Top Instructor Errors

Written by Matthew

  • MOTIVATIONAL PROBLEMS. Instructor is not student-oriented. Sees being an instructor as a “reward” for driving fast. This leads to a tendency to use this situation as an opportunity to show off. This “self-orientation” can and will lead to poor quality instruction.
  • SETS POOR EXAMPLE(S) with his own driving (related to #1 above).
  • POOR COMMUNICATION. Not getting and maintaining the student’s attention. Not taking a proactive role by talking the student through decisions, relaying on later criticism instead. Allowing the student to run until concentration lags, most sessions then end poorly, leading to negative psychological reinforcement.
  • IMPATIENCE with the student. Forgetting how long it took you, the instructor, to acquire all those driving skills!
  • FAILURE TO CONFIRM CAR PREPARATION (or lack of it) in advance.
  • NOT BEING ALERT TO BAD HABITS (often from sloppy street driving).
  • EARLY (and unwarranted) EMPHASIS ON SPEED AND LAP TIME. Real instruction concentrates on technique and smoothness. Why? Fast lap times are a measurement result, not a SKILL in themselves.
    • There should be a specific skill improvement goal each session
    • There should be speed and RPM limits if needed
    • There should be a post-session critique, off track, if possible.
  • ALLOWING REPEAT MISTAKES. Not anticipating a problem to reoccur in similar circumstances (i.e., next lap).
  • FAILURE TO RELATE THEORY WITH OBSERVED CAR DYNAMICS. Especially if the student is having comprehension or consistency problems.
  • FAILURE TO CORRECT/ADJUST poor student hand or driving positions.
  • FAILURE TO ANTICIPATE STUDENT BEHAVIOR THAT WILL RESULT IN SPINS soon enough to prevent them. Failure to discuss and practice the important skills needed to “catch” the car when an over limit condition exists. Develop this skill BEFORE it is needed!
  • NOT UNDERSTANDING CAUSES OF UNDERSTEER AND OVERSTEER. Failing to discuss them with the student, as appropriate.
  • PASSING THE STUDENT TO “SOLO” too quickly before any smooth, consistent technique is apparent.
  • NOT SEEKING HELP/ADVICE with a problem student.
  • FAILURE TO REVIEW TRACK PROCEDURES such as entering the track, passing etiquette, flags and other safety and emergency conditions/actions.
  • FAILURE TO DISCUSS “GOING OFF” possibilities with the student. Slow down as much as possible, but go off straight! Come to a compete stop and check for traffic (or flagger indication) before possible re-entry onto the track surface.
  • ALLOWING THE STUDENT TO FOLLOW OTHER CARS TOO CLOSELY. It always distracts them and creates an unnecessary safety hazard.
  • FAILURE TO TEACH THE “ANTICIPATING ADJUSTMENTS” that will be necessary as speed is increased. The student will likely get “behind” with the brake point, clutch out, etc decisions.
  • FAILURE TO GO BACK TO THE BASICS IF A PROBLEM PERSISTS. Classroom instruction sometimes provides the answers.


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