Mental conditioning expert Paddy Upton, who has worked with the Indian cricket team, has been roped in by Hockey India to help the national men's hockey team ahead of its campaign in Asian Champions Trophy and the Asian Games. Upton is scheduled to hold three-part mental conditioning sessions starting July 1 at the ongoing National Coaching Camp for Indian men's core group in SAI, Bengaluru.
"I am honoured to be given this opportunity to work with Hockey India and the Indian men's hockey team," Paddy said.
"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."
Upton brings a wealth of experience and expertise, having played a pivotal role as a part of Gary Kirsten's core coaching staff that helped India win the ODI Cricket World Cup after 28 years in 2011.
With over two decades of experience working with professional athletes and teams across various sports, the 54-year-old mental conditioning coach had also helped the Indian cricket team to achieve the top spot in the Test rankings for the first time in history.
He also contributed to the South African cricket team's achievement of simultaneously holding the world no. 1 ranking in all three formats of the game.
Upton has also provided mental training workshops to the South African men's hockey team, 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. He has also worked with IPL franchises like Delhi Daredevils (now Capitals) and Rajasthan Royals.
"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," Hockey India President Dilip Tirkey said.
"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 Paddy's expertise and guidance will greatly benefit our team," Tirkey added.