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Basic training lesson 6

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6 weeks of hard training and dedication shapes the average Joe into an offroad monster.

Basic training lesson 6 is where the lessons end and the driving begins, that’s not to say that there is not more to learn but rather the start of building experience and giving our new graduates the tools necessary to continue their journey in the safest way while pushing the bar and finding new limmits.

This generation really stepped up to the plate and brought their A game this morning even though we had a veriaty of cars ranging from small to big, powerful to agile and auto to manual the drive today was like watching a choreographed masterpiece. Higher speed, big bowls and massive climbs all seemed effortless.

Congratulations to our new generation of Jr’s, enjoy your new level, have fun and be safe all while flying your DF flags with pride, you earned them!

Special thanks to our seniors and the supporting team, Sven, Ryan and Anders for shaping this new generation. Catch you on the dunes soon.

3 comments on Basic training lesson 6

  1. Steven Canny Steven Canny says:

    Thanks to the team for hosting us for 6 weeks – Marc, Sven, Anders and Ryan.

    A few thoughts on the experience, and which resonate strongly as I work in a company which operates in a stringently controlled sector which has a safety culture that needs to function to keep my teams going home safely after the day ends.

    Process Discipline (Safety)
    From the off there is strong structure, process and discipline – which is required where you are exposing people to first time activities and will experience human performance traps.

    Clear safety expectations govern the drive, and as you naturally exceed your capability, that process keeps you safe, and the team around you safe.

    Convoy discipline, safety distances, holding formations etc all develop through challenges and teamwork activities.

    As the weeks progress you see the impact of this when in areas with other convoys around.

    Strong Technical Focus
    My goals for attending were to develop throttle control as that was the area I struggled with in sand. The discovery course I described as circuit training for a car, week 1 of basic training was significantly above where I expected it to be. We all left the drive having been stretched, then pushed further to see what our capacity was in a safe space.

    Where cracks appear in the group on a challenge, “I show you then you show me” is used. Sit with me as I show you, then I’ll sit with you as you show me. Not only does it ensure the techniques are learned, it builds much stronger trust and leadership.

    Trust and Verify
    This is a concept I use professionally in building service delivery performance. As part of a team there is trust, and you verify as you care and want to keep the team safe, not to audit.

    It was great to see this in action on the course. Are you as a group prepared to drive, are the vehicles operating and if not discuss as a group to understand the limitations, are you carrying the right safety equipment. This builds 360 degree accountability as a team.

    The feedback element helps to build this, at the end of each session the group discusses its strengths and more importantly where there are development points, for 360 feedback.

    Taking a group of strangers and putting them together with a single common theme usually fails. Personality traits preclude harmony and it’s difficult to be productive.

    I was driving back after drive 3 thinking about this, and how a team had been formed in 10 hours of driving, which all members invested into, trusted and worked together. It generally doesn’t happen that quickly, yet we just finished driving through Al Qudra on a moderate paced end of drive, and we were all pumped, as a team.

    If asked to summarise it all in a word – Culture. It takes the right environment, right process, right motivators and the right investment as a group. Culture can be described as what you are prepared to tolerate as a group.

    The culture is the key and for me – I didn’t get up at 4am prior, yet the experience made me want to.

    It may not be a fit for everyone, but I’m willing to guess it is for most people, and it’s very, very enjoyable and rewarding.

  2. A great experience. Learnt a lot and really enjoy every drive. Thanks so much to all the support crew and ChefMarc for leading. Definitely worth the early morning wake ups 🤣

  3. Superb experience. Driving in all kinds of sandy terrain and learning how to be safe while pushing the cars further and further, from technical areas to high rpms in the big dunes. Steep learning curve but the level increased with each drive and confidence built up thanks to the structure of the course. Great lead and recovery team helped make this highly enjoyable and safe.
    Can’t wait to join future drives and discover new terrain while learning more driving skills.

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