Harpal Singh Bedi / New Delhi

Hockey India on Thursday appointed South African Paddy Upton as mental conditioning expert of the National Team ahead of Hero Asian Champions Trophy and the high-stakes Hangzhou Asian Games where the team will be vying for direct Olympic qualification.


Upton was part of the think tank of the Indian team which won the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup. He also guided the team to achieve the top spot in the Test rankings for the first time in history. His success continued as he contributed to the South African cricket team’s unprecedented achievement of simultaneously holding the World No. 1 ranking in all three formats of the game. He has also worked with numerous T20 franchises

The South African is scheduled to hold three-part mental conditioning sessions starting 1st July at the ongoing National Coaching Camp for Indian Men’s Core group in SAI, Bengaluru.
Talking about the appointment Hockey India President Dilip Tirkey said, “We wanted to ensure there is absolutely nothing lacking in the team’s preparations for major tournaments this year, particularly the Asian Games in China where the Olympic qualification will be at stake.”

“To help the team manage the pressure and expectations to perform, we felt that it was essential to invest in a mental conditioning expert. We are delighted to have Paddy Upton help prepare the team for mental toughness. We recognise that this is a major area that needs focus ahead of big-ticket events and we are confident that his expertise and guidance will greatly benefit our team.” Tirkey added

Commenting on his new assignment Paddy said, “I am honoured to be given this opportunity to work with Hockey India and the Men’s Team. I have witnessed the tremendous growth of Indian hockey in recent years, and I am excited to contribute to the team’s success by enhancing their mental resilience and psychological skill set. Together, we will work towards achieving the highest level of performance and excellence.”

With an illustrious career in high-performance coaching, Paddy brings a wealth of experience and expertise. The Cape Town-based high-performance coach, author, speaker, and professor, has an extensive background in sports psychology and leadership coaching.
With over two decades of experience working with professional athletes and teams across various sports, the 54-year-old mental conditioning coach has earned a stellar reputation for his ability to unlock the potential of individuals and foster a winning mindset within teams.

Besides cricket, Paddy has provided mental training workshops to the South African and, Australia Men’s Hockey Team, Indian Super League (ISL) sides FC Goa and FC Hyderabad, England Men’s Rugby Team and many other sports teams.


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