Understanding The Learning Curve

I know and understand you have expectations, but it’s you who has to understand something here. Learning is not always a steep and straight line up. That’s not impossible, but I can tell you that this doesn’t happen a lot. Then there are others whom learning curve goes in waves slowly going up. With those, it’s what granny use to say: “Sometimes you make a step backwards to finally make two forward”. But for the most track riders and racers- their learning curve is going to hit a plateau, and they stuck there for a long time if they don’t grasp this here…

As for now, you are like this… you are confused. You don’t understand why you hit plateau because you’ve learned so much. You’ve read all those f’n books, watched videos, and you might even been through some good schooling. You’re questioning what you’ve learned is right. Nothing feels right actually, and the harder you try- the worse it seems to get. You are deeply frustrated and the first thoughts of quitting popping up. Eventually not, because you could keep that away by finding some excuses. What?!… you feel offended by honesty? Why don’t you ask me how I know this shit?! I’ve been there too.

Besides that knowledge and try-and-error creates your learning curve- you pretty much have no influence of it’s waves. Those depend on other things, like you, your character, situations happening and/or how many times you’ve crashed. You’ll also learn from crashing- the bad things, but it’ll cost you making a step backwards first. See what I’m saying? Let me give you some examples.

the learning curveLook at the picture above. That’s a section on Nuerburgring Nordschleife in Germany, which was my home track by the way. Let’s say I would teach you that you could fly through this section at a 147 miles an hour on a particular line and also told you what the absolute latest braking marker would be. That teaching would be 100% right on the money… but would you be able to pull this off from the go get?… No, you more likely would get hurt on that try. That track is 12 miles long and has 154 turns. I could teach you on the dime exact where to brake and every inch of the line, but YOU are the one who has to explore what their potential is. That’s on YOU!

Let’s say I’d lead you on and off for 10 laps. Your lap times would go up and down, but in the end with an up tendency, correct? That is good this way, because if you would have the mental strength and riding abilities which allow you to go at the possible maximum- you’d die, just because you can’t memories 154 mostly blind turns within 10 laps!

Knowledge is an elevated resource- taking advantage of the potential of a newly exposed recourse takes time. The dangerous part of this is, that if you don’t SEE THIS at a time when you hit that plateau. You will get hurt mentally and eventually physically if you have a strong competitive nature. Frustration takes over and you’ll questioning what you’ve learned is even right. Wanna read the Nordschleife example ones more to get what I am saying?!

Let me give you another, maybe a more feel-able example. Let’s say you use to be riding on shitty tires, but now we put you some of the finest tires on your bike- MotoGP race tires which you can even buy even if you’d have the money for them. Now you’re going out again and you eventually make a little progress- but it is extremely unlikely that you are capable of riding them at their fullest possible potential. They deliver you a recourse you’ll have to explore on your own. That MotoGP tire engineer can tell you how they have to be ridden, so information is 100% right but the exploration depends on you and your capabilities.

If you allow impatience and/or frustration to get in-between, you will only extend your ‘plateau time’ in your learning curve. Important by then is this: honesty, trust, smartness, relaxation, reset. Truth is a sharp knife, but it cuts best!

Headcoach Can Akkaya, Superbike-Coach Corp