My child is already 6 years old. He have been practicing kart for 6 months. At present, when he is at high speed, he is still a little scared. How can I let my children overcome the fear of speed? Is there any good training method?
Well, it does take a little time for children to get more comfortable. Seat time does help reduce that fear as he gets more comfortable.
Does he have other kids that he runs with to help show him how fast they can enter a corner, etc?
Thank you for your reply, the club has many children, and other children are relatively more courageous. The child’s timid problem really makes me a headache.
You’re the problem, not your son. If your six year old son is giving you a ‘headache’ because he isn’t ‘courageous’ enough after just 6 months then I suggest you sit back and have a long hard think about that.
(Davin is right, just give him time, don’t worry and have fun).
Welcome to the forum.
I am gonna guess that forcing the issue would make the child anxious and would likely be counterproductive.
I suspect that, if the child indicates that they enjoy karting, they eventually will pick up the pace. When he/she is ready to commit to the scary parts.
This takes time.
Edit: what is the specific situation with your son? Is the child part of a tent program where he is part of a group of other kids or is he running alone with you supporting him?
The reason I ask is I watched the boys under my tent grow as drivers and people over a couple years.
The kids all started with varying degrees of confidence. As a group, there was support for each other as well as general goofing around and happiness. A couple years in and they have all become pretty good racers and even better competitors and teammates.
Is he alone out there or does he have friends? Your child would likely want to emulate his friends who are quicker and would likely self-regulate his fear in his desire to improve.
One thing kids are scared of the most is the sound of the engine. That loud screaming next to their ears can be pretty unsettling for a small child. Maybe get him some ear plugs and see if that makes him more comfortable.
That being said, 6 months isn’t very long, just let him go at his own pace and get comfortable on his own. If he wants it bad enough, he will build up the courage and go for it himself.
My son is also very timid and took quite some time to build up speed where other kid seem to have no fear and need reeled back in.
I tired running drills where I’d stand on the side of the track and say “stay on throttle until you get to me” with some success but for the most part he just needed lots of seat time to get comfortable on his own and bit by bit he picked up the pace. Also being able to chase other kids helps a lot if they can see other kids doing it.
My son picks up 1/2-3/4 of a second when there is another kart on the track. He runs the fastest chasing the kids in the mini swifts in his kid kart on open practice days.
We have also set up cones off to the side where he has to hold the gas to. Every 3 or so laps I would move it 5’ down the track. P
Someone used the word comfort. I think that is viewpoint to look from. How to get him comfortable. If the throttle is hard to push and it makes take off jumpy for him maybe lighter spring. If it is too light maybe stiffer spring. Adjust throttle so he does not get full throttle. Then increase each day until comfort increases. I think the ear plugs make a lot of sense. I remember a small kid that did not like a roll coaster at night. He said it went faster at night. Our senses can make impact our perception of speed.
Part of the issue may be their comfort level with what they think they can make the kart do. What will happen if I go too fast? What will happen if I jam on the brakes? If I let off the brakes? Going with the “school” approach is okay but they may never get a feel for when they ask too much from the kart - and what to do after that. A gravely-slippery parking lot with lots of room can really help. Do some doughnuts, spin out a bunch, practice a power slide. All these things you never really know until you actually do them. An old set of tires and some tape to protect the body work save the machine, but 30 minutes going “crazy” and trying stuff can really help a young kid gain confidence.
Just the fact he is even in a kart @ 6 puts him in very small group of kids.
I would suggest that you go do some karting. (if you haven’t already) It might give you a different perspective. I suggest that to any dad that hasn’t driven karts in a race. I just had a mom & dad tell me how much it made them appreciate how hard it is.
I have helped with others kids at times. Sometimes they listen better or are willing to say things to me they won’t say to their dad. Mostly I ask questions and listen. I let them tell me what they feel is going on. I don’t ask yes/no questions. I try not to tell them things. I don’t approach a problem until I’ve really thought about how to go about it. 6 might be a bit young to get much out of them.
Being a bit conservative might not be the worst thing. A smart driver is good to have. At least you don’t have a crasher.
Lastly be ready for the day when your son comes to you with “dad, you’re just not getting it as a mechanic or a tuner”. He will still need your checkbook so you won’t be out cold.
Being a dad is the scariest thing I’ve ever done. We have been extremely lucky in how our kids turned out so far. I don’t know what I did right or wrong but mainly I feel lucky. So thank you for wanting to be a good dad.
Thank you for your reply. I want my child to try a high-speed corner and let him feel the limit of the kart. I hope he can find that even if he slips out of the grass, there is nothing. Thereby improving his courage.
Some kids are also scared of spinning or going off track. Make sure he knows that it’s okay to push and go over the limit and spin or go off!
I’d try the opposite. Have him push the limits in a slower/tighter corner. The slower speeds will help with his natural fear of a mistake in the fast corners and the eventual spin will be a non-event. This will help him realize what the kart feels like at the limit and that spins aren’t the end of the world all while in a more controlled and safe manner.
You could even have him drive off on purpose in a controlled manner, low speed. That would require a little bit of planning and forethought plus an empty track.
Things I had to get used to or build up to.
going off into the grass or dirt.
Yeah the first time I hit a curb hard was a big shock, I dont think that really applies to kid karts though. I can see going off as being a pretty big fear for a 6 year old.
My son is 6 as well. He started karting at 5 and racing at 6. I don’t have all the answers but here are the things I’ve learned.
- let him practice as much as possible and with everyone possible. Seat time is king and nothing is more intimidating than a shifter kart overtaking you.
- get yourself a kart. It will help you appreciate what he is going through. I have also found that once I was finally able to pass him (me in a 2 stroke and him in a 4 ) it created a rivalry and we was so determined to beat me that sometimes I have to pull of the track because I was worried it was getting out of hand.
- when and I do mean when he crashes make sure he ok then make go back out. My boy somehow flipped his kart and ended up underneath it. Once I knew he was on I said. Wow I sure hope the kart is ok. Go drive 2 slow laps and let me know how it feels then pull into the pits so we can check it. You need to be calm and not a big deal out it so he will shrug it off and not get hung up.
- when he spins out and gets stuck on the grass don’t get made just ask him. What happened? Did you hit the brakes too hard? Get on the gas too soon? Make it a learning exercise.
- when practising a curvecst the end of a big straight we placed a pylon where he was braking. Each lap move the pylon a few feet without him noticing. He will brake later and later. You need to go faster to shave your lap times.
Remember not everyone is made for this. My boy is not very aggressive. I know he will never be a professional racer. This doesn’t stop us from having fun. We work on his driving skills so he doesn’t have to win by passing aggressively. He simply needs to run his best race every race and when the other guys screw up and end up on the lawn he can slip past. My boy raced about 8 times this year and made the podium 3 times. That’s something proud of. Enjoy the time together and good luck!
Simply put, as long as he’s having fun doing it, then let him do it.
The only time that it’s not worth it, is when we’re not having fun. 99.99% of us won’t be paid racing drivers, but it doesn’t mean that there won’t be great races, great learning and great fun.
Whatever you do, don’t be an overbearing “sports dad” and make it unfun for him. Let him grow at his own pace and ask some other drivers to maybe give him some feedback on practice days. Kids tend to like to listen to other racers who aren’t their parents.
Thank you for your reply. After two months of training, my son has made significant progress. I believe that as long as he persists, there will be no difficulties that cannot be overcome.