto step 2 until you were proficient in step 1.

See anything you want to learn can be broken down into steps and if you work that one step at a time you can get really good really fast. At first learning something like drifting can be REALLY intimidating but as you see above, breaking it down into little pieces makes it a bit easier. You could even thin that down even more into what would be the BIG pieces that you should focus on if you wanted to learn this really fast.

2. Pregame & Postgame process- This is something that every single great athlete and skill based professional does whether they realize they do it or not. Most people who are great at something have NO idea what they in fact do, but at some point when the level of play gets high enough, all professionals at that level are WELL aware of what they do.

So just starting out or looking to take skills to a new level, this piece alone could change the game for you!

Pregame process- This is mental rehearsal that happens before you even hit the gas and drop the car in gear. Picture yourself hitting the perfect lap or doing everything you need to do perfectly. Live in that mental movie for a few minutes, add detail and sound and feelings to it.

Michael Jordan was quoted as saying he never steps on the court to play a game he hasn’t already played in his mind dozens of times…

I was talking to Jabbit who was a Pro Drift car driver out of Australia who was a teacher at DJE2016 and he was telling us about his process before driving and I want to share it with you really quick…

“Before I drive I am so relaxed that I almost want to pass out, I am thinking about after the comp and what I will do or if I am hungry I am thinking about that and then as I roll up to the line I just picture myself doing everything perfectly and having the perfect lap- hitting all clipping points correctly and then I just go do it!”

There is so much wisdom wrapped up in that statement its mind blowing!

In short, get good at mentally walking through what you need to do before you do it. Overtime it will go from taking a few minutes to do it right to doing it in mere seconds and totally on the fly.

Postgame process- This is where a critical eye is required to look over what you just did on that last lap. I want to note that we MUST stick to facts here and drop the judgement and beating ourselves up about what just happened. For example if you have a bad lap and that’s all you’re thinking about, chances are high you will just go duplicate that crappy lap.

You must clear that out, kick the memory and get your mind right for the next lap so we drop the emotion off what just happened look at just the FACTS and then go make change for the next lap.

You were loose- great how do we fix that?
Your proximity was off- great how do we fix that?
You didn’t use the pregame process- great use it this time!

Again just stick to what you did not how you should feel about what you just did and then make appropriate changes for the next lap.

Think of any high stakes football game, this happens almost every time like clock work. You will see the kicker miss a close field goal, yet he will nail it on something twice as long. He dropped the emotional crap around “messing up” and made the necessary changes to get back out there and do it right!

3. FLOW state- This is by far the most important piece of the whole thing, this is that state of “being in the zone” where everything spacial gets a little weird and you can only see what you’re about to do, all mental chatter kinda fades away as this supreme sense of present-ness sets in.

There are books on this topic of FLOW state, I have written a long blog post about FLOW and the science of FLOW here for you to checkout.

In this state you will learn faster, do better and tap into the best qualities of yourself- simple as that!

I usually give 2 simple hacks for how to get into FLOW quickly and will give them to you here…

Hack #1: Breathing- Yep turns out that pulling in long deep breaths that you try to pull in from deep in your balls, combined with a short pause at the top and bottom of the breath puts you in an extremely present state of mind. It immediately snaps you back to the present moment. TRY IT!

Hack #2: Vision- The other little trick that I actually picked up from public speaking and getting of fear of speaking in front of others is changing your vision slightly- weird right!?

Shift your vision from direct vision to peripheral, simply put- try to see the edges of the room instead of looking straight ahead. As you attempt to see more of the stuff in the room and the “sides” of the room you will notice you will start to relax. Oddly enough this is due to fight or flight response which is triggered by the amygdala, that ‘fear trigger’ is NOT triggered when you’re using peripheral vision.

In Conclusion

No matter how crazy this stuff might sound or hard it may seem, if you break things down in steps it all becomes easier and it fuels our confidence to tackle it.

Feel free to share any of your stories and experience with what I talk about above in the comments and I will reply!