Mental conditioning specialist Paddy Upton to work with Indian men’s hockey team | Hockey News


NEW DELHI: The Indian men’s hockey team is set to receive valuable assistance from mental conditioning expert Paddy Upton as they prepare for the upcoming Asian Champions Trophy and Hangzhou Asian Games 2023. Hockey India has responded to the coaching staff’s request for support in building the mental toughness of the players by bringing in South African expert Paddy Upton to closely work with the team ahead of these crucial competitions.
“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,” Hockey India informed in a press release on Thursday.

“I am honoured to be given this opportunity to work with Hockey India and the Indian Men’s Hockey 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,” said Upton about his upcoming role with the Indian men’s hockey team.
Upton’s expertise and success in mental conditioning have been demonstrated in his previous work with the Indian men’s cricket team and various other sports teams. He played a pivotal role in leading the Indian national cricket team to victory in the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup, marking their first win in 28 years. He also guided the team to achieve the top spot in the Test rankings for the first time in history.
Upton’s 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. In addition, he has provided mental training workshops to the South African men’s hockey team, Australian men’s hockey team, Indian Super League (ISL) sides FC Goa and FC Hyderabad, England men’s rugby team, and many other sports teams.


Expressing Hockey India’s commitment to leaving no stone unturned in helping the teams prepare for the Asian Games this year, the federation’s president Dilip Tirkey said, “Hockey India 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 recognize that this is a major area that needs focus ahead of big-ticket events, and we are confident that Paddy’s expertise and guidance will greatly benefit our team,” Tirkey said.
Echoing Tirkey’s views, Hockey India secretary general Bholanath Singh said, “The biggest feedback we received from the coaching staff was to improve the team’s mental toughness, and we understand that the pressure of living up to the expectations can be challenging to deal with. Paddy is an expert in this domain, and we are excited to have him on board as the team prepares for the Asian Games.”
The men’s Asian Champions Trophy will be played in Chennai from August 3-12, while the Asian Games is scheduled to be held in Hangzhou, China from September 23-October 8 this year. With Paddy Upton’s guidance in mental conditioning, the Indian men’s hockey team aims to enhance their performance and achieve success in these important tournaments.
(With inputs from IANS)

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