No, really. I am. Not because I live on a race track and my commute is 10 laps long. Not because I'm street racing thugs with thick accents in BMW's. Not because I'm the second coming of Senna (my hair isn't quite that nice). No, just because I feel like it and I want to practice.

That's really all it comes down to. About three years ago I began to practice left-foot braking and after about two months I got comfortable enough with it that it's become second nature to me. A few months after that, I began to practice heel-toe downshifting. Two and a half years later, I'm still practicing because I'm still not as comfortable or smooth with is as I would like to be. In terms of difficulty, it's on a whole different level than left-foot braking. It requires constant practice and conscious effort for a considerably longer period of time than many other advanced driving techniques before it becomes a natural addition to your skillset. And this leads me to my point:

You don't need to be on a track or racing to practice heel-toe downshifting. You don't even need to be going around a corner. My commute is about 60% back country roads, 30% in-town with traffic, and 10% through suburbs with no traffic whatsoever. Each morning I make 6 right turns, 4 left turns, and 2 stops where I go straight. This means I have 12 total opportunities to practice heel-toe downshifts on the way to work and 12 opportunities for practice on the way home. That means I have at least 24 opportunities to practice each day.

Then there's the fact that many of those stops require dropping multiple gears, which is one of the hardest things to get smooth. And you know what? Since I quit using my lack of access to a track as an excuse and started practicing every day using my daily commute, I have become exponentially smoother and more comfortable with heel-toe downshifting. It has taught me that most advanced fundamental driving techniques do not require high speeds or race tracks in order to learn them. All you have to do is find a way to incorporate them into your daily driving habits and practice them every day. Not only does this improve your comfort and capability with said skills, but it also has the added benefit of making your daily commute more interesting and potentially entertaining.

This also applies to left-foot braking.

And steering wheel grip positions.

And sighting out your driving line.

And so on and so forth.

So...I guess what I'm saying is that I don't get to go to the track very often, but I haven't let that stop me from practicing my on-track driving skills every day, and neither should you.