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Next Level Guy

Dec 6, 2022

Today’s guest is Ida Zetterström. 

She grew up in her dad's workshop, spending hours at the racetrack with her family, as her father raced classes such as pro stock and pro modified or worked with other race teams, and the track became her favourite place.

At the age of 8 Ida started racing Jr Dragsters, at 16 Ida got her Super Comp Dragster license. In 2017 Ida started racing in the class Super Street Bike, the European version of the US class Pro Street Bike. In 2019 the team competed in the Scandinavian championship with a new bike, known as Lucky #13. Starting the season of good setting several personal bests and qualified top 3 almost every race of the season. The third race in the championship ended with the teams very first win, making Ida the first woman to ever win in the Scandinavian Super Street Bike class. The final race of the year ended with a second place finish in the event and the team also stood as the overall winners in the Scandinavian championship, making Ida the first woman to ever win a Super Street Bike championship.

In July 2020 Ida became the first woman to ever clock a 6 second run in the Super Street Bike class, and in all classes driven on street tires and without wheelie bars, doing so at 6.985s and 205.9mph. The following race Ida rode a stunning 6.885s making her the second fastest rider in Super Street Bike history at that time and it made the the team the second team to get into the 6.8 second zone.

Ever since her start in jr. dragster at the age of 8 the dream was always to race Top Fuel dragster, a dream that never died during the years of racing other classes. Ida continued to work on making this dream come to true, and by 2020 the goal was clear and she contacted RF Motorsport who is well known for being the best at licensing new drivers for this class. At the Euro Finals the team got the full pass needed to complete her license and they did so in a stunning 3.862 seconds, the quickest licensing pass ever. With 3.862 seconds Zetterström rocketed into the number four spot of quickest Top Fuel drivers in Europe. In the first official FIA Event of 2022 Ida and the team set a new European record of 3.782 seconds and by that they where the first team to ever clock a 3.7 second pass in Europe.

And she is only getting started, and is one to watch!

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Here are some key points that I would advise you to concentrate on

    • It is ok to work in a career that doesn't set you world alight, to cover the costs of living while you work towards making your passion your career.
    • Your age, race, gender etc do not define you, limit you or dictate what you can do in life, you can do whatever you choose to pursue in life.
    • What environment you are raised in, helps shape what your kids are into, what they resent, what they enjoy and so on. Choose wisely as a parent, encourage not force, introduce them to lots of different experiences,let them develop their skills and interests and encourage them to find their own path in life.
    • You are not the same as your parents, you siblings or your friends. Society does not get to tell you what to do in life. You get to choose what you do. Your life is yours to live.
    • Drag racing is open to all, gender-allowed roles and sports are being removed thankfully, chase what excites you in life.

    • Do not let fear hold you back, even if it looks scary. Ida got more injuries doing gymnastics when compared to a supposedly dangerous sport like drag racing.
    • No matter what sport or activity you do, you are an ambassador for the sport even as a hobbyist - you represent the physical, mental and emotional benefits that the activity offers, people listen to your experiences of it and consider it from what you say. Use your experience to encourage others, to bring them into the love of participation in the activity.
    • If there is not a path for someone like you in your preferred course, activity or sport, make one! Ida is always breaking records and chasing the next 'first' she uses these as a motivational tool, rather than a block. Just because someone hasn't done it before, its not the end for you, be the first to do it!

    • Ida uses the smalls wins to motivate her to push herself further and achieve new feats in the sports.
    • It might be harder to do your sport or activity depending on your physicality, so you should seek a good trainer to teach you how to prepare in the gym, on the equipment to be more efficient, to mentally prepare etc. It is OK to ask others for help, and bring in experts to improve your performance.
    • Ida found her happiness at the track. You can find yours anywhere, never be afraid to show you truly are. Listen to my interview with Steve Kamb on how to let your freak and nerd flag flow!
    • Social media is becoming an integral part for all athletes, at any level, as it lets you get promoted to others in various platforms, connect with your fans, use as leverage to source funding and sponsors etc.

    • Treat your team, support staff etc like family, share in the spoils, enjoy the time together, the modifying of your setup etc. No matter if you win or lose, the time sent together can be the best memories regardless of the result.
    • Ida works hard every day to improve her performance. You can work on your reaction times, get healthier, more cardio, build strength, analyse performances to find fixes etc. There is always something you can be working on to improve. Enjoy the journey of working towards perfection, you will never get there but the journey is always more fun than the destination.
    • Again, you don't need to know it all. You can start with no experience, there are many coaches and experts you can work with to develop your skill set etc. Never be afraid to ask for help, guidance along your journey to be a badass.
    • Trial different styles and methods on your training, and look to see what works best for you. For example - Training ... at night or morning? See what results you get with the different options and analyse the results. Build a strategy and system of working, so you are as prepared as possible to compete etc. 
    • Control the aspects of your sport etc that you can control and let the others just happen. You know what will come such as the kick off, start up procedure etc. Let them become something you do automatically and instead use the will power and brain energy on what you can control. 
    • What gets measured gets managed. Use analytical tools to record data on your performance and other factors. Once you know your starting points, you can then work on how to resolve issues, improve on areas and plan a schedule of training and work to become even better.

  • The fear will always come, you will always fear it when doing something new, competing in front of people etc. Expect it, accept it, even give it a name and it loses it power over you! Build a routine of things you can do when not competing that lets you deal with the fear, such as listening to music, meditating, speaking to fans etc, find your own individual methods to suit your own individual stresses.
  • Learn the risks but do not be controlled by them. Ida knows the risks. Shes had accidents and seen others have them too. Her love for the sport is stronger than the nerves. Control what you can, control the aspects you can so you are as safe as you can as possible when you take part. 
  • Ida likes to find faults, as she knows she can not dwell on the mistakes, it is something she can fix, something she can work on, to improve her performance. Be proactive to improve yourself rather than beat yourself up. Perfection is not possible.
  • No connection is ever a bad thing. They can be a client, a fan, a team mate, and so much more. Learn how to connect with businesses, people and so on. You will be surprised how people you meet can help you grow and evolve in various ways.
  • Share what you like and find interesting on your social media, your fans will find you and connect. Share all sides of it, what you find interesting, others will. People buy into your passion.