Credit: Twitter

Credit: Twitter

Paddy Upton, a renowned mental conditioning expert and former head coach of Rajasthan Royals, has been appointed mental health conditioning coach for the Indian men’s hockey team for the upcoming 2023 Champions Trophy and Asian Games. 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 2011 ODI World Cup and achieve the top spot in the Test rankings for the first time in history.

Upton will work closely with the Indian men's hockey team to enhance their mental resilience and psychological skill set ahead of the crucial tournaments, where the team will be vying for direct Olympic qualification. The South African coach is scheduled to hold three-part mental conditioning sessions starting on  July 1 at the ongoing National Coaching Camp for Indian men's core group in SAI, Bengaluru.

The 54-year-old mental conditioning coach was also a part of the South African cricket team which held the World No. 1 ranking in all three game formats simultaneously. Upton has also provided mental training workshops to various sports teams across different disciplines, such as rugby, football, and hockey.

"I am honored 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," Upton said on his new venture.

The federation president Dilip Tirkey associated with Upton’s appointment 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 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."

The Indian men’s hockey team have been showing consistent improvement in recent years, winning the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics 2020, their first Olympic medal in 41 years. The team will be aiming to continue its momentum and achieve more glory at the Asian Champions Trophy and Asian Games 2023.