As a driver you've hopefully experienced what it's like to drive in the Zone, that feeling of complete immersion yet flow, when you allow your subconscious mind to take the controls and as a result you pull off a great performance.
You manage to drive a great lap or race and when someone comes up to you afterwards to ask you for the details of how you did it....you don't really know.
Most drivers only experience this once or twice a year which is a shame because it's a required state of mind if you want to be a consistent winner in this or any sport.
In fact it's a required state for anything we do that demands us to be at our best, whether we are public speaking, in an interview, selling something or even when chatting someone up, we need to be immune to double thinking and other self defeating processes.
Most of your success in and out of the car is dependent on your frame of mind, you must be able to act freely and with flow, with a focus that defends you from distraction and allows you to fully express yourself.
When I and other coaches work with sportsmen a great portion of our time is focused on helping them access their Zone. To create their own triggers that allow them to compete the way they can, when they want to.
No doubt we will talk about this more in future blogs but for now I want to share with you an interview that has never been broadcast before between Gerhard Berger and Clyde Brolin.
Let me introduce you
This interview was recorded whilst Clyde was writing his magnificent book called Overdrive: Formula 1 in the Zone (one of my favourite books). Clyde and I share our fascination of driver mental performance and once I read his book I just had to get in touch with him because I wanted to share some of his findings with you guys.
We hit it off straight away and recently he kindly handed me a recording of when he interviewed Gerhard Berger about his impressive F1 win at Hockenheim in 1997. This was a pure example of someone accessing their Zone all race weekend, how he got there however is the interesting part.
IMPORTANT! Before you listen to this interview
I must set the scene before you hit that play button.
Picture yourself going into a race weekend with the same real life drama that Gerhard had on the lead up to this race:
1) You're ill, you have missed the previous three races due to sinus problems and are still not well.
2) The sport and people around you are publicly questioning your competitiveness.
3) Having this time off has made things even worse because now you are dropping in the championship and another driver scored a podium in your actual car whilst you were absent.
4) You have just had an almighty row with your team boss (Flavio Briatore) because of your lack of recent results.
5) To over shadow and cap all of this off your Father who was recently in trouble with the law has just been killed in a plane crash.
Take some time to think about this
Can you seriously imagine all of this going on in the middle of a career critical year?
Gerhard would have been in a very dark place, the world he has fought so hard for all his life is crumbling around him and the body blows just keep coming.
But he stood up.
He said "Fuck it" and decided to throw himself at the only thing he can depend on his world, the feeling you get when holding onto the steering wheel of an F1 car.
Where else could he be allowed to be himself, to escape and completely let rip.
So he did, he turned up to Hockenheim and then.......well.......just press play:
Again the Zone is where you go mentally in order to be at your best, I want you to make getting into your Zone as one of your main goals for this year.
Make it a priority because if you can be at your best no matter whatever crappy or advanced level you are at, then you will be doing something that 99% of the other drivers are not.
It will force you to be better than yesterday, to access everything you know and pull off some outstanding performances. We deserve to see that.
This isn't just for in the car, see if you can be the person you need to be, when you need it, when at home, when in a meeting, when with a loved one. Show up, let the natural you through and again let rip. You will be surprised at just what you can achieve if you allow yourself to be your self.
To read more interviews like Gerhard's and to discover some techniques that will help you then I advise that you go get Clyde's book.
CLICK HERE to see or purchase Overdrive: Formula 1 in the Zone.