Patrick Anthony Howard 'Paddy' Upton (born 5 November 1968) is a South African cricket coach and former player. He has worked as the physical fitness trainer for the South Africa cricket team and the Western Province rugby team. He has worked as the mental conditioning coach of the India team which became number 1 in the world test rankings and won the ICC World Cup in 2011. He worked as Performance Director of the South Africa team from 2011-2014, during which time they became the first team to simultaneously hold the world number 1 ranking in all three formats of the game. He was the head coach of the Rajasthan Royals Team in the Indian Premier League from 2012-2015. Upton is currently the head coach of the Sydney Thunder cricket team in the Australian Big Bash League, and has also been appointed as the head coach of Lahore Qalandars for the Pakistan Super League and now he is the head coach of IPL team Delhi Daredevils.
Upton was born on 5 November 1968 in Johannesburg, Transvaal, South Africa. Between 1990–91 and 1993–94 he played cricket for the Western Province cricket team, scoring a century on debut. He is a close friend of former South African cricketer Gary Kirsten - having worked 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. He holds two master's degrees, one in Sport Science and another in Executive Coaching. Upton has been deeply influenced by Indian philosophy and culture, describing that his spiritual journey began in India. Upton married his wife in a traditional Vedic marriage ceremony in an ashram in India.
After his playing career, Upton began coaching at the provincial and national cricket levels. From 1994 to 1998, Upton 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. Upton described his work as helping individual players understand and overcome specific fears and emotions that affect specific aspects of their performance.
Stint with India
Having been appointed the head coach of India, Gary Kirsten recommended the appointment of Paddy Upton as the mental conditioning coach and his assistant coach. Upton 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. India also won the world cup for the year 2011 under head coach Gary Kirsten & Paddy's mental coaching. Upton left the post after the World Cup with him and Gary Kirsten later being appointed as Performance Director and Head Coach respectively of South Africa.