From English first-class cricketer turned psychoanalyst Mike Brearley, comes a thought-provoking look at being 'on form'. This book will help people in all walks of life reflect on the kinds of conditions that can obstruct or free us.
THE TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR
LONGLISTED FOR THE WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR
What is being on form? How does it relate to feeling 'in the zone'?
Are these states in the lap of the gods, a matter of which side of the bed we got out of that morning? Or is there anything we can do to make their arrival more likely?
In this fascinating book, former England cricket captain and psychoanalyst Mike Brearley examines many of the elements of being in and out of form across a number of different disciplines - not only in cricket and psychoanalysis but also in finance, music, philosophy, medicine, teaching, tree surgery and drama.
Drawing on his own experiences, both on and off the field, Brearley describes various states of mind, from the conscious determination involved in training and practice through to that almost spiritual state of being 'inspired'. To achieve any level of form requires us to be able to hold different tensions in mind, and to tolerate both ambivalence and ambiguity. Neither form nor creativity can be guaranteed - Brearley illustrates in depth the frequent ways we lose form - though understanding, in a full sense, enables us to make drastic loss of form less likely.
Perceptive and engaging, On Form is an exploration of the benefits and risks of being on form and can help us all reflect on the range of conditions that block or liberate us.
PRAISE FOR THE ART OF CAPTAINCY:
'A work of real substance, valued for its practicality and its precision as well as its balanced humanity and insight' Hilary Mantel
'The best book on captaincy, written by an expert' Mike Atherton
'A subtle, wise book' Ed Smith
'The man-management skills demonstrated by Brearley's handling of Ian Botham remain an inspiration' Nasser Hussain
'The Art of Captaincy was, and is, an outstanding book. I would add only three words which I always bear in mind. Keep it simple' Richie Benaud
Fascinating — Ivo Tennant, The Cricketer
Engaging — Martin Chilton, Daily Telegraph
Endlessly curious and unapologetically intellectual — The Times
Accessible — William Joll, The Oldie
Fascinating — Choice
Interesting — New Statesman
This is a book that offers insight not just into cricket, but into every walk of life; not just into the state of being on form itself, but into everything that surrounds it; and not just into the reader, but into the author himself — All Out Cricket
Epic journey of a book — Dominic Lawson, Sunday Times