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View Poll Results: Should everyone invest in hiring a coach after getting signed off solo?
Every one should do this to progress from being safe, do being safe and drive well. 9 40.91%
Every one should do this before their first mods besides tires, pads and brake fluid. 5 22.73%
It is better to first get 2-3 track events running solor before hiring a coach. 8 36.36%
No need to spend $500 - 1000. I'm great & I need 22" & a superCharger w/ methanol injection. 2 9.09%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 22. You may not vote on this poll

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  #31  
Old 05-20-2011, 05:36 AM
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Default Re: Coaching...?

Too funny, even you

Yes, please let me know.
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  #32  
Old 06-01-2011, 05:47 PM
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Default Re: Coaching...?

Been lurking for a week or so - nice place you guys have here...

I think everyone, including coaches can benefit from coaching... no matter who you are or how good you are, little things creep into your driving that generally only someone else can really pick out. Always good to get a second opinion.

Along with being a PCA DE instructor, I'm one of the lead instructors at the Ron Fellows performance driving school and the Advanced Driving and Racing School at Spring Mountain near Las Vegas. Yes, I do a lot of instructing in Corvettes. I also do a lot of one-on-one coaching from intermediates to professional full-time racers, often through the school, but I'm often asked to fly to other tracks to coach. I've coached in everything from street Corvettes and Porsches to full-race C6Rs and Porsche Cup cars, as well as sports racers like 4 and 8 cylinder Radical race cars.

I think coaching is best received by drivers who are at the point where they begin to know and understand what they don't know - usually in the advanced-intermediate, and advanced driving level. It does take a while to learn the basics, then reach that point of enlightenment. But, they need to be receptive to coaching. I was surprised (maybe you wouldn't be) at how many drivers have hired me to validate how good/fast they are, as opposed to wanting to learn something new, or get an honest evaluation from another party how they're doing. While it does make it easy if you tell them what they want to hear - "hey, you're great!" - and lucrative, it's not very fulfilling for the coach, at least it's not for me. What's also been a surprise to me is how many who would consider themselves advanced drivers don't have that "unconscious" mastery of some of the basics. I'd say close to 40% of the advanced drivers I've coached either don't know how to properly H&T, or they do it poorly... and quite a few don't have good visual scanning skills - they don't look up the track far enough or don't use their side windows to "look ahead" when necessary.

I think the use of data logging equipment for the review of the telemetry can be very valuable, but you also need to know what you're looking for. For coaching purposes, it's good to have empirical data to be able to compare the process from lap-to-lap - a great way to be able to judge consistency and incremental improvement, but it's only one tool in the tool box. Data can tell you lots of stuff, but there's also many things it can't... things that only a good coach in the right seat can see and feel... like visual scanning, smoothness, anticipation, H&T skills, braking (too early, too late, over slowing the car), carrying momentum through corners, and probably most important - car balance... how balanced is the car at turn in, apex and exit, and how does that effect the car's momentum on corner exit.
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  #33  
Old 06-01-2011, 05:53 PM
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Default Re: Coaching...?

Brad, welcome to our community, it is really great to have you here. Also, wonderful first post
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  #34  
Old 06-01-2011, 06:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FTS View Post
Brad, welcome to our community, it is really great to have you here. Also, wonderful first post
Thank you for the warm welcome ... yes, that's a Cayman S in my avatar... btw, take a look in your e-mail - I sent you something to consider from the file you sent me.
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  #35  
Old 06-01-2011, 06:43 PM
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Default Re: Coaching...?

+1 on what Brad said, but purely from the student perspective.

I feel like I am at that driver '...who are at the point where they begin to know and understand what they don't know" I talking with friends and doing research to try to make an informed decision about getting some coaching later this year.
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  #36  
Old 06-01-2011, 08:37 PM
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Hello Beez,

Welcome to the pages. Thanks for your post

I had my first coach in November and I should have done it years ago It was a great learning experience that I plan to repeat once a year on tracks that I think I pretty much have figured out as much as I will on my own.

Quote:
I was surprised (maybe you wouldn't be) at how many drivers have hired me to validate how good/fast they are, as opposed to wanting to learn something new, or get an honest evaluation from another party how they're doing. While it does make it easy if you tell them what they want to hear - "hey, you're great!" - and lucrative, it's not very fulfilling for the coach, at least it's not for me.


Racers with an attidude and arrogance. Whoda tunk it!

I can't H&T worth a crap, but if you need some help telling the greats how great they really are, all you have to do is feed me (You'de be surprised) and fly me to a racetrack
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  #37  
Old 06-02-2011, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdrums View Post
For you Sebring guys I HIGHLY suggest you hire Chris Hall for the day. Super great guy, fun to learn fun, Pro ALMS driver. Everyone I know that has had him as a coach learned a lot, went faster and safer and had a blast.

Chris was one of my instructors when I went to the Porsche Driving School. I found him to be a great instructor.

What's the best way to get in contact with him for private instruction?

-Troy
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  #38  
Old 06-02-2011, 09:34 PM
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Default Re: Coaching...?

From: Chris Hall [mailto:hallmotor@aol.com]
Sent: Thursday, May 05, 2011 1:21 PM
To: hallmotor@aol.com
Subject: Re: Chris Hall Coaching Availability

Hi Everyone,

Thanks to all of you that have used me in the past and spread the good word about my coaching services. It is most appreciated.

Attached is a spreadsheet of the days I am available. This is for the remainder of 2011 and please me know ASAP when you would like to use me and I will lock you in.

Cheers and thanks again.
CHRIS HALL
Chris Hall Racing
ClubVenueDate
PBOCHomestead18-19 Jul
ChinRoad Atlanta1-Jul
SafeSebring2-Jul
ChinHomestead16-Jul
RezoomRoad Atlanta19-Aug
ChinSebring20-Aug
RezoomRoad Atlanta5-Sep
ChinRoad Atlanta12-Sep
ChinBarber24-25 Sep
SafeSebring25-Sep
ChinSebring8-9 Oct
RezoomBarber5-6 Nov
RezoomRoebling19-20 Nov
ChinRoad Atlanta26-27 Nov
Florida Sports Car ClubDaytona2-4 Dec
RezoomDaytona9-11 Dec
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  #39  
Old 06-03-2011, 12:08 AM
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Default Re: Coaching...?

Chris is a great guy, and one of the best coaches in the business.
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  #40  
Old 08-06-2011, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beez View Post
...
Data can tell you lots of stuff, but there's also many things it can't... things that only a good coach in the right seat can see and feel... like visual scanning, smoothness, anticipation, H&T skills, braking (too early, too late, over slowing the car), carrying momentum through corners, and probably most important - car balance... how balanced is the car at turn in, apex and exit, and how does that effect the car's momentum on corner exit.
I agree with most but not all of this, many of these things CAN be seen with data, for example braking, momentum, and car balance can be easily seen with data. With wheelspeed data (most current cars with data connected with CAN have independent wheelspeed from all four corners), and then (optionally) adding steering wheel angle sensor, you can chart yaw.

Add syncrhonized video, and you can see exactly what the data is showing you (or vice versa, see something on the video and you can go see what this 'does' to the data).

Sure it's easy for a coach to spot this stuff, esp. if there are significant issues, but a ridealong coach isn't always possible for various reasons, and there are always sessions where you will be running solo.

Data has been the first mod I made to my first two race cars (Pi in my RS America and Motec in my 996 Cup), and my 997 Cup came with Motec, so I've had data in all three of my race cars. I have synchronized Chasecam in both the Cups.

Since I don't have a right seat, the vast majority of coaching I get from others is from analysis of video and data. Mostly video - they'll watch the video and point things out etc. I'll then go look at the data to make sure I fully understand exactly what's going on etc. I of course do much more self-analysis of data than I get in third-party analysis also.

Sometimes I'm lucky enough to be able to get video and/or data from a top pro driver in a similar car at the same track, so being able to analyze properly is very helpful.

Data does take a while to understand and to be able to fully use. Just like I never pass up an opportunity for someone to watch my video/data and give me tips, I never pass up an opportunity to see how someone else uses data.

I'm apparently different from Mooty - he wants to know how to go faster without needing to know all the details. I'm the opposite, I want to know all the gory details about what's going on with the car. Someone can say 'ease off the brakes earlier in turn 2', and I'll immediately want to go look at brake and longitudinal G traces to see what's happening under braking in 2 versus other corners, look at the synced video to see where exactly I'm easing off, etc.

Data allows me to do lots of self-coaching. I usually know exactly where that last little bit of time is, and it's usually not in technique. I usually know intellectually where I can carry more speed, but my foot doesn't always agree, and sometimes insists on lifting even when I'm telling it to stay planted :-) Or carries the brakes a little long even when I go I can carry a little more speed into that super-fast corner :-)

My rule #1 on data is to have it working reliably, along with video, and record every session, always. When I don't have a lot of time, the first thing I'll do is look at a trace of my fast lap of a session, versus my previous fast lap at that track (sometimes I'm faster, sometimes I'm slower) and look to see where the differences are (in Motec this is 'Show Variance'). If I'm picking up time somewhere, this tells me I made a good change, and to keep doing it. If I'm losing time somewhere, it tells me that I used to be better than I am now. I'll then look at other laps from the session compared to the fast lap, to see if there are common places where I often (but not always) lose time. This shows where I CAN be fast, but am not always as consistent as I need to be.

Of course, I'm at a different place than many, I'm usually looking for tenths of a second. I'm racing not DE, and I'm naturally both competitive and analytical. I like to be on pole, and if I'm not on pole I'm not far off, so I'm likely not making significant mistakes or driving errors.

One other thing that data does is let me quickly see that the car is working properly. Fuel pressure and battery voltage and fuel usage and speed at the end of the straight etc. etc. all let me see that I'm not starting to have fuel system or electrical or engine power problems that might become more severe. Also very helpful in diagnosis - I had a flakey fuel system problem and data let me 'prove' to the shop that wanted to replace some particular parts that it couldn't possibly have been those parts (I had two separate fuel pumps, and data showed that I had a problem on one side and not another, so common systems could not have been the problem). Turned out to be a collapsing hose between the cell and one of the pumps, after some swapping of pieces and data analysis discounted any other reasonable hypothesis.
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Old 05-23-2012, 12:37 AM
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I used Traqmate for more than 4 years. Worked like a charm. Like it.

I use a Mac and run Parallels. Sadly thats probably the way all the software will be be for a long time. There will be windows versions only. Parallels or VMware. Very fast, cheap and easy to use.

Traqate always worked. Never had an issue with it once.

Tried Race-Keeper and did have issues with it not getting a GPS signal within a certain amount of time and giving up. Ran it in manual record mode. Didn't like the video. Didn't think the software was useful. Disappointed and sold it and put my traqmate back in.

Other people love Race-Keeper so there you go.

I tend to look at the data before even glancing at video. The software is that useful.

Syncing video and software is relatively easy. Find a couple of data points, RPM, lateral load or friction circle and a few places to confirm that you have lined things up. Takes me about 60 seconds. Sometimes 2 minutes on a bad day. And thats only if I feel like having the video as a souvenir. You can learn quite a bit just by watching and listening to your video. But then you want to look at the data

As for the Traqmate software. I think its probably the easiest and most accessible of the bunch. Very easy to get up to speed with. If you are struggling just ask someone who has one to show you their process.


I have an AIM/MXL Pista now on my car (wiring issues required it). Love the Dash.. The AIM software (Same as for the SOLO/DL) is very powerful, but the learning curve is massive and I build analytics software for a living. AIM software is amazing and I can see things that I couldn't in the traqmate software, but it took a sizable investment in time to learn it. I wouldn't recommend it to a computer novice or data acquisition beginner under any circumstances.

Traqmate is just easier to use out of the box. Everything about it is easier. If you have trouble with it, there should be someone around who can show you how to quickly pull up your data and show you how to see some useful info.

AIM Software doesn't build video out of the box except with Smartycam, but you can use Dashware or Trackvision to build souvenir videos. A slight nuisance, both are equally easy to use. And frankly, I haven't bothered to build a video once in the last three months. To me, They are mostly for show and tell.

I would't give an absolute about which comes first the coach or the DA. Because frankly we never stop needing coaching or instructing from time to time. I tell students always to get a camera at a minimum (ASAP) and do suggest advanced studets to get some kind of DA system. It is incredibly useful at that point. Thats also because the advanced students don't have instructors any more and the DA is there to help them.

But no matter what level of experience you have, no matter how good you are, no matter how fast, how much seat time you have - some right seat observation/coaching is useful at least once or twice a year. We all need it from time to time. We never stop learning.

IMHO: Anyone who thinks that there isn't anything someone else can't teach them is kidding themselves.

I try to work with one of a couple of guys at least a once or twice a season. Never fails to help me. Just because you are "solo" doesn't mean that you don't need coaching/instructing - call it whatever you want from time to time. I need it for sure. Its amazing what someone can see, feel and recognize from the right seat.

It never ends...

And..... Its not like the highest top level pro or F1 driver doesn't have a team of people looking at their data and telling them what they need to do to go faster. There may be a point, because of car or whatever that someone can't actually physically ride in the seat next to you, but still someone is looking at your data working with you to be better. At some point your "coach" might not be as fast as you. But you still need it.

Because we all want to get better and better. Thats what we all want right??
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  #42  
Old 05-23-2012, 02:23 PM
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Default Re: Coaching...?

I wholeheartedly agree that coaching is valuable at any level.

I never ever pass up an opportunity for a pro to look at my video and/or data. I've had plenty of poles and track records, and won my share of races and championships, but I know that I've never driven a perfect lap in my entire life!

A driver doesn't even HAVE to be faster for their feedback to be useful. If they're the same lap time, they're likely a little quicker in some areas, I'm a little quicker in others, if we can find where they're carrying a little more speed, it'll help my overall lap times.

And of course some people are just great coaches. We don't diss a pro football or basketball or baseball coach because they can no longer hang with the players on the field.
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