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on 12 December 2014
I bought the print version of 'In the Flow' a few months ago. I've been paddling for quite a while in a few different disciplines, and regularly in a few different disciplines, both competitive and non-competitive.

The book is a straightforward and accessible way to get to grips with the mental aspects of sporting performance, shown through wonderfully specific examples from paddlesport. The principles and ideas here would be just as powerful if they were applied to any other sport - from marathon-running to mountaineering - but as paddlers we're extremely lucky that Jonathan has written it very specifically for us. You're left in no doubt about how his principles apply when you've flipped on your deck and launched into the current.

It's as useful for competitive paddlers as non-competitive. Jonathan has clearly done both and gives meaningful examples from the different disciplines. In practice, that means it's as useful for paddlers looking to work out the group dynamic for an upcoming trip as to a marathon paddler training for the next season's race series.

Anything I'd improve? Not much. In a second edition I'd love to see captions to give the context behind some of the fantastic photos, but there's nothing that I felt was missing or under-explained.

Most of my friends have a 'paddling bookshelf', and I hope the'll make some space. With Jonathan's light and engaging writing, extensive knowledge of paddlesport at every level, and ability to transform dry academic psychology theory into practical guidance, I'd rate it as the most essential paddling book yet this decade.
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on 20 September 2014
Over the course of the summer I have had the opportunity to read and review In the Flow by Jonathan Males. Jonathan has coached both the British and Australian Olympic slalom teams in the past has has used his knowledge of coaching and recent research to create a book that aims "to help paddlers and coaches understand the theory behind success and provide practical skills to improve performance".

Now don't be put off if you are not a slalom paddler. In the Flow is applicable to all areas of the sport and has actually been broken down in to a number of component parts with only a small percentage of the book being focussed on competition.

Section 1 - Self Confidence and The Fundamentals
Chapter 1 - Mastery Motivation
Chapter 2 - Decision Making
Chapter 3 - Execution
Chapter 4 - Teamwork
Chapter 5 - Developing The Fundamentals

Section 2 -
Chapter 6 - Competition
Chapter 7 - Paddling Whitewater - <em>Really enjoyed this chapter. Well thought out and thought provoking.</em>
Chapter 8 - Women On The Water
Chapter 9 - Paddling with Young People
Chapter 10 - Canoeing Through Life
Chapter 11 - The Experience Of The Wilderness

Firstly despite looking at psychological fundamentals you don't need a BSc to understand what is going on. The format and language used makes the book very easy to read/follow. A great deal of text within the book is given over to quotes and real life examples which I found aids the understanding/theory behind the particular topic being discussed.

However I do find parts of the books that uses quotes as demonstration of negative and positive use of language a little cheesy but that is something that I don't like generally and doesn't detract upon the impact of the rest of the text in this case.

Since reading the book cover to cover I have found myself dipping back in to certain chapters and looking at my own paddling. This says a great deal about the quality of the book.

I reckon that most sports people (not just paddlers) would be able to gain something from the book.
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