Inside the Mind of a Grand Prix Champion (Formula One Driver and/or Moto Grand Prix Rider)

Article Title: Inside the Mind of a Grand Prix Champion (Formula One Driver and/or Moto Grand Prix Rider) Submitted by: Craig Lock Category (key words): Motor- racing, Grand Prix racing, Formula One, sport, success, achievement, mind, mind-power, motivation, mind control, champion, excellence Web Sites: and Other Articles are available at: and (Personal growth, self help, writing, internet marketing, ‘spiritual writings’ (how ‘airey-fairey’), words of inspiration and money management (how boring now, craig!) Publishing Guidelines: We hope that the following article (some notes in point form extracted from one of Craig’s first manuscripts on sport psychology ‘The Winning Mind’ *, together with some thoughts from a new “work”, which he’s currently writing titled ‘Endless Possibilities’) may be informative and helpful to your e-zine readers, or on your web site. This piece (as with all my writings) may be freely reproduced electronically or in print. If it helps others “out there” on the ‘amazing journey of life’, then we’re very happy. “We share what we know, so that we all may grow.” * INSIDE THE MIND OF A GRAND PRIX CHAMPION (FORMULA ONE DRIVER AND/OR MOTO GP RIDER) Submitter’s Note: Craig is currently “working” on a new manuscript ‘INSIDE THE MIND OF A GRAND PRIX CHAMPION, which forms part of true and inspirational stories of ‘Endless Possibilities: Let the Journey Begin’. * THE HALL-MARKS OF A TRUE CHAMPION What does it take to get to the very top…in sport and in life? Firstly and most importantly, # TALENT: Work on what you are good at and what makes you “special”… and everyone has a unique gift(s). (Thank goodness we are all different!) Ask yourself: “What comes easily to me?” However, talent on its own is not sufficient. It has to be given guidance and channeled : in short, talent needs to be nurtured, encouraged and supported. # PASSION: It’s a matter of loving what you do. You do it, even if there’s no money, no recogniton and glory is/was involved…. initially. What motivates you, what presses your “hot buttons” “Do what you love… and the money will surely follow.” “He is consumed by a love of driving. He lives in order to race… and when he’s in the cockpit, he seems to transcend himself. The track is his drug, and he can never get enough of it.” * – former Ferrari team boss, Jean Todt on his star driver, multiple World Champion, Michael Schumacher “What still spurs me on as a Formula One racing driver is essentially my enjoyment of driving. So my love of driving – the sheer pleasure of it – is what keeps me motivated … and as long as it’s still there, I will continue racing.” – Michael himself * The great* Brazilian racing driver, Ayton Senna once said: * perhaps the greatest ‘racer’ of them all. “Racing, competing is in my blood. It’s part of me, it’s part of my life.” Love what you do (as I love writing and sharing about sport, as in this article). # VISION: From an early age, these exceptional achievers had a dream, a mission for their lives. Many champions had a childhood dream, to be a fireman, a nurse, a writer…or even a racing driver! # CHARACTER: graft, dedication + commitment to sustain you on the long difficult journey to the very top of your field. No doubt the top racing driver has had to make many sacrifices, financial, emotional and in relationships, to achieve what they have done. # PERSISTENCE “You never really lose until you quit trying… Trust in God but lock your car. – Craig Breedlove, former world land-speed record holder # FOCUS and CLARITY OF PURPOSE: A single-minded pursuit of one’s goal, steadily and persisently striving for the very “top of the tree”… even though it may take years and years. “The road to success is littered with failure.” # HARD WORK. Work is a “four-letter word”! Putting in the “hard graft” takes a lot of effort and involves many sacrifices on the path to the very top (as evidenced by Michael Schumacher). # Meticulous PREPARATION and an ATTENTION TO DETAIL This involves careful thought to cover all possible eventualities that may occur. # INTELLIGENCE (including emotional intelligence). Champions are highly intelligent people… knowing precisely what they want in life… to be a true champion # Champion Grand Prix drivers have a great MEMORY – for minute details and have the ability to quickly process large amounts of information. l# SUPER-QUICK REACTIONS, together with a great sense of anticipation (which is learned!) # EGO: Grand Prix drivers have strong egos (often perceived as arrogance), being happy being “different” to us ‘mere mortals’. They accept their individuality, being happy “just being themselves # CHALLENGE: Champions love a ‘sense of challenge’ – to overcome huge obstacles, Even from an early age they wanted to test themselves against others; so constantly challenge themselves (and their competitors). To achieve the “seemingly impossible” on the way to the very top. “Failure is only final, if it is permanently accepted as being so. Success means trying once again and picking yourself off the canvas.” – craig # CONTROL: It’s a “head game” in displaying your skills and abilities. that of: * power * precision * accuracy and * self control. # CONFIDENCE (unshakable) Which leads to… # The ability to handle PRESSURE: Self control and a strong mind. “I began to free myself from the mental brakes and shackles that restricted my thoughts.” – Five time World champion Moto GP rider, Valentino Rossi on leaving the all-conquering Honda team for Yamaha “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” – Mahatma Gandhi (and Lance Armstrong) # The ability to THINK POSITIVELY: to remain positive in spite of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. This involves the ability to get over disappontment(s) and setbacks, ie. they have inner fortitude # This is sourced from ones sense of SELF BELIEF. NB: An unshakable belief in their ability to get to the very top. True champions allow absolutely nothing to get in their way. “I CAN do it!” # A constant STRIVING FOR PERFECTION. Champions steadily keep improving their driving skills each year.. They’ve put in hours and hours of rehearsal and practice laps over the years to refine their skills. At least 10000 hours to become the best driver in the world! The very best Grand Prix drivers and riders, stars like Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher and Valentino Rossi today had (and have) a strong desire, ‘nay’ even a passion to drive the “perfect lap”. (I’ll just try to write the very best articles and books I possibly can!). # THE WILL TO WIN: Grand Prix drivers, like all top athletes are driven by an almost pathological need to succeed. Their confidence in their abilities is absolute. This is not necessarily arrogance; but a competitive edge… to be the very best at their chosen fields. They generally have a narrow focus to their lives. An “obsessive personality”! “I don’t want to live a balanced life, I just want to win.” * – Mario Andretti (1978 Formula One World Champion) * or words to that effect “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” – Vince Lombardi, Legendary Green Bay Packer football coach ( I think US driver, Bobby Unser said much the same words). WANTING TO TEST THEIR OWN LIMITS (to the absolute fullest) “That pleasure is the feeling of being on the borderline, of developing one’s potential, of constantly pushing back the limits. That’s what makes the sport so interesting.” – Michael Schumacher And some more from ‘Schumi’… “Any racing driver who thinks logically will usually try to drive at the limit. Anyone who goes beyond that is slower, because you skid on the corners and ruin the tyres. You also risk spinning off. I have never said to myself, ‘oh, there’s a large run-off area at that corner, I can try it at full throttle and see what happens’. At every corner I try to find out where the limit is. I have a feel for it. But to find that limit, I have to drive – albeit in a controlled fashion – faster into that corner than perhaps seems possible. This is the only way I can find out how far I can go and the only way to get to the limit and discover if it has not been reached. This limit I am talking about relates to the car; because survival for me goes without saying. I am not in the least bit interested in ignoring the cars limitations and putting my life at risk. Never! I want to get to the point where what the car is capable of is being exploited to the fullest.” Michael Schumacher’s palpable pleasure in driving, the enthusiasm for every perfectly negotiated corner, this is what makes a true racer. * Quotations sourced from ‘Michael Schumacher Driving Force’ Words by Sabine Kehm (published by Ebury Press) Page 35 * While each of these elements above need to be present (in various dosages in drivers), these character traits are all inter-related. So ALL the ‘ingredients’ have to work in true harmony to reach the very top and so cultivate a true champion. And each ONE of us can all learn from these champion drivers*, like Ayrton Senna, Stirling Moss, Jim Clark, Michael Schumacher… and of course, Lewis Hamilton. If really YOU really set your heart on it, YOU too can became a champion…and reach NEW HORIZONS in your own life. Get in “the zone” by exploring and testing your own ‘Endless Possibilities’ along the magical journey, the mystery of life. Reach for the stars and discover the champion of life in YOU. Craig Lock (“Information and Inspiration Distributer, Incorrigible Encourager and People-builder + motor racing fanatic”) * and great motor-cycle riders like Valentino Rossi “Champions aren’t made in the gym. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them – an inner flame that burns brightly…with purpose, desire and passion. True champions live the dream, the vision of who and what they can one day become…. even a long time before it happens.” – craig * * EPILOGUE It was one day in the year 1961, whilst driving home after the South African Grand Prix in East London, that the young boy told his father that Jim Clark would one day be the champion driver of the world. The young boy was in a bad mood, because the young Clark had beaten his hero, Stirling Moss. And for the next few years the young South African boy followed the rising Scot star ’s ascending career with great interest and pride. So that the new “shooting star” eventually usurped the place of the now retired old hero, Moss after his near fatal accident at Goodwood, UK…until it too was tragically extinguished in a minor race at Hockenheim, Germany in 1968. And that night the young boy lay on his bed and read the race program over again and again… then he fell asleep and dreamt in peace. One day… P.S: To dearest dad, see the dream never died! “It is a celebration of a man’s unique vision – a vision that reaches out and shines, touching with magic the drama of life across all its limitless horizons.” About the submitter: Craig believes in helping others to find their passions and gifts… through encouraging people to reach out for, then accomplish their “wildest” dreams. He truly believes people can overcome obstacles, rise to any occasion, and accomplish their dreams, even ‘Endless Possibilities’ in life with enough FAITH and PERSISTENCE. The various books that Craig “felt inspired to write” are available at: and “Our talents are our gifts from God… but what we do with our talents are our gifts TO God.” “Only when you’ve been in the deepest valley can a person know what it’s like to stand on the highest peak.” – inspiring words from Richard Nixon, former United States President “Hold fast to your dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.” – Langston Hughes “Together, one mind, one life at a time, let’s see how many people we can impact, encourage, empower, uplift and perhaps even inspire to reach their fullest potentials…and so become ‘ever more champions of life’.”

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