Paddy Upton is an acclaimed speaker, Head Coach in international cricket, mental coach to professional athletes from 10 countries and 11 different sports, and a university Professor. His unique and out-the-box approach to leadership, coaching and performance has seen him described as ‘one of the best coaches’ and ‘the most innovative coach’ in the world. His over 150 keynotes in 40 cities across five continents, include glowing references from Boeing, Dell, General Electric, Google, Microsoft, Unilever and many more, and ‘consistently being rated the highest scoring speaker’ at conferences in the USA, Australia and South Africa.

He is described as a ‘delightfully entertaining’, ‘authentic’, ‘inspiring’ story-teller, with an ‘amazing ability to translate his message to be relevant and applicable across industries’.

Helping lead the Indian Cricket Team to achieve the World’s No. 1 Test ranking for their first time, and then to win the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup for the first time in 27 years.

Helping lead the South African Cricket Team to become the first team ever to simultaneously hold the World No. 1 ranking in all three formats of the international game.

Head Coach in 13 global T20 cricket seasons, for five different teams in three of the worlds’ premier tournaments, the Indian Premier League (IPL), Australian Big Bash League (BBL) and Pakistan Super League (PSL). In his first season, he led underdogs Rajasthan Royals (IPL) from four years at the bottom of the log, to both the IPL and then Champions League finals, and followed this by leading Sydney Thunder team, after losing 21 out of 22 games prior to his arrival, to become Big Bash League Champions in 2015!

Paddy Upton has been mental coach to professional athletes from 10 countries and 11 different sports, including International cricketers, rugby, soccer and hockey players, Olympians, para-Olympians, World Tour golfers and World Tour surfers.

He has degrees from four different universities, including two masters degrees. In recognition for his innovative leadership and coaching approach, applicable in both sport and business, he was appointed Professor of Practice at Deakin University (Business and Law faculty. Melbourne, Australia)

Paddy’s talks focus on the people- or human-aspect of team and organizational performance, specifically on leadership, culture, teamwork and individual performance. Where good strategy, technology and business processes are a standard requirement in today’s performance landscape, teams and organisations that are able to attract the best talent, keep the best for longest, and get the best out of the rest are often those that prevail. Optimising the human aspect of performance is todays core differentiator that provides competitive advantage.

Paddy’s talks offer fascinating, practical and proven insights into contemporary, innovative and out-the-box ways to optimise your team and its individual performers.

His talks are bespoke, in that he will choose from a rich array of stories to meet the unique requirements of your event or organization, addressing the required balance between leadership, culture, teamwork and/or individual performance.

Inspiring audiences to create their own extraordinary team culture,where enjoyment and winning happens

In this talk, Paddy Upton offers revolutionary insights into the leadership and high performance approaches that are
helping sport and business teams to be the best in the world. He shares thought-provoking insights and fascinating anecdotes from his work with some of the world’s top athletes and teams.

Included is the unique approach that helped take the Indian and South African teams to the World’s No. 1 positions, India to win the 2011 Cricket World Cup, and then as a first-time head coach, to lead bottom-of-the-log Rajasthan Royals IPL Team to the Champions League final in one season.

This talk will be uniquely tailored to align with the message or theme of your event,

Clients report Paddy’s inspirational talks to be ‘thought provoking’, ‘insightful’,‘authentic’, ‘simple’, ‘outstanding’, ‘refreshing’ and ‘motivational’.

(relevant for sport or business audiences)
the changes in performance/leadership landscape, from industrial to knowledge era
harnessing collective intelligence
creating thinking employees/athletes
personal mastery
building confidence, focusing the mind, positive psychology and much more

Provocative and controversial

Exposing healthy to unhealthy versions of Beta, Alpha and psychopathic leaders, and the corresponding impact they have on their teams

High performers and leaders in sport and business generally fall somewhere along the continuum from the harmony-loving happy-to-play-second-fiddle beta (fe)male through the confident, focused, opinionated and action-oriented alpha leader to the highly popular, hugely successful and truly inspirational psychopath*

The problem for teams and organizations arise when these high performers and/or leaders become unhealthy. It for example happens when the beta-male becomes an egotistical and posturing wannabe-alpha when the alpha becomes the arrogant, self-serving and overly-critical bully, and when the psychopaths guilt-free manipulation, lies, callous and cunning ways poison those around them and threatens to ruin their team, organization or industry.

This wonderfully insightful, provocative and controversial talk exposes real world examples of these successful and influential individuals, highlights how they can single-handedly make or destroy teams and organizations, and suggests remedies for each.

* Researcher Dr Clive Bodie suggests 1 in 100 people are born psychopaths, and that as many as 1 in 25 business leaders are psychopaths. The incidence is likely to be higher in some industries, including finance, IT, politics and possibly even professional sport. For more about psychopaths in sport and business,

Challenging conventional beliefs

In this Freakonomics-type presentation, Paddy makes a thought-provoking and compelling case for a series of counter-intuitive statements. Each case is supported by research, built upon with intriguing perspectives, and coloured-in by fascinating anecdotes from his work with some of the world’s top athletes. The talk has been lauded by international athletes and business leaders.

Paddy Upton will propose that…The coach is possibly the biggest obstacle to success
The best advice you have to offer is mostly useless
When a person messes-up, a compliment is over 350% more effective than a reprimand
Doing your best to help someone improve on their weakness… is in itself a leadership weakness
Players are smarter than coaches​

Most Popular Keynotes
  • THE ART OF WINNING: Inspiring audiences to create their own extraordinary team culture,where enjoyment and winning happens.
  • THE ART OF SUCCESS​: (relevant for sport or business audiences)
  • A CONTRARIAN VIEW ON LEADING/COACHING: Challenging conventional beliefs
Book this Speaker

Travels from: Johannesburg, South Africa

Speaking fee:

  • South Africa – R35,000 – R45,0000
  • International – $8,500

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