OK, so it’s not actually about canoeing – but rowing. Nevertheless, the lessons in this book are widely applicable for all of us in all walks of life and that’s what makes it a compelling read.
Ben Hunt-Davis won a gold medal at the Sydney Olympic Games in the men’s eight and wrote this motivational and autobiographical title, which shows you how to apply some of his Olympic strategies to everyday life. There are ideas that will help everyone, whatever you do in life.
Will It Make The Boat Go Faster? is divided into 11 chapters, each of which is split into 2 halves. Firstly, Ben provides a narrative, recounting an episode from the eight’s journey to Gold, and shows the team using the methods in action. Then comes the analysis, explaining why and how the crew did what they did.
Hunt-Davis’s website says the book is a warts-and-all authentic account of a journey to success that will show you how you can succeed in whatever you want to do. It is aimed at readers interested in personal development and managers wanting to achieve corporate goals. It will also appeal to sports enthusiasts, practitioners and coaches who will find the Olympic story compelling and learn plenty of techniques for improving their own game strategies.
“An example of an unhelpful belief is that risk = bad. Recognise that risk = unavoidable and channel your energies into risks worth taking.”
Incidentally, Hunt-Davis has been seen in a kayak recently, he competed in the Devizes to Westminster Canoe Race but, unfortunately, did not finish – like Sir Steve Redgrave, Hunt-Davis found the going too tough. In an article on his website, he recounted frankly how he began training a mere six weeks before Easter and found it wasn’t enough.
Had he taken the trouble to listen to an experienced DW canoeist, he’d have learned that before he set off from Devizes. All in all, it was a surprising lapse for someone like Hunt-Davis for whom perfect preparation has been something of a mantra. If anything, it shows how we can all learn a little from each other in life.
The book is highly recommended.
(Picture credit: Ben Hunt-Davis)