Jump to content

What Makes A Good Student?


Recommended Posts

Students at the school typically want to get the most from their day, and have a variety of ideas on how to go about that.

 

This would be effected by a few things, to just list a couple:

 

1. Previous training, what "works" for them.

2. What they might have heard from other students, or friendfs.

3. Some might think they really have to push it hard to get their value from the school.

 

What do you think will be the best approach?

 

I'd like to hear from those that haven't yet done the school, as well as those that have.

 

Best,

Cobie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are a few things I think are important:

 

- You must be willing to listen to the coaches and really hear what they are saying (yes even Pete :P )

- You must be willing to un-learn old habits or at least be willing to try new things, even if they might "slow you down" or "don't feel right" at first (you know the old saying, one step back to make two steps forward)

- And you must actively take part in your education (the Socratic Method as applied by CSS fosters this but it is incumbent on the student to take ownership of their education)

 

I know there are some professional racers that take the school, but for most of us this is recreation. Keep it in context and you will take a great deal more enjoyment out of it. Celebrate your improvements and achievements as measured against yourself, not the fellow that is 2 seconds of the track record (unless you are 2.5 seconds off the track record :D ).

 

But to quote Dennis Miller, "that's just my opinion, I could be wrong"....

 

Ride safe,

 

Carey

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Carey has some very good points. What I'd add to that is:

 

- The ability to do self-observation while you are practising on the track. A consequence of this is that you don't run at 100% mental capacity while on-track.

- The willingness to ask "Why?" when you don't understand or do not agree with the explanation given by the coach (classroom or on-track). And do it again even after explanation number 2 when you're still not satisfied and the entire class are rolling their eyes.

 

Kai

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some good points guys, I'll toss one in:

 

Not beat up on oneself. This actually takes some self discipline. Maybe that seems a bit odd to say it that way, but often times we have seen a person doing quite well, someone else goes by him and he then things he's doing something wrong, not going fast enough, etc., and takes too large a jump. Gets into a turn over his head and errors begin.

 

There are some other pieces to this, anyone else want to chime in?

 

CF

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ego Management - ego and ego defense get in the way of SO much learning

 

 

  • Admitting that you have something to learn and possessing "child's mind"
  • Approaching your learning with the idea that you MAY have an idea how to do something, but you'd like to see if there are other ways out there and if they are an improvement
  • Convincing yourself that you don't know it all already
  • Enjoying the experience AS the experience - when you are focused on competing you forget to actually enjoy what you're doing. If you are eating ice cream for the joy of eating it then it tastes much better than if you are doing it to see who can eat the most ice cream in 5 minutes.
  • Focus on the joy and the speed will follow - focus on the speed and both will elude you

Link to comment
Share on other sites

+1 on not beating yourself up and on enjoying the experience. Let me add ... being willing to fail.

 

Not fail as in crash, but fail as in not touch a knee, not turn the fastest, or even a faster lap time, fail as in feeling uncomfortable instead of feeling MORE comfortable. A lot of skill learning takes time and repetition to sink in and sometimes it is hard to remember that and be patient. I know this is a tough one for me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

+1 on not beating yourself up and on enjoying the experience. Let me add ... being willing to fail.

 

Not fail as in crash, but fail as in not touch a knee, not turn the fastest, or even a faster lap time, fail as in feeling uncomfortable instead of feeling MORE comfortable. A lot of skill learning takes time and repetition to sink in and sometimes it is hard to remember that and be patient. I know this is a tough one for me.

 

We have a pretty unique approach to this, the overall design of the training and student interaction. Its rare that a student will not move nicely forward with his/her skills during the day. Someimes an unrealistic goal can get in there ("going to get a knee down" when the rider's pace is nowhere near that level). But with the rider's improved technique, he can go the same speed with LESS lean angle, so getting a knee down requires an even higher level of speed and skill.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But with the rider's improved technique, he can go the same speed with LESS lean angle, so getting a knee down requires an even higher level of speed and skill.

Cobie;

This is so true! I was able to touch a knee at a local track day some years ago and was pretty pleased about that accomplishment. As I started to attend the School my lap times dropped but the times my knee touched dropped even more. I remember passing other riders in wide sweepers with their knees on the track when mine wasn't even close so I just focused on the training and forgot about the knee. I have since learned that in race practice and in races are the only times it seems to happen and when it does at a School it is when the track is clear and I can push without worrying about the six foot rule.

 

Mika

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But with the rider's improved technique, he can go the same speed with LESS lean angle, so getting a knee down requires an even higher level of speed and skill.

Cobie;

This is so true! I was able to touch a knee at a local track day some years ago and was pretty pleased about that accomplishment. As I started to attend the School my lap times dropped but the times my knee touched dropped even more. I remember passing other riders in wide sweepers with their knees on the track when mine wasn't even close so I just focused on the training and forgot about the knee. I have since learned that in race practice and in races are the only times it seems to happen and when it does at a School it is when the track is clear and I can push without worrying about the six foot rule.

 

Mika

 

Good observation Mika. Its a useful tool (knee down) for sure, but not at the top of the list of priorities, especially if one still has some lean angle to go.

 

CF

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3. Some might think they really have to push it hard to get their value from the school.

 

 

You have to push hard, Cobbie. I think I"ve made a mistake of taking it too easy last time and I've paid the price - I feel I've missed the opportunity.

 

And do have expectations - if you don't know what you want to achieve you're at the mercy of your coach/other students/whims/weather/etc.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A good student is someone who wants to be educated on particular information, and has the required minimal skill/knowledge to participate in the education of said material. The instructor is key to the proper education of a student.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some interesting replies.

 

Regarding "pushing hard", lets have a look at that. Does that mean push hard mentally or push your personal limits on track? Maybe in some cases that could work, might not in others.

 

Here's one thing to consider: if a rider was able to make some kind of gain: speed, confidence, comfort, lap time, section time, same speed but easier, more relaxed, more accurate, more consistent--would these be valid gains?

 

Sometimes a rider pushes hard and ends up on his head. Not so good. Sometimes a rider pushes hard and ends up breaking through a new riding barrier, that's good.

 

An educated rider, with a realistic goal, and then compare what his progress is against that goal. 20-30 seconds improvement on a first track day could be done, but not realistic most other times. "Pushing Hard" when it means riding over one's skill level we often see leads to drama. Pushing hard with an educated, small slice at a time approach taken can have solid results.

 

There is more on this subject, but like to know what you guys think.

 

CF

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Regarding "pushing hard", lets have a look at that. Does that mean push hard mentally or push your personal limits on track? Maybe in some cases that could work, might not in others.

 

 

I'd say it means "don't take it easy, have a goal and make sure you're trying to achieve it". It's oh so simple to talk yourself into backing off - unfamiliar track, unfamiliar bike, too hot, too wet, too .... take a pick and you'll find an excuse.

 

And on Levels I through III school makes it harder to have a goal because most of the time the drills are fixed, the only goal one can have is to "be a good student" and this is hard to measure. Am I a good student if I sat on all classroom sessions and attempted to do what I was told on the track but didn't really do anything right? Am I a good student if I did what I thought I needed to do on track but missed most of what was said during classroom sessions?

 

 

And how do you measure "soft goals" like "more relaxed, more accurate"? It has to be lap time, does it not? And if lap time are going backward - are you a good or bad student?

 

By the way, is it possible to get lap times for the second day of boot camps? I've only got times from the first day.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi makc,

 

Usually we do have the times, please shoot Trevor an e-mail, we'll get them to you. Trevor@superbikeschool.com. You can cc me on that too.

 

Regarding being a good student, if a student really does what has been laid out in the classroom AND interacts with his coach, we are going to get a result.

 

The format for the schools has been heavily researched. The skills, and the sequence have been really looked over. Now, that being said, sometimes a student runs info a problem (can happen). That is when he needs to be in good communication with his coach.

 

This is one of the key, key factors in being a good student, being in REAL communication. If it is going well, let the coach know. Not going well, don't sit on that, pipe up right now. The reality is at the school the on-track coaches are not teachers, they are coaches. The athletes (students) have a responsibility to be in good honest communication with their coaches. When they do, killer results are really guaranteed.

 

If a student gets there and says he wants to learn, but really wants to beat his buddie's lap time, or get a knee down, (nothing wrong with these as goals) but doesn't honetly communicate that, and if it doesn't fit in with actually making him a better rider, then the student/athlete and the School/coach will be at odds. Sometimes a student wants to get his knee down so bad, he has a horrible body position and tosses out the door solid cornering technique--now using up too much lean angle, tight on the bars, turns slow and early, off the throttle, etc.. Again, nothing wrong with getting a knee down (good lean angle guage for one), but if being done to the detrement of other more critical solid riding techniques, then that athlete would end up being at odds with his coach.

 

Make sense to you guys on this one?

 

Best,

Cobie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Regarding being a good student, if a student really does what has been laid out in the classroom AND interacts with his coach, we are going to get a result.

 

The format for the schools has been heavily researched. The skills, and the sequence have been really looked over. Now, that being said, sometimes a student runs info a problem (can happen). That is when he needs to be in good communication with his coach.

 

This is one of the key, key factors in being a good student, being in REAL communication. If it is going well, let the coach know. Not going well, don't sit on that, pipe up right now. The reality is at the school the on-track coaches are not teachers, they are coaches. The athletes (students) have a responsibility to be in good honest communication with their coaches. When they do, killer results are really guaranteed.

 

 

honest is the key word here - you hit it: don't lie to yourself and the rest is likely to follow. And honesty starts with admitting to yourself why you're doing the school and what kind of results you expect to get. The real problem is that it's hard to say that you want to take it easy in such testosterone-driven environment as motorcycle racing so you start by lying to yourself about what you expect and it all goes to pot.

 

Personally I think coaches could be harder on the students - if they see something they don't like, don't try to nanny the "athletes", tell them to shape up or there will be no milkshakes for dinner.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know what you mean makc. I'm not bashful when a guy is doing something dangerous, and sometimes its a fine line to walk...let the guy know what he's doing, but if all he hears is what he's doing wrong--well, that's not going to work either, is it?

 

CF

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not bashful when a guy is doing something dangerous, and sometimes its a fine line to walk...let the guy know what he's doing, but if all he hears is what he's doing wrong--well, that's not going to work either, is it?

 

Why not? Always telling someone "You can do it! You can be anything you want!" isn't going to work either - how am I supposed to learn what I'm doing something wrong if nobody tell me nothing or only tells me if it's dangerous?

 

For example, you've showed me what I was doing wrong when trying to hang off in the right handers - now I know, I have a chance to fix it. Wherever I will be able to fix it is another matter. I hate that i know it - made me self-concious but I'd take that over blissful ignorance.

 

So, here is another one for "being a good student" - take criticism as opportunity to learn.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, having taken a few classes from CSS, and thinking back on some successes and missed opportunities, I would like to comment on the pushing hard discussion.

 

I strongly agree with the notion of running at 70-80% so that you can focus on the skills that are being presented and practiced. Even though I know this, and believe this, it is not always easy for me to stay at this level. When I have, it has allowed me some mastery of techniques and a Zen-like riding experience which I remember favorably. That said, there are some learning opportunities that come from following a faster rider around, or pushing into a corner a little faster than comfortable and making the commitment to see it through. I think there must be some balance of techniques, but with the amount I personally struggle with it, I can't imagine it would is easy to direct someone on when to choose each path. I agree that honesty between student and coach would be pretty important if the student is going to get the most from their experience. I think that all students can benefit from each technique, but the right technique at the right time may be the challenge.

 

The last school I did in March. I pushed myself around the track pretty quickly, and felt good with what I accomplished, mostly gaining comfort and confidence at speed; but there were a lot of the basics from 5 months earlier which fell a little bit by the wayside. Working on my body position and transitions but loosing my two-step would be an example. So, after spending the season racing, what I think I need most of all, is an environment where I can run at 80%, not get run over in the process, and work on solidifying my technique. I guess I'll know soon enough if I can stick to the plan for two days.

 

After that, I'm doing the race school again. That should be good for the following faster riders around bit...

 

Can't wait.

 

-Sean

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds good overall, and CODERACE is a great place to work at a higher pace.

 

One thing we didn't talk about in this thread was what is 70 or 80%? This for sure can be different for different people, simply defining and getting some kind of standard in place. We've had guys say they were at 70% and had very little margin left and making consistent errors.

 

There was one endurance racer back in the 80's, he just figured if he wasn't crashing pretty regularly, he wasn't going at all.

 

This might be an interesting exercise to define/delineate what the different percentages mean...anyone want to take a stab at this? We are at the track the rest of the weak, won't even be able to look this over till Monday or Tuesday.

 

CF

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

One thing we didn't talk about in this thread was what is 70 or 80%? This for sure can be different for different people, simply defining and getting some kind of standard in place. We've had guys say they were at 70% and had very little margin left and making consistent errors.

 

 

A simple view - 70% of the track record time: a chap did 90 seconds lap in Qualifying on weekend, at school it becomes 117 seconds or nearly 2 minutes. Sounds easy, neh?

 

A slightly more realistic example - 70% of your own best time on a particular track: I usually do around 2:10, so for school it would be 2:50. That's more likely to happen.

 

One problem which I personally have with 70% is avoiding mistakes when trying to go slowly deliberately - instead of concentrating on drills you concentrate on speed.

Maybe your 70% guys were in the same situation. A solution could be to avoid harping on about particular number and just let the chap find his rhythm. If he's able to do what the drill requires then who cares if it 70% or 95%?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hard to say if a straight percentage applied to laptime would work. As an example; If I go from a personal best 1:51to a 2:02, I would view that as pretty relaxed. Going another 10% to a 2:13 could be done entirely on autopilot. While this would allow full concentration on the techniques, the reduction in speed may reduce some of the relevance of turn points, turn rate, etc. I guess it depends on the specific barriers you are trying to work through, but I suspect that a perceived 70-80% is probably more connected to running at 70% attention and not a 70% laptime. As a result it is a little harder to quantify what that speed is, maybe something like being able to say the alphabet out loud while riding?

-Sean

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One thing we didn't talk about in this thread was what is 70 or 80%? This for sure can be different for different people, simply defining and getting some kind of standard in place. We've had guys say they were at 70% and had very little margin left and making consistent errors.

 

 

A simple view - 70% of the track record time: a chap did 90 seconds lap in Qualifying on weekend, at school it becomes 117 seconds or nearly 2 minutes. Sounds easy, neh?

 

A slightly more realistic example - 70% of your own best time on a particular track: I usually do around 2:10, so for school it would be 2:50. That's more likely to happen.

 

One problem which I personally have with 70% is avoiding mistakes when trying to go slowly deliberately - instead of concentrating on drills you concentrate on speed.

Maybe your 70% guys were in the same situation. A solution could be to avoid harping on about particular number and just let the chap find his rhythm. If he's able to do what the drill requires then who cares if it 70% or 95%?

 

Wow, that is an interesting answer - I never even thought about measuring it by laptime. I guess because trying 30% harder never seem to actually get me a 30% better laptime!!

 

For me, I think of 70% as the pace where I am riding along pretty quick but have enough margin for error that I could avoid an unexpected obstacle with no trouble at all. It's a pace where I have enough free attention to think about what I am doing, or make changes in body position, etc. without feeling out of control or panicked. I feel very comfortable with no trace of fear and feel SURE that I could go faster, and I can take in additional information, like hand signals from a coach or a waving flag, without any effect on my riding or my concentration, or can try a modification in my riding (like a quicker turn, a different line, or a changed body position) without feeling like I could run off the track. But it is still fast enough I am not bored, and I can see the result of any changes I make, and my mind is not wandering off to other things.

 

Your answer got me thinking, and I know what my laptimes are when I am going as fast as I can versus when I am going at about 75%. So I did the math and the difference was only 7 seconds, which is only about a 7% difference. I think if I went for a laptime that was 30% slower I would feel like I was going REALLY slow, below 50% of my ability. I have no idea if that is typical or not, has anyone else compared a full-tilt laptime with their perception of 70-80%? I'd be interested to hear the result.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow, that is an interesting answer - I never even thought about measuring it by laptime. I guess because trying 30% harder never seem to actually get me a 30% better laptime!!

 

For me, I think of 70% as the pace where I am riding along pretty quick but have enough margin for error that I could avoid an unexpected obstacle with no trouble at all. It's a pace where I have enough free attention to think about what I am doing, or make changes in body position, etc. without feeling out of control or panicked. I feel very comfortable with no trace of fear and feel SURE that I could go faster, and I can take in additional information, like hand signals from a coach or a waving flag, without any effect on my riding or my concentration, or can try a modification in my riding (like a quicker turn, a different line, or a changed body position) without feeling like I could run off the track. But it is still fast enough I am not bored, and I can see the result of any changes I make, and my mind is not wandering off to other things.

 

Your answer got me thinking, and I know what my laptimes are when I am going as fast as I can versus when I am going at about 75%. So I did the math and the difference was only 7 seconds, which is only about a 7% difference. I think if I went for a laptime that was 30% slower I would feel like I was going REALLY slow, below 50% of my ability. I have no idea if that is typical or not, has anyone else compared a full-tilt laptime with their perception of 70-80%? I'd be interested to hear the result.

Totally in line with you on this, Hottie - 70% effort is not the same as 30% slower, more like the 7% you're mentioning (e.g. +5 sec on a 1m10s lap time)

 

I remember showing a friend around on the local track (Knutstorp) while driving with one hand waving to him to come closer etc - and this was done at around 10 seconds/lap slower than my normal pace, and here I had time to wave and guide my friend. Some years later he had the same experience when he was showing some other friends around on a different track - oh how we had a laugh over that when to told about it :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow, that is an interesting answer - I never even thought about measuring it by laptime. I guess because trying 30% harder never seem to actually get me a 30% better laptime!!

 

For me, I think of 70% as the pace where I am riding along pretty quick but have enough margin for error that I could avoid an unexpected obstacle with no trouble at all. It's a pace where I have enough free attention to think about what I am doing, or make changes in body position, etc. without feeling out of control or panicked. I feel very comfortable with no trace of fear and feel SURE that I could go faster, and I can take in additional information, like hand signals from a coach or a waving flag, without any effect on my riding or my concentration, or can try a modification in my riding (like a quicker turn, a different line, or a changed body position) without feeling like I could run off the track. But it is still fast enough I am not bored, and I can see the result of any changes I make, and my mind is not wandering off to other things.

 

These are all double-plus good indicators BUT they're intangible - you cannot put number on them, so "70%" becomes "I think it's like this and that and some of that with side of ...".

 

BTW, you are supposed to be able to notice waved flags even at full tilt, aren't you?

 

Your answer got me thinking, and I know what my laptimes are when I am going as fast as I can versus when I am going at about 75%. So I did the math and the difference was only 7 seconds, which is only about a 7% difference. I think if I went for a laptime that was 30% slower I would feel like I was going REALLY slow, below 50% of my ability. I have no idea if that is typical or not, has anyone else compared a full-tilt laptime with their perception of 70-80%? I'd be interested to hear the result.

 

Well, your data and khp's seems to agree - 7% of your best lap is "70% effort". Make it 10% of someone's best lap time and that's the magic number. I just wonder how does your best+10% compares to the official lap record?

 

And for people who live in police states where lap timing devices are verbotten - well, they can wave hands and argue...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...