The importance of goals for each track session extends to students. From the instructor's standpoint, one of the following takes place:
- A student has no goals, the instructor sets goals for the student.
- A student has goals and needs or desires instructor's help to achieve them.
- A student has goals and needs or desires to achieve them on their own.
Complete beginners often have no goals besides "taking their car to the track and seeing what it can do" or "finding out what track driving is about". An appropriate set of goals for many beginners would be to learn the line, get comfortable with traffic management on track (point-by passing) and be able to drive a session on the correct line and adhering to safety protocols without instructor's input, or presence.
More experienced novices and intermediate drivers often would have specific goals like learning heel and toe, braking later or figuring out the line in a specific corner. Some of these goals are best achieved with the student and the instructor working together - line and braking being two excellent examples. Some goals require student to practice on their own, examples of these would be heel and toe or increasing their confidence.
A student's goals may change throughout the event. A student may have their own goals coming into an event, but the instructor may observe that there are more important goals to be achieved first. For example, a student may want to brake later but cannot consistently drive the line; in this case, working on the line is more important than working on late braking. Conversely, a student may achieve their goals before an event concludes, at which point they would need new goals to work toward.
Here is my instructor checklist for student goals:
- Ask the student for their goals during initial interview.
- Observe student driving in the first session and identify higher priority goals to work toward.
- Track progress toward current goals throughout the event.
- Recap goal achievement at the end of the event, provide homework for next event or street driving between events if necessary.
- Be ready with the next set of goals once current goals are achieved.