While you are running your Car at AMP on Jan 19th give the gift of being Better Drivers to your Kids and sign them up to take this class over on AMPs 15 acre Pad
In addition to teaching Race Driving and High Performance Driving I help teach a school for Teen Drivers. This school focuses on teaching kids the ability to control their vehicle in extreme conditions like High Speed Lane changes and obstacle/accident avoidance. This is not a class on stop signs, yield signs or parallel parking. Those are needed skills to be sure but not the focus we are teaching.
It is a one day class with the kids arriving at the facility at 8am and we start them driving at 9am. Other than a few short breaks and lunch they are behind the wheel all day and most of that time they are behind the wheel solo. I, as an Instructor, would be a distraction if I was in the car. The kids know when they have messed up and don’t need to be diverting their attention from the lesson at hand turning to look at me.
A quick over view of how the class runs.
First the kid brings out the car they are going to be driving. If we supplied a fleet of 2017 Ford Focues and the kid drives a 2003 Toyota Camry or Mom’s 2014 Suburban then they wouold wonder if the lessons they are learning actually will apply to them.
Second, each lesson they learn builds and amplifies the next lesson they progress to. We explain the lesson to the kids then we get in the car and drive the kid through the lesson 1 or 2 times. We then move to the passenger seat and ride through the course with the kid 1 or 2 times to see that they understand the concepts we will be working on. Then we get out of the car and the kid will repeat that lesson for the next hour building confidence and “muscle memory” before we proceed to the next lesson.
Third, the day is all about positive feedback and building the confidence. In one of our recent classes we had a 17 year old girl that was terrified because a few months prior she was driving with her little brother in the car and she got into an accident that totaled her car. The morning of the Class She did not even want to get out of the car and come over to Registration. We calmly talked to her and coax her over and to at least give it a try. Within 15 minutes she was grinning and enjoying herself.
The class ends about 4pm with the Kids taking their parents for a recital ride around the course showing them all the skills they learned that day. We prefer that Parents drop off the kid and the car and then return at the end of the day. Obviously some cannot do that so we have tables and chairs under canopies for them to sit at and observe.
The Instructors are all Race or High Performance Driving Instructors that volunteer their time to teach this class and the guy that owns the facility allows us to use it gratis too. This allows us to keep the cost very low as the only people getting paid is the Insurance Company.
The class is held on the 15 acre pad at Arizona Motorsports Park, next to Luke Air Force Base. It takes about 35 minutes to get there from Mesa on a Saturday morning so don’t let the West Valley location scare you off. We divide up the pad into four courses so that he kids are driving more than they are waiting in line to enter the course. As the day progresses and the kids confidence comes up we tie the courses together so that the repetition of the lesson is amplified.
My youngest (she is 18 now) has taken the class twice (both times before she had her permit) and the second time she took it I reset the trip meter to see how many miles she had driven during the class. It was 35 miles!
Here is a video I made when Andi took the class the first time (the format has been adjusted slightly since this video was shot), she was 14 years 2 months old (being an Instructor does have its privileges) and it gives a good overview.
This is a video I shot during the recital ride the second time I let her take the class. She had just turned 15 when she took it this time.