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Home News Brendan turns theory into practice at Chamonix

Brendan turns theory into practice at Chamonix

The drivers in the 2012 FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy have spent the last five days in the shadow of Europe's highest mountain, furthering their knowledge of teamwork and coaching.

The second workshop in the programme took place in Chamonix in the heart of the French Alps. With its harsh peaks and hazardous terrain, this location proved perfect for instilling important safety lessons into the drivers.


The early part of the five-day workshop (6-10 January) was largely theoretical – but the drivers were soon facing some extremely challenging tasks in the outdoor environment to test their newly learned teamwork, planning and problem-solving abilities.

One of the major facets of this workshop was the importance of coaching, with participants learning this skill through teaching various tasks to each other. On the final day, all of these skills were brought together in a competitive environment with a race up the 2,000m Prarion Mountain.

Once again, planning and strategy came to the fore as the teams that planned their routes whilst also maintaining hydration and energy levels eased their way past those that burned out too soon. It all helped to demonstrate the importance of the teamwork and planning skills the competitors had been taught throughout the five-day event.

Alex Wurz, Academy Performance Manager, said: "Motor sport is about researching and developing and working in a team with some very clear tasks and going about those tasks in a systematic and logical way. The drivers took this all onboard and made some impressive gains during this workshop. The great thing about Chamonix has been the way we could teach the theory of this in the classroom and then take it out into a stressful and harsh environment where safety has to be paramount."

Robert Reid, Academy Performance Manager, said: "Working in the Chamonix Valley, nothing is more important than safety and the guys have learned that. For example, after instruction from professionals, the drivers taught each other dry tooling and rock climbing and then went out and participated in those activities. The instructors only intervened when safety was compromised, at which point the teaching team was docked points. This hands-on approach worked very well. Alex and I were on hand to offer expert input and to contextualise all of the tasks into motor sport scenarios."

FIA Institute press release

See photos of Brendan at the FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy cmap at Chamonix in his Photo Gallery.