Annie is now driving between lessons with her Dad. We begin the session talking about how this is going. Apparently Annie’s Dad will only let her drive on certain, quiet roads and Annie is feeling frustrated by this, she knows she can drive on all sorts of roads.
I think it’s really interesting to see how much Annie has developed – from not wanting to get anything wrong to now being frustrated at not being able to do what she knows she can do. Maybe she is wanting to ‘impress Dad’? Annie’s development has been amazing, she’s come so far. I’m really proud of her.
We had a chat about why her Dad might be feeling like this and she knew the reasons but it still ‘feels frustrating’
Annie wanted to have a go at high speed driving today. We talk about the skills she has, and the skills she needs for this. She is excited and a little apprehensive at the same time. I get the feeling that this is a big deal for Annie…like a benchmark…if she can do this, and feel comfortable at high speed she can conquer anything on the roads.
There is a little 12 min single carriageway route we can go on. She knew it when I explained it. We agreed that I would just watch for the moment and ‘let her get on with it’……unless I can see she is about to do something dangerous!
On the 1st ‘lap’ Annie ‘gets on with it’ She seems pretty relaxed all the way round….apart from approaches to roundabouts, where her body language tells me she’s a little more tense. She was also changing gear a bit early.
We stop and discuss the 1st lap. Annie seemed pleased with how she did, she mentioned she felt a bit more nervous coming up to the roundabouts.
‘It just feels a bit busier and things happen quicker’
‘What things happen quicker?’
I asked her if she remembers feeling like this when we first attempted regular speed roundabouts, and what she did to get round that.
‘I think I went slower, didn’t I?’
‘So do you think that might help here?’
‘Yeah but what about the people behind?’…….interesting she didn’t say ‘cars behind’
‘What do you mean?’
‘Well they’re going faster so I don’t want to go too slow and slow them all down’
We discussed the pro’s & con’s of coming up a bit slower and Annie decided she would give it a go. But she would like me to tell her what speed to go at each roundabout so she knew. Off we went on lap 2. On pretty much every roundabout I had to help her verbally to go slower.
We pulled up.
‘How did that feel?’
‘I didn’t feel that safe going that slowly, but I guess I just have to get used to it’
‘Anything I can do to help with that?’
‘Can we have another go but by myself?’
Off we went. Just working on the approach speed to rbts. Annie didn’t need any input from me.
‘So how was that?’ I asked
‘I got more used to it but it still doesn’t feel natural’
‘Yes yet’ she said with a smile
‘So what do we need to do to make it feel natural so we don’t need to finish the sentence with a yet?’
‘It’s just practise’
‘Ok would you like to keep focusing on this or move onto something else?’
‘No, I know what I need to do so I can do that by myself. What else can we do?’
I asked if she had noticed anything else about driving at high speed that didn’t quite feel right. She hadn’t.
‘There’s something I’ve noticed. Our acceleration seems a bit slow, we don’t seem to be getting our speed up very quickly’
‘Yeah I did notice that now you say it. There always seemed to be cars close behind’
‘Brilliant great mirror work, any idea how we can help the car accelerate a bit quicker and not have cars close behind?’
We had a little Q&A session on the gears and power. To help clarify, I asked her to get out and push the car while noticing when she was using most power and why. She seemed to get it, so off we went to leave cars behind in our wake when getting away at high speeds!
Another lap and Annie’s acceleration and gear use were much better. She kept checking her mirrors when accelerating to make sure she was leaving cars behind, which I found quite amusing!
We finished off with a couple of bay parks on the way back, because that’s what Annie asked to do.
Had a good chat at the end about whether she had got out of the lesson what she wanted to, and how she felt about high speeds. What it meant to her confidence and how the experiences today, would help with the rest of her driving. I sensed Annie was pleased with her days work! Goals were set for next time, until then……..