AI - Team India's mental and conditioning coach, Paddy Upton too will be leaving for his home. "Yes, I have decided that I shall not involve myself with the coaching stint with Mahendra Singh Dhoni's team," he said exclusively.
This will be another big blow to Dhoni, Tendulkar and Sehwag after coach Gary Kirsten decided to call it a day. Having been appointed the head coach of the Indian national cricket team some three years ago, Gary Kirsten had strongly recommended the appointment of Paddy Upton as the mental conditioning coach and his assistant coach.
Upton is a close and personal friend of former Gary Kirsten - also working as the mental conditioning coach in his cricket academy in Cape Town and as his business partner in "Performance Zone" - a venture on sports performance improvement. The 42-year-old Upton holds two Masters Degrees, one in Sport Science and another in Executive Coaching. They are likely to continue their business interest in South Africa.
After his playing career, Upton began coaching at the provincial and national cricket levels. From 1994 to 1998, he served as the physical fitness trainer for the South African cricket team. He was also involved as a key strategist with the team coach Bob Woolmer and then-captain Hansie Cronje. In 1999, Upton switched from working on physical fitness to mental conditioning in sports, taking an executive coaching program on leadership in business and sporting environments.
Upton worked closely with Gary Kirsten, providing him support and guidance that Kirsten described as invaluable, and also helped Jacques Kallis overcome personal issues related to the death of his father to improve his playing performance. He described his work as helping individual players understand and overcome specific fears and emotions that affect specific aspects of their performance. He also gave personal attention to the performance of Virender Sehwag, keeping him hydrated and focused during his long innings of 319 against South Africa in the 2008 Chennai Test. Team India also won the World Cup for the year 2011 under Paddy's coaching.
He has been deeply influenced by Indian philosophy and culture, describing that his spiritual journey began in India. He married his wife in a traditional Vedic marriage ceremony in an ashram in India. "I will miss India too," he added.
"No new names of their successors have been recommended to the BCCI, but if asked, would do so," Kirsten and Upton said before signing together.