Thanks for the answers Daniel!
External sources can offer ideas and guidance, but really it’s up to you to get to the root of the issue. That’s why I asked you to think about the questions. You need to play detective and see if there are any common ‘triggers’ that cause the change (degradation) in your concentration. You’ve already identified one big trigger, which appears to be the ½ way point in the race, so you can start there by asking yourself questions like:
Does the same thing happen ½ way through a practice session? How about in qualifying sessions?
If the answer is no to both, then perhaps that having too much of a ‘results’ oriented instead of performance oriented approach could be impacting you concentration/performance.
If the answer is no to practice, but yes (or sometimes) to qualifying, then maybe that points to a link between how/where you perceived/assign importance to things. Maybe mentally ratcheting up the importance (or consequences) creates a level of mental tension that interferes with relaxed concentration.
If the answer is yes to both, then perhaps the concentration method you use mentally fatigues you too much to maintain it throughout a session. In that case the article linked in my first post might help with that.
Another line of questioning might be to think about if there is any relationship between your answers to questions #3 and #5 and your concentration drop.
For example, perhaps the kart’s actual performance drop off is drawing your attention away from concentration on your driving, which is causing the issues described in answer #3.
Or, perhaps worrying about the impending performance drop off at ½ way draws your attention away from concentration on your driving, which is causing the issues described in answer #3, which exacerbates issue described in answer #5.
Or, perhaps knowing #5 might happen, you push hard during the first part of the race to get away, and actually end up creating #5, which causes #3.
I’m not saying any of above scenarios are necessarily the issue, especially based on your answer to question #1, but thinking is free, and when you think about, and really analyze, a situation/problem from as many different angles as you can (even if they don’t seem ‘right’ on the surface), then you create a very dense matrix of understanding of both the issue and yourself, which you can use to solve future issues.
Anyway, you get the idea… dig around in your head and see what you find.
I found your answer to question #1 very interesting because it sounds more like you perceive your mind as just wandering aimlessly instead of worrying about things that can build tension and stress. I felt that I saw at least an element of pressure/tension/stress in your body and driving. However, I am just an outside observer. However, I definitely recommend that you dig around in your feelings/experience to see if tension and stress is impacting your driving, and if so, work to discover its origins.
BTW, when I said in my earlier post that you have to be ‘in the present moment’ that was kind of a simplified description…. let me explain:
When I drive, it’s almost like there are three entities in my head:
The ‘driver’, which is the part of me that is actually doing the driving (operating the controls using pre-programmed input patterns and/or performing instinctive adjustments to keep the kart in balance and on the track). I equate the ‘driver’ to my intuition/instinct.
The ‘navigator’, which is the part of me that provides the structure needed to organize the whole driving process by providing intuition with reference marks, timing, track condition info., etc. When that information is linked together sequentially, it creates the timing or rhythm track upon which intuition/instinct drives. I equate the ‘navigator’ to intellect.
The ‘shape shifter’, which can be: the manager, the micro-manager, a neutral observer, a cheer leader, a coach, an engineer, a critic, a self doubter, a doom predictor, an obsessor, an excuse maker, an ego protector, an ego assassin, etc. I equate the ‘shape shifter’ to the ‘self’ or ‘mind’.
That said, the more detailed explanation of ‘present moment’ for me is that the ‘driver’ must be left alone to perform in the present moment because his precisely timed actions get you around the track. The ‘navigator’ must be left alone to perform just ahead of the present moment because he must identify where/when the ‘driver’ will act.
The ‘mind’ on the other hand can arbitrarily take on many roles, and to accomplish a role, it can keep you in the present or drag your attention into to the past or into the future. For example, when acting as the manager or as a coach, it would be in the present. When acting as a critic, your mind could draw your attention back to a mistake, or when acting as doom predictor, it can drag your attention into the future to ‘experience’ any number of imagined ‘bad’ outcomes. However, it is also entirely possible to have the ‘driver’ and ‘navigator’ taking care of business while the ‘mind’ is off doing other (non-negative) stuff, for example; daydreaming when driving for a long time on the freeway.
The important point is that the unsupervised mind can run rampant and really screw things up. But, the mind can be influenced and trained through force of will, just like muscles can with exercise. That is why in my first post I recommended giving it a job. Another thing you can do it actively train your mind for racing. There is information about imagery training here (if you choose to do it I strongly recommend using a stopwatch), and there is information about dynamic imagery training here.