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.