|Paddy Upton Quick Info|
|Height||5 ft 10 in|
|Date of Birth||November 5, 1968|
Paddy Upton is a South African cricket coach, mental conditioning consultant, sports scientist, strength and conditioning expert, former cricketer, professor, motivational speaker, author, and podcaster who came into the spotlight for his successful tenure (2008-2011) as the mental conditioning and strategic leadership coach of the Indian national cricket team. During his term, the Indian team attained the top position (a spell that started in November 2009 and lasted until August 2011) in the ICC (International Cricket Council) test rankings for the first time since the rankings were officially introduced in June 2003. India became just the 3rd team after Australia (June 2003-July 2009) and South Africa (August 2009-November 2009) to achieve this feat. India also won the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup during Paddy’s tenure, the team’s 2nd such title, 28 years after the historic win in 1983. He then served as the performance director of the South African national cricket team from 2011 to 2014. It was another highly successful stint for Paddy during which South Africa became the first team in history to simultaneously hold the world number 1 ranking in all three formats of the sport (Tests, ODIs, and T20Is). He worked for one season (2014) as the mental conditioning coach and performance consultant for the Eastern Province rugby team that represents the Western half of the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. He had also previously worked as the strength and conditioning coach for the South African national cricket team (February 1994–March 1998); and the rugby team of the Western Province (April 1998-October 1999), a province situated on the south-western coast of South Africa. In July 2022, he rejoined the Indian national cricket team as their mental conditioning coach.
Patrick Anthony Howard Upton
Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
Paddy had attended the Wynberg Boys’ High School, a public English-medium school in the Wynberg suburb of Cape Town.
In 1987, about a year after his high school graduation, he joined Stellenbosch University, a public research university in Stellenbosch, a town in the Western Cape province. He graduated from there in 1989 with a Bachelor of Science degree in human movement science.
In 1990, he enrolled in the University of Port Elizabeth, a public university in Port Elizabeth, a major seaport in the Eastern Cape province. He graduated in 1991 with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in biokinetics and a distinction in his major (sport psychology).
In 1992, he joined the University of Cape Town, a public research university in Cape Town. He attained a Master of Science degree in medical sports science from there in 1998. His thesis was titled Prevention of Schoolboy Rugby Injuries.
In 2001, he began studying for a Master of Arts degree in professional development (coaching) at Middlesex University, a public research university in Hendon, London. He graduated in 2003 with distinction. His thesis was titled Assessing Professional Cricket Coaching.
Cricket Coach, Mental Conditioning Consultant, Sports Scientist, Strength and Conditioning Expert, Cricketer (Retired), Professor, Motivational Speaker, Author, Podcaster
- Father – Anthony Howard Upton (Former Cricketer)
5 ft 10 in or 178 cm
69 kg or 152 lbs
Girlfriend / Spouse
A private person, Paddy has not revealed the name of his spouse publicly. However, it is a well-known fact that he had married a South African woman in a traditional Vedic (The Vedas are a large body of spiritual and philosophical texts originating in ancient India) ceremony in an ashram (a hermitage). The wedding reportedly took place in the late 2000s and the ceremony’s nature was reflective of the fact that Paddy had been deeply influenced by Indian philosophy.
Race / Ethnicity
- Toned physique
- Receding hairline
- Affable smile
- Clean-shaven look
Paddy Upton Facts
- Paddy used to represent the under-19 school cricket team of the Western Province in South Africa, from grade 10 to grade 12 (1984–1986). He even captained the team in 1986.
- He then turned out for the under-23 team of the Western Province from 1988 to 1992, captaining them from 1991 to 1992. He went on to feature in 2 first-class matches for the senior domestic team of the Western Province; 1 match each in the 1990-91 and 1993–94 domestic seasons. He had also scored a century in the first of those 2 games.
- Besides cricket, Paddy also played rugby for Stellenbosch University, the University of Port Elizabeth, and the University of Cape Town. He also received one cap (in 1990) for the South African Rugby Association team, an Apartheid-era team that mostly consisted of the best black African players in South Africa at that time. In 1994, aged just 25, he retired from competitive cricket and rugby to take up the position of strength and conditioning coach for the South African national cricket team.
- In 1997, he had co-authored a book titled The Beer Drinker’s Guide to Losing Weight. About a decade later, in 2006, he had co-authored another book titled Sharing the Passion. Conversations with Coaches.
- In late 1999, he co-founded Street Universe, a non-profit organization aimed at rehabilitating the street children and youth living on the streets in Cape Town. He later served as the managing director of the organization. The organization later went on to receive funding from the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. He resigned from the organization in 2002 and it merged with another organization under a new leadership team.
- Besides his highly successful stints with the men’s national cricket teams of India (2008-2011; mental conditioning and strategic leadership coach) and South Africa (2011-2014; performance director), Paddy, since 2012, has been involved in various capacities with franchise-based T20 teams in leagues around the world.
- These include head coaching roles with the Pune Warriors (2012), Rajasthan Royals (2013-2015, 2019-2020) and the Delhi Daredevils (2016-2017) in the IPL (Indian Premier League); the Sydney Thunder (2014-2018) in the BBL (Big Bash League); and the Lahore Qalandars (2016-2017) in the PSL (Pakistan Super League). He has also been involved in several different capacities with the Rajasthan Royals since the 2021 season of the IPL.
- The Rajasthan Royals, after their fairytale triumph in the inaugural season of the IPL in 2008, had finished either 6th or 7th in the 8-team league for 4 years in a row (2009-2012). Paddy, in his first season (2013) as the team’s head coach, is widely credited with reviving the team’s fortunes and helping them finish in 3rd place that season. The team also managed to reach the final of the 2013 season of the Champions League Twenty20 (a now-defunct annual international T20 cricket competition played between qualifying domestic/franchise teams from some major cricketing nations) under his helm. That season, Rajasthan Royals created a unique record by winning all 13 of their home games (all 8 group stage games in the IPL; all 4 group stage games, and the semi-final in the Champions League Twenty20), turning the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur, Rajasthan, into an impregnable fortress.
- He also managed to script a similar fairytale turnaround with the Sydney Thunder franchise that had lost an astounding 20 out of 23 matches in the first 3 seasons (2011–12-2013–14) of the Big Bash League; finishing 8th (last) in all 3 seasons. Paddy took over in the following season (2014–15) and although the results barely improved (a 7th place finish with just 2 wins in 8 games), he led them to the BBL title in the next season (2015–16). The team finished 4th in the group stage (with 4 wins in 8 games) but went on an absolute rampage in the knockout stages – defeating the Adelaide Strikers by 8 wickets and 14 balls to spare in the sem-final; and the Melbourne Stars by 3 wickets and 3 balls to spare in the final.
- In 2015, he was honored with the ‘Achiever Award’ by his alma mater, the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (then known as the University of Port Elizabeth). The award is presented to alumni who have made significant contributions to their specialist fields and helped in the development and well-being of society at local, provincial, national, or international levels.
- Over the course of his illustrious career, Paddy has worked with more than 20 professional cricket, rugby, soccer, and field hockey teams across South Africa, India, Dubai, Pakistan, and Australia. He has also served as the personal mental conditioning coach for more than 100 professional athletes from 11 different sports.
- In June 2017, he was appointed a ‘Professor of Practice’ in the School of Business and Law at the Deakin University, a public university in Geelong, a port city in the state of Victoria, Australia.
- In May 2019, he published The Barefoot Coach: Life-Changing Insights from Coaching the World’s Best Cricketers. The book was ranked on Amazon.in‘s list of ‘Top 50 Sellers’.
Featured Image by Paddy Upton / Instagram