teach me how to teach

bswildbill

Member
what do you tell new drivers ? I am having a hard time with a 12 year old getting up to pace while he is in the pack stays with them for 3 or 4 laps then when he loses the pack for whatever reason cant keep pace will be lap traffic in 2 laps I've told him about finding marks but I think he just doesnt understand. I tell him look farther down the track but I know he doesn't because someone can spin out in the corner while he is still in the straight and he will either run into them or spin out locking up the brakes. It's not my son it's a child that has cancer that was a fan of mine when I was raceing and he wanted to race so i bought a used kart and am trying to teach but am at wits end
 

Mac_49

Premium User
First off....big kudos for what you're doing! :)
For me, where I learned lines is by playing videogames....hear me out lol.
Gran Tourismo or Forza for example, have "assists" depicted as arrows mainly built into the games that tell racers where to position cars....it even goes from green to red and in-between to show when to brake and gas.
I was playing racing games young and way before I ever got into the seat of anything, but because of what I picked up in games I could "grasp" the idea of finding a line and mentally seeing it.
 

alvin l nunley

Premium User
Don't take this wrong, but it sounds like you want to win more than he does. Took me 3 years to win my first race, 2 years win my first trophy.

I remember when my wife decided to race. She had pretty good technique, but no speed. It wasn't the kart or the engine either. A friend drove the kart after the race and he was setting track record times.

Be a coach, don't expect too much the first year. I remember when I first started, there was this kid named Dave Knapp, a real slug. His dad owned a new car dealership, he paid one of his mechanics to work the kart and engines. Real slow. In time, he became much much better, so much better that he once won a race at Laguna Seca (laydown) and didn't finish the race. He was so far ahead, 2 1/2 laps, even without finishing he won the race. He broke with one left to go. They change the rules from, most laps in an hour to you had to finish to win. Be patient, spend time talking about racing, not about the mistakes he's making. Remember, you're doing this "for" him, not for you. If that really is the case.
 
Take them out and walk around the track once it is run in where you can see the groove. Tell them to follow that color around. Make a good wide entry.

Gear binding a kart just a little on newbies that don't carry as much momentum seems to help.

Sit with them and watch other classes and point out what other karts are doing right and wrong. I'm probably a little rough on mine as a typical father is but you have to be real with them but also make it fun.

How many races or how long have they been racing? If they are getting chemo or something like that are they getting tired? Get them as comfortable as possible in the seat.

Also I really noticed a big step when we got a yard kart and he was driving it a couple days a week. It was a one wheel peel and he could feel the tires spinning and counter steer
 

bswildbill

Member
Don't take this wrong, but it sounds like you want to win more than he does. Took me 3 years to win my first race, 2 years win my first trophy.

I remember when my wife decided to race. She had pretty good technique, but no speed. It wasn't the kart or the engine either. A friend drove the kart after the race and he was setting track record times.

Be a coach, don't expect too much the first year. I remember when I first started, there was this kid named Dave Knapp, a real slug. His dad owned a new car dealership, he paid one of his mechanics to work the kart and engines. Real slow. In time, he became much much better, so much better that he once won a race at Laguna Seca (laydown) and didn't finish the race. He was so far ahead, 2 1/2 laps, even without finishing he won the race. He broke with one left to go. They change the rules from, most laps in an hour to you had to finish to win. Be patient, spend time talking about racing, not about the mistakes he's making. Remember, you're doing this "for" him, not for you. If that really is the case.
thanks al
 

bswildbill

Member
First off....big kudos for what you're doing! :)
For me, where I learned lines is by playing videogames....hear me out lol.
Gran Tourismo or Forza for example, have "assists" depicted as arrows mainly built into the games that tell racers where to position cars....it even goes from green to red and in-between to show when to brake and gas.
I was playing racing games young and way before I ever got into the seat of anything, but because of what I picked up in games I could "grasp" the idea of finding a line and mentally seeing it.
yea been playing tony stewarts spintcar game and setting his car up loose and tight so he could see the difference and learn the lines it just doesn't seem to relate to real racing to him.I ask him whats the kart is doing push loose slow and he allways says its fine
 

alvin l nunley

Premium User
yea been playing tony stewarts spintcar game and setting his car up loose and tight so he could see the difference and learn the lines it just doesn't seem to relate to real racing to him.I ask him whats the kart is doing push loose slow and he allways says its fine
Are you totally sure he knows what the difference is? Are you asking these questions because you've seen some irregularities on the track? If you answered yes to both questions, maybe he thinks it's driving just fine. Now it gets hard, patience is even harder.
 
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bswildbill

Member
Take them out and walk around the track once it is run in where you can see the groove. Tell them to follow that color around. Make a good wide entry.

Gear binding a kart just a little on newbies that don't carry as much momentum seems to help.

Sit with them and watch other classes and point out what other karts are doing right and wrong. I'm probably a little rough on mine as a typical father is but you have to be real with them but also make it fun.

How many races or how long have they been racing? If they are getting chemo or something like that are they getting tired? Get them as comfortable as possible in the seat.

Also I really noticed a big step when we got a yard kart and he was driving it a couple days a week. It was a one wheel peel and he could feel the tires spinning and counter steer
this is his first year racing he just got off chemo at start of season and not real strong but does ok by end of night he is tired will try to gear bind this week that might help. i am retired so limited funds about all I can do is keep kart up and go racing so yard kart is out .thanks for the advise
 

WPaul

Member
There's no substitute for laps,, seat time. Make it fun for him. If the track will allow it, take him there and just let him ride. In due time he'll begin to get a feel for what he and the kart is doing. Then when you can take him to a track he's never seen and he's "up to speed" in the first practice, you'll be glad you spent the time with him. Even Tiger Woods son has to practice !

Best, WP
 
this is his first year racing he just got off chemo at start of season and not real strong but does ok by end of night he is tired will try to gear bind this week that might help. i am retired so limited funds about all I can do is keep kart up and go racing so yard kart is out .thanks for the advise
As someone else asked. Are you seeing issues with the kart or just no speed once he loses them? Maybe tires too soft? Think I had that problem my first year. Watch entry more and try to fix any issues with that then worry about the rest of the corner.

Some kids or even adults are just naturally more competitive than others. I have two boys 7 and 9 and the 9 year old really has the burn to win. Doesn't matter if its cards, foot race, soccer, karts, thumb wrestling. Younger one is just having fun, he was leading the heat race last time and comes through the corner waving at everyone and gets passed on the inside LOL.
 

Mac_49

Premium User
Something else...not saying anything is wrong with the chassis but have you asked to try one of the other's karts during a happy hour?
I know some can be sticklers about that, but it'd give a decent idea as to whether the tires/setup might be off enough to create distance...or if you just need to really focus on teaching the kid?
 

jaymancds

Premium User
yes your right sometimes staying positive is the hardest part of this journey and he is very proud to be a racer. thank
Have you asked him what HIS goals are? Does HE want to win? Does HE feel like he is doing a good job? Etc, Etc.

The reason I say this is the same reason if someone asks me to talk to their kid (which for being a newb has happened more than I expected) I always start with how the kid feels about it. Sometimes the kid is frustrated that he/she cant keep up. Sometimes they feel like there is no way for them to do better because even if they do good in their mind, somebody always asks how it couldve been better. Kids are generally more fragile in their thinking than us hard headed adults. Ive even had kids tell me that they only do it so they can make some friends, or spend time with X family member. Kids have pure reasonings, just not always "Cuz I wanna Win".

Its very possible that with the situation your young fella has been through, his goal was just to be on the track. He may not have ever thought about winning, or being competitive. He might be fulfilling a dream just by being on the track. Sounds to me like he is already a winner for fighting cancer.

I would say, have a chat with him away from the race track. Maybe at the shop, or at his house. And dont make it like its bad if he doesnt want to win, and personally, I would leave him in the kart even if he says he doesnt care much about winning. One day he will get lucky and get his first win. From there on he'll be hooked on that winning feeling and youll have a guy with a ton of laps finally ready to go get some wins.

Remember, being positive and being genuine goes a LONG way with kids of any age. I know its basically impossible, but try your hardest to not make him feel like he has failed. He hasnt failed, he just isnt quite ready for the winners circle yet, and that is OK.
 

bswildbill

Member
There's no substitute for laps,, seat time. Make it fun for him. If the track will allow it, take him there and just let him ride. In due time he'll begin to get a feel for what he and the kart is doing. Then when you can take him to a track he's never seen and he's "up to speed" in the first practice, you'll be glad you spent the time with him. Even Tiger Woods son has to practice !

Best, WP
seat time is great! we get to turn laps after the races and will probably run more laps practicing than we did racing run 6 come in discuss what needs to change run 6 more and so on .we only race every other weekend so it seems he forgets everything he learned . we have no place to run close by track is 85 miles away. it's been fun and family comes out to support him just trying to find a way to relate thanks
 

bswildbill

Member
Something else...not saying anything is wrong with the chassis but have you asked to try one of the other's karts during a happy hour?
I know some can be sticklers about that, but it'd give a decent idea as to whether the tires/setup might be off enough to create distance...or if you just need to really focus on teaching the kid?
I dont feel good about him driving someone else's kart (afraid he might crash it) but did have someone in his class drive ours and they said it handled better than theirs and he is a front runner so I think we are in the ballpark I am new to karting also but doing a lot of homework this forum has helped us a lot! i may be bogging motor down with tire prep but its hard to tell and he just doesnt know when he is out in practice all alone his fast times are pretty close to the winners they just are not consistent thanks
 

bswildbill

Member
Are you totally sure he knows what the difference is? Are you asking these questions because you've seen some irregularities on the track? If you answered yes to both questions, maybe he thinks it's driving just fine. Now it gets hard, patience is even harder.
you got that right al . I always said if I had patience I would of been a doctor. but I am trying
 

bswildbill

Member
Have you asked him what HIS goals are? Does HE want to win? Does HE feel like he is doing a good job? Etc, Etc.

The reason I say this is the same reason if someone asks me to talk to their kid (which for being a newb has happened more than I expected) I always start with how the kid feels about it. Sometimes the kid is frustrated that he/she cant keep up. Sometimes they feel like there is no way for them to do better because even if they do good in their mind, somebody always asks how it couldve been better. Kids are generally more fragile in their thinking than us hard headed adults. Ive even had kids tell me that they only do it so they can make some friends, or spend time with X family member. Kids have pure reasonings, just not always "Cuz I wanna Win".

Its very possible that with the situation your young fella has been through, his goal was just to be on the track. He may not have ever thought about winning, or being competitive. He might be fulfilling a dream just by being on the track. Sounds to me like he is already a winner for fighting cancer.

I would say, have a chat with him away from the race track. Maybe at the shop, or at his house. And dont make it like its bad if he doesnt want to win, and personally, I would leave him in the kart even if he says he doesnt care much about winning. One day he will get lucky and get his first win. From there on he'll be hooked on that winning feeling and youll have a guy with a ton of laps finally ready to go get some wins.

Remember, being positive and being genuine goes a LONG way with kids of any age. I know its basically impossible, but try your hardest to not make him feel like he has failed. He hasnt failed, he just isnt quite ready for the winners circle yet, and that is OK.
wow thanks for bringing reality back to me. He was one of my biggest fans when we were racing ,a couple years ago ,always came down after race and talk. I was racing modifieds and didnt have a chance of winning a feature (no money) and I would tell him car loaded on trailer on its own power so it was a great nite racing
 

drt27

Member
If you are new to karting and he is new to karting then I would try to find a successful veteran Sr. Driver to help out with your program. Tires are extremely important in karting these days and if you are off a little it can make a big difference. 12 is a tough age to start as most kids have been racing for years by then. An experienced Karter should be able to help him learn lines as well. I had 10 years experience racing late models and this is our 4th year of karting and I still find myself picking wrong tires because the slicks are completely the opposite of late model tires.
 

jacobsdad

Member
Something else to add. Think about what cancer survivors call “chemo brain”. After chemo it is very common for survivors to have a much slower thought process and a shorter memory. On the track the driver has to be thinking around each corner, remembering where the hood line was on each corner, watching through the turn and down the straights, watching other drivers for signs that they might be changing up their lines or losing control, feeling how their kart is handling, and looking for a good chance to pass. Maybe after a couple of laps he starts to get confused with all of the stimulus he gets on the track. The only cure for this is time and experience. Some survivors do not experience this but many do.
 
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