If you’re a driver coach then you know the drill of corner watching very well. The part of your coaching that requires you to brave the weather as you stand outside a corner to watch your driver in the effort to give them feedback and tips on how to improve their driving.
For drivers and for engineers the information that you can provide from corner watching can be seriously valuable.
From the drivers point of view they can be told what they are actually doing out there compared to their competitors line wise, gear wise, what curbs they are using, how they are overtaking and defending at certain corners, how they are using the steering, how they are preparing the lap/tyres and sometimes the coach can even tell the drivers and the team what others are doing car set up wise, the sort of things that are noticeable outside anyway.
If you have a good eye watching a driver then you can often provide information that fills in the grey areas and explains the root cause of what the driver is seeing in the data and on their on-board footage.
Data and on-boards are great but they still do not paint the full picture.
This form of coaching is necessary if you are to fully learn your driver and to mind read them as they are competing. You have to see, smell and hear them in action for real at the side of the track if you are serious about helping them.
You need to read their mind through their car/driving body language, plus if you are watching their every move on track for real the driver feels that you are out there with them and this always helps in debriefs.
The Coach’s Feedback
Driver coaches spend a lot of their time attempting to communicate what they are seeing out on track, we put pen to paper and make poor drawings of a certain corner or we use our hands to attempt to describe what is going on.
These are valid and easy ways of showing a driver what is going on out there and I obviously still use these but the driver can still misunderstand what you are trying to say.
This then causes them to overthink a certain corner in the wrong way and can waste the next run.
So the best answer is to physically show them, show them exactly what you are seeing on the track.
To do this we use video, which is very effective, but over recent times I have found a magic piece of software that takes this video footage one step further and has personally helped me and my drivers so much.
This software comes in the form of an App called Coaches Eye.
This App has helped me out 100’s of times over the past 3 years when I have wanted to show drivers how they can improve a certain corner.
It is basically a way of filming your driver, and their competitors, then being able to show that footage on a split screen where you can line both cars up and show the difference in:
Distance and time lost overall
And so on
If used correctly this App is a life saver, it is quick, efficient, gets to the point and allows the driver to see exactly what they are doing compared to others, good and bad.
Frame by Frame - You can use the slider at the bottom of the screen to go frame by frame to really show the subtle differences and how much time is being lost or made.
Slow Motion – You can watch the two cars at the same time going through the corner in slow motion.
Draw – The App also allows you to draw on the video using your finger.
Here is a video that shows how to compare two videos using the App.
It's not on Motorsport but you can see the App in action. Instead of the same snowboarder on the split screen compare feature you would have your driver on the left, and the P1 driver on the right, then compare:
Where is it
As usual you can find the Coaches Eye App in the App Store for your device. At the moment it is £3.99 in the Apple store, it’s worth every penny, and more.
I hope it helps you as much as it has helped me.
All the best