If you are a race car driver, you have a team. There is always someone supporting you. It may be someone who is worried about you. It may be a friend who helps out. It may be corner workers. Or tech officials. It may be a full arrive and drive operation. Here are 10 ideas for ways you can support your team. When you do these things, your team works better and you all have more fun.
1. Know who your team is. If you look at the paragraph above, it may strike you that your team is bigger than you think. In fact, it is more likely to be large than small when you include other drivers and organizers.
2. Smile. Racing can be tense. Things have to happen quickly at times. Remember to smile to ease the tension just a bit.
3. Bring food. Racing starts early and often ends late. People need sustenance and they like the fact that you thought of them. Note: beer is food.
4. Ask questions. Your crew, when they have time, likes to know that the driver is interested in their work. This is especially helpful with people doing simple jobs. We once thought to ask a 15 year old who was assigned to clean windshields how he liked the cleaner he was using. We had the cleanest windshield in the paddock for the rest of the weekend.
5. Stay late. You can't always do this, but if the crew has to stay, see if you can stay at least once in a while.
6. Offer to help. Putting up the awning or sweeping the paddock or loading tires are not the most fun jobs. Offer to help when you have time and when you won't screw things up.
7. Share your excitement. If you had a good run, or an incident, tell your mechanics about it. Make them part of the inner circle.
8. Own your role. When something goes wrong, lead with your role. At least ask yourself and others if you could have done something to help. If your team could have done something better, discuss it in private, from the perspective of "could we do something differently next time?"
9. Say thank you. This one seems obvious, but with all the people you could thank, it actually takes some work. Remember the non-obvious "crew" as well (yes, this means your significant other if he/she is involved in any way).
10. Tell the boss. If someone did a good job, remember to tell the boss. That could be you. But you're part of the team, too.