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Cricket and the Karmayoga: a comparative study of peak performance

Brodbeck, Simon Pearse 2007. Cricket and the Karmayoga: a comparative study of peak performance. Sport in Society 10 (5) , pp. 787-801. 10.1080/17430430701442488

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Abstract

This essay discusses the idea of ‘non-attached action’, a non-teleological attitude allied to peak performance within armies and sports teams. It is a way of relating to one's actions as simple, non-intended events, without consideration of their possible consequences. This attitude is related specifically to cricket through analysis of typical accounts (of the kind given by ex-player commentators) of the psychological approach of expert cricketers, and through comparison with the martial-existential philosophy taught by Krishna to Arjuna in the Bhagavadgita (the ‘Song of the Lord’), a section of the Sanskrit epic Mahabharata. Particular attention is paid to notions of non-agentive behaviour, of playing one's ‘natural game’ and of being ‘in the zone’, and to techniques of mental preparation and mental hygiene. The essay is framed by a wider juxtaposition of cricketing activity and discourse with martial activity and discourse in the Mahabharata and in Europe.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
P Language and Literature > PI Oriental languages and literatures
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
ISSN: 1743-0437
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 03:39
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/24536

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