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TKART magazine Once in a lifetime | We tried Formula Medicine's Mental Economy Gym
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Jacopo Colombo
29 November 2021
Riccardo Ceccarelli, an Italian doctor who has been working in the top echelons of motorsport for over 30 years, has invented and created an area that is totally dedicated to mental training inside Formula Medicine. That’s because training the mind often affects a driver's performance more than physical training does. You find that hard to believe? Our very own Jacopo Colombo tried it out for you and tells us how it went
Take a guy, a motorsport enthusiast, fascinated by the way drivers train (so much so that he devotes the thesis for his degree to the subject), who is told "You will try the mental training of F1 drivers". How do you think he might feel? I'll tell you: in seventh heaven. Then add that it all happens under the watchful eye of one of the best-known doctors in the history of Formula 1, Dr Riccardo Ceccarelli, and "seventh heaven" becomes "eighth or ninth" heaven in the blink of an eye. And so it came to pass: we arrive at Formula Medicine, in Viareggio, and immediately take a "tour" of the centre (you can read all about it in our "Dossier. Formula Medicine, for the physical and mental preparation of kart drivers"). Once in the Economy Gym, Dr Ceccarelli first explains the various types of equipment and then pronounces the fateful words: "Who wants to try some exercises?". He doesn't even get to the end of the sentence before I'm in position, ready to start. Let's take a step back: the activities of the Mental Economy Gym can really change a driver’s life, but also that of a normal person, whatever their profession. Dr Ceccarelli himself explained the fundamentals of this new frontier of training in our "Editorial - The secrets of Formula Medicine's Mental Economy Gym: what it is and how it can change your life as a kart driver".
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On a practical level, however, the workouts include all the mental elements required in motorsport: mental cleanliness, focus, reactivity, coordination, anxiety and stress management, decision-making and strategic skills and multitasking. Each of these aspects can and must be trained using specific exercises. There are plenty in the Mental Economy Gym and they are also based on the profile of the person being trained. I "tested" a few of these exercises first hand. Let me tell you about them.
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