There are a few things to consider when you step in as the driving coach. Remember the role you take on when your learner is driving and building their experience is that of a coach. Let your instructor give them specific and detailed instructions about driving. It would be wise to invest in some professional lessons especial in the initial stages of driving to ensure that your learner picks up good habits from the start. Doing so will also ease away the stress that can be associated when supervising a learner. Keeping the following in mind will help you be a great driving coach and your learner will develop much faster.
After driving for so many years we forget what it is like to learn how to driving. A reminder! Learning to drive is complex, difficult and challenging, especially when there are gears and clutch involved. So be patient with your learner and give them the understanding that is required. If you find that you lack patience, maybe leave it to another family member to do the job or ask a professional to assist with some of the more challenging aspects of teaching someone to drive.
Practice. Practice. Practice!! Let your learner know and remind yourself that learning a new skill can take a long time to develop and requires lots of practice. This will also make sure that your learner is kept grounded about their driving abilities and it will ensure that overconfidence is kept under control.
Don’t expect your learner to have the same idea about safety and identifying hazards as yourself. It takes a lot of practice for a learner to understand and identify potential hazards. Their current experience is not enough for them to know what to look for and how to respond. As a supervising driver explaining different situations and preparing the learner in advance will ensure that the learner gets more value out of the experience.
Giving feedback is crucial to the development of your learner. But how do you give feedback? This can be difficult at times and can lead to a defensive reaction so consider the following when giving feedback.
a. Stay positive and include praise when you see your learner do well or when you have seen them improve on a skill.
b. Minimise giving too much feedback and make your learner responsible for their own learning. Ask them what they think of their own driving. This allows them to reflect on their performance and make improvements for themselves, a way of encouraging independence and ownership in their driving.
c. Focus on the reason behind improving a skill rather than criticising their driving.