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Qualifying is the Most Stressful Part of the Motorsport Weekend.

Motorsport Weekend

The drivers and team know they only have a very short window to get it bang on or risk their entire weekend. 

There is total carnage in the pit lane and huge pressure which some buzz off and some crumble.

Obvious when you think about it.

But what isn’t obvious is the amount of work that must go into ensuring they are mentally prepared for this short window. 

What is also not very obvious is how little time that a F1/2/3 driver actually spends driving their car. 

Add up free practice, qualifying, a sprint race and the feature race and we might be talking 90-120 minutes per weekend. 

Imagine if there is only one race per month.

Now imagine a football player, darts player, tennis player only being able to train in a like for like situation 90-120mins per month!

So they do the work in the simulator and other vehicles and replicate the demands as best they can.

Intentionally applying stress, pressure, and scenario planning. 

Exposing themselves to countless reps of lower-intensity stress, reviewing, reflecting and stacking the skills up over and over again.

The goal is to familiarise themselves the track, situations and feelings that come with a race weekend.

Of course you cannot replicate it. 

But tactics like visualisation, stress inoculation, and scenario planning train the mental skills required to cope under the pressure of the weekend. 

Building a low level of resilience to the race weekend, so when the real pressure does start, these things happen…

🔋 The battery doesn’t drain as much from the uncontrollable elements of race weekends
🎚️ The intensity of stress and pressure doesn’t shoot quite as high
😮‍💨 Recovery from stressful situations is faster and less taxing

This is exactly the same as in everyday life. 

We can choose to use stress as an opportunity to prepare us for tougher things to come. 

To train the coping skills required to thrive under pressure when it matters most.

The way you do it won’t be the same as the 180kph racing drivers, but the principles are the same.

📌 Reflect on previous stress and pick out opportunities to respond not react next time.
📌 Communicate with those around you and lean into social support.
📌 Context of wider life “It’s just another challenge. There will be more, there’s nothing special about this one.”

Are you intentional about how you manage stress in your daily life? 

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