Flow goes by many names: being in the Zone, Ultimate Human Performance, Nirvana or feeling touched by god or the universe (in whatever form that takes for you) but has probably been best described as,
“being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you’re using your skills to the utmost.”
It’s that state where you are at your very best, godlike and bulletproof.
Just as interesting to us is that Flow is also a state of expansion, a state of highly accelerated learning.
It is state where rather than making incremental gains in skill we make huge leaps, short circuiting the idea of 10, 000 hours to mastery, resulting in huge increases in performance.
Why Is Flow Important In Kitesurfing?
Flow shows up in extreme sports more often than anywhere else on the planet.
The reason for this is simple, the big three Flow triggers of High Consequences, Rich Environment and Deep Embodiment are absolutely embedded in any extreme sports, they are integral to it. As one of the most complex extreme sports we can master Flow shows up in kitesurfing in bucket loads. In fact almost every time we hit the water we have a Flow experience of some level.
To take an example if you look at the development of top-class football players over the last 20 years and compare them to the development of top-class extreme sports athletes over the last 20 years the differences are staggering.
I imagine that for anyone trying to assemble an all star team of footballers from the last 50 years there would still be room for debate as to whether Pele would make it, many would argue that he might but even if you disagree he would most likely feature somewhere on most peoples top 100.
The fact is that footballers at the top level just haven’t improved that much in the last 50 years. Sure training methods have improved and I would imagine as a result most of todays stars are fitter but have their skill levels improved?
This is debatable.
In extreme sports even if you took a world champion from 2 years ago and looked at the tricks they were performing to win the top competitions at that time, those tricks now seem laughably outdated and old-fashioned. Having been surpassed in every way by newer more extreme versions, which themselves will be topped in a matter of months.
In short, improvement in extreme sports is exponential whereas improvement in most other sports is incremental.
The reason for this is Flow.
Quite simply if extreme sports athletes are pushing the envelope and they are not in a state of Flow…they are dead.
This simple equation means that Flow shows up more in extreme sports that in any other arena known to man.
Now we have been studying Flow intensely for the last few years, being in a prime position to do so, both in our time on the water experiencing it ourselves and also seeing its effects on our students and their learning patterns, every day.
As a result of this experience we now use Flow to bring out the best in our students and slash their learning times by incorporating it right into the very fabric of all our Camps, and then give you a few pointers on how to get more of it in the rest of your life not just on the water.
If you haven’t been on one of our camps you can get a great idea of what we’re talking about by following the link below and having a look at the videos we’ve built on Kitesurfing & The Flow State.