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What I've Learned, | May 01, 2017

Richard Godlewski, racing instructor


Driving across America to drive even faster is the life Rich Godlewski lives. His passion for racing and sharing his knowledge helps him understand the world and people around him.


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Godlewski lives a private life deep in the woods away from large cities where he can tend to his vehicles and prepare for his next big event./Photo by Steven Leonard 

From the Daytona International Speedway to the Salem Speedway in Southern Indiana, Rich Godlewski has lived life at 200 miles per hour. After traveling the United States racing and instructing students how to safely drive on high-speed courses for 32 years, Godlewski settled down in Bloomington to work for Cook Medical. From Porsches to BMWs to Corvettes, Godlewski’s knowledge of high performance vehicles is near endless. These are a few things he has learned while teaching his students how to drive high-speed tracks.

You can communicate without using words.

Once you establish the basics of communication, you can really grab their attention. Maintaining a successful relationship with a student you’re instructing is the most important thing. Showing after you tell is very important.

First-timers are very anxious.

Giving examples is the best way to teach newcomers. If you’re getting too excited and dumping a boatload of information, they’ll turn off. If someone gets emotional, then the channel is broken. You have to maintain that channel with your student.

You must confident in your skills.

Illustrate and show your student that you can do the road course and do it consistently and be totally under control and relaxed. If you’re having a good time, they will have a good time. Driving is relaxing. When you build up your confidence, it builds up others around you. Build your confidence.

You should be open to new opportunities.

Ask yourself: Is this something I want to experience or pursue? If you have no motivation, why are you attempting it? You need to try long enough to gain the skills. If you’re having trouble with something you need to learn, try hard to learn. If you want to try new things, you must be open. Give it an honest shot.

Patience is a virtue.

Always listen to what your student has to say. Break things down to the basics and try not to overload them. With any sport you’re in you have to have the mastery of the basic skills that make you able to participate. Those willing to learn want those basic skills. You must be patient as the master.

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