Paddy Upton

Parents Unwittingly Undermine Kids Sport Participation

36% of parents undermine their kids sport participation. More than one in three parents undermines their kids sport participation. Most do this unwittingly, despite having best intentions.  A school sport study1 showed that 70% of the 40 million kids who start playing sport at school quit by the age of 13.  The two main reasons: coaches

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Are we making or Breaking our Kids?

Last week, a talented and dedicated young athlete gave up on a rising career. He did so despite loving the sport, and having invested years of time, effort and discipline into it.  The reason?  He eventually had enough of his coach and trainer bullying, abusing, criticising and belittling him. When he spoke up, they said

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Fitness in Cricket

Fitness in cricket is a bit like how you dress in a corporate environment.  It is secondary to performance, but it plays a supporting act. Recently, captain Dane van Niekerk was dropped from the South African women’s cricket team (Proteas) for failing a 2km running test by 18 seconds.  A year ago, batsman Lizelle Lee

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Reframing Change

Change can be easy.  Much is written about change.  Become fitter.  Lose weight. Gain weight.  Find a better job. Improve things in your relationships. Reduce stress. Get outdoors more.  Start that new hobby.  We all want our lives to be even better, but we’ve been  told that change is difficult.  That it requires discipline, determination and commitment. We need to

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When Fear Strikes

A story from that scary intersection where a series of mistakes, a consequential oversight, and an unexpected turn of events collide.   My mate Guy and I set out from Simonstown to test a 3.8m Inflatable boat with a 30 hp engine. It was a 15-year-old rig which he had very recently bought.  There was a

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Outliers: Die, survive or thrive?

Being an outlier can be difficult. It can work for you, or against you.  An outlier is defined as someone who is ‘situated away or detached from the main body or system’. Yesterday they died. Today, fitting-in can kill. The difficulty stems back to when our ancestors lived in caves under the survival threats of

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6 Lessons From Shovelling Shit

On Christmas weekend, I visited my sister and parents, who I hadn’t seen for a number of months due to touring with the Indian cricket team. I had asked my sister, Nicky to arrange some different or interesting activities around the Stellenbosch/Paarl area where she lives. For the first morning‘s activity, I was told me

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The invaluable lesson of a leftover pizza

The invaluable lesson of a leftover pizza

‘Exposure’ was one of the significant events that rolled into town with the covid circus. The carpet was pulled back to expose things like pre-existing leadership ineptitude, business weaknesses and relationship flaws. Unhappy employees became unhappier. Unhappy couples separated. Unhappy clients cut ties. The character of political leadership was revealed. Two areas of exposure that

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an easy win

An easy win for everyone!

I had a conversation this morning that I think is worth sharing. It holds potential to add genuine value to your life, and somebody else’s! I was messaging a friend who has been through a particularly bumpy Covid ride over the past 18 months and who recently lost yet another of her close friends. She

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The Covid Gift

I recently recovered from my inevitable bout of Covid. A friend sent me a message soon after and asked,

“So, what gift did Covid give you?”

“Gift, are you f#*king joking?” I thought. Two weeks sick, alone in a home by myself, and at least 4 weeks after of little or no exercise or surfing. Where’s the gift in that?

Then it hit me. How blind I had been. There were at least three amazing gifts that my pre-conditioned mind of ‘I’m sick, which is not fun’ did not see.

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You got this

The story of an A-Game

It was almost exactly a year ago that I was struck with one of those aha-moments in life! It happened at the beginning of lockdown and during a mental coaching conversation with the captain of a national sports team. For the umpteenth time in my life, I found myself discussing the concept of our ‘A-game’.

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unpacking the A-Game series

Unpacking The A-Game Suitcase

In my previous blog I discussed an aha moment when I realised that those athletes and commentators who regularly use the term ‘A-game’ don’t actually know what they are talking about! And neither did I.

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winning the world cup

Ten lessons from winning the World Cup

In celebration of the 10th anniversary of India’s 2011 Cricket World Cup victory. Winning once doesn’t mean you’re the best – you just won at that moment in time. Losing also doesn’t mean that you’re not good enough. Real and sustained success happens when good people consistently do the right things in the right way.

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The Long Game

The Smart Corporate Athlete

Part three: Ideas for winning the long game. Psychologists who study survivors say that people who are rule followers don’t do as well as those who are of independent mind and spirit. Navigating our way through the many unknowns of the current ‘pandemic’ feels like we’re building a new ship and sailing it at the

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Mind shift

The Smart Corporate Athlete

Part two: In it for the long game. “Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult – once we truly understand and accept it – then life

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