A Question of Performance (improvement)

Another Question of Meaning

I know, I should know this already. Performance in motorcycle racing is defined by very specific measures: sector times and lap times. Whoever strings the best ones together over the course of a defined number of laps in their class has performed the best, right?

This, I think, is probably the basis of every approach that I have had from both racers and teams looking to improve performance. Even those looking for assistance in getting back to full form following injury have similar goals in mind.

It is very easy to get hung up on this, but as usual I'm not so much worried about what's on the surface and what everyone else sees. I want to scratch a little below the surface, but as soon as we begin to scratch the surface we get faced with another one of those facinating paradoxes of motorcycle racing.

If you really want to improve lap times and sector times and subsequently your results, you need to turn your back on them, forget about them and look elsewhere. This is because performance and its improvement doesn't come from chasing time, nor does it come from other measures such as measuring yourself against your nearest competitor.

You need to let go.. And then consider what delivers the results you are looking for.

Whilst motorcycle racing is measured by very specific results and times, which is great because it means we can objectively measure any improvements we experience along our journey, stripped back it is merely a specific flow of experience, moment upon moment blending into each other, from the start to the finish of the race. It is only as a result of successfully completing each moment in the best way you can that you will achieve your success. It is entirely this experience that defines performance and its improvement.

Focus and be present in your moment, and hone the quality of the experience.

(Image credit:Paddock Life @ Jerez, Fiat Yamaha Team by Gigi Soldano licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)