Paddy Upton

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Surviving or Thriving

The hangover of success.

June 5, 2024 Why we need to learn from wins as much as losses. It’s intriguing that failures often trigger exhaustive reviews, while successes are followed by celebration and then overshadowed by complacency.  This disparity overlooks a critical opportunity to learn from what went right. Success can lead to two types of hangovers. The first

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world cup rugby win

The Bittersweet Taste of a World Cup Win

Last weekend’s World Cup rugby win by the Springboks over the All Blacks left a lingering bittersweet taste. The sweetness happened as the final whistle blew to mark the Springboks triumph, and the bitter came from another realisation that dawned soon thereafter. Before I get to the bitter, let me start with a secret that

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Luck wins World Cups

Luck wins World Cups

In recent weeks I’ve been asked more times than I can count:  “Who do you think will win the World Cup?” The first answer is, “Which one, cricket rugby?” Regardless, I have the same answer for both. The team that wins will be the luckiest one. Mark these words. A closer look will reveal that

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Johnny Bairstow stumping

Jonny Bairstow Stumping

A$$hole. The spate of opinions around Alex Carey‘s stumping of Jonny Bairstow in the Ashes has been interesting to follow. Not that the world needs another opinion on it, but still, here’s mine. Bairstow was silly to make the mistake of walking out of his crease when he did. He knows better and deserved to

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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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