Paddy Upton, support staff member of 2011 World Cup winning team, to be with Indian hockey side for Olympics

Image Source : GETTY Paddy Upton and Indian hockey team players.

Paddy Upton, who was part of the support staff of the Indian team during its 2011 World Cup triumph, will stay with the Indian men’s hockey side for the Paris Olympics 2024. Upton, a renowned mental conditioning coach, has worked with several cricket, rugby, football and hockey teams as their mental coach. He was the mental conditioning coach and strategic leadership coach during India’s 2011 Cricket World Cup win.

The chief coach of the hockey team Craig Fulton confirmed that Upton will be with the hockey team for the Paris Olympics. “We have Paddy Upton, he will be with us in Australia (for the Test series). We will be using him wisely. For sure he will be there for the Olympics with us,” Fulton said when asked about the services of the mental conditioning coach. Upton was with the men’s hockey team during its gold medal wins at the Asian Champions Trophy and the Asian Games recently. 

The Indian hockey team is ranked No.4 in the world currently and would be looking to make another mark at the Games. Fulton believes that the team is still not at its peak but will be there in the coming time. “We are not complete yet but, in 4-5 months from the Olympics, we will be there. “Ideally any high-performing team wants to win any tournament. That’s the ideal goal to be realistic. But realistically, we are ranked fourth in the world now, does that mean podium ‘right now no’ but that’s the beauty of hockey. Realistically, we are not there yet but we still have time,” he said. 

Fulton said that the team is in a development phase and is creating depths for “crunch matches in the Olympics”. He also opened on India’s campaign at the FIH Pro League. “If you look at the four matches — 2 against Holland, 2 against Australia — I think we are disappointed with the second game against Australia, 5 minutes to go we were 2-1 up and then we made a mistake which got punished and then we lost the shoot-out,” he said. 

“The first game was a strange one, we got to learn a lot of lessons there tactically, but to be 0-2 down after 90 seconds. But the Dutch games I feel we were really organised. But 2-2 I felt was fair result for both games. They are the league leaders and they are the team to chase at the moment,” Fulton added.

The Indian team is currently in Bhubaneswar for training and then will travel to Australia for a five-Test series followed by the selection and the Pro League yet again before the Olympics.”Now we are in Bhubaneswar for the next three weeks for the training and then we go to Australia for five Test matches and that’s really important, and then we come back to Bengaluru and after selection is done, we leave for the Pro League. We are just carrying on with our training, we are focussed on becoming very strong defensively, we need to improve our offence. We are not changing a lot, just focussing on getting better and consistent,” he said.