So, what’s next for India? We all have a vision for our future and many would even argue that our daily energy expenditure is channelled towards realizing that dream. Well…. for all who dare to dream and the few who persevere hard enough, the age old saying, ‘The world i...Continue reading
I am a South African Sports Scientist & Performance Coach with 18 years experience in High Performance Sporting environments. The author of four books on Sports Science & Motivation, a TEDx speaker, recipient of the INK & Australia India Youth Dialogue Fellowship, Men’s Health ‘Trainer of the Year 2014’, Global Fitness Advisory Board Member to Herbalife & Organising Committee Member of the United Nations ChangeMakers Conference.
Two decades of on field experience with Olympians & Championship winning teams & three years of living as a monk have taught me the art & science of work-life balance. We must learn who to starve our fears and feed our courage in our quest to cultivate excellence.
I work athletes & executives to unlock their potential, mentally, physically & emotionally. I push my own physical and mental limits through ultra-marathon running and mountaineering.
I dream that I can touch the lives of a million children by making sport an equal opportunity platform, devoid of politics, religion, race, gender or socio-economic basis.
Are you ready to unlock the champion in you?
ATP Tour Weeks
Years FC Cricket
Professional Sports Teams
Ft. Highest Summit
With the sports and wellness industries exploding, investors and athletes are realizing the importance of creating sustainable models that cater to the long-term physical, mental, emotional & social needs of the athlete. I work with athletes, coaches, teams & organisations on creating developmental models that nurture talent & leave a lasting, positive impact on the society at large. Sport can change the moral fibre of a nation, and it starts with us believing.
The world’s best athletes have routines in preparation & competition that help them zone into the Optimal State of Mind for performance. This half day/ full day Master Class will help you unlock the Power of Consistency through a series of videos, presentations and interactive exercises and drills.
The Executive Coaching Program is a bespoke senior management program that showcases that practical interventions and strategies used by the world’s most successful coaches to unlock performance, fast-track trust & accountability & build a culture of excellence. Like sport, the most successful business people need to sustain high performance in the face of ever-increasing pressure and a rapidly changing ecosystem. The marriage of mind, body and emotions is what allows the worlds best athletes to perceive pressure as a privilege & flourish in the most testing environments.
Execution rather than strategy is the key to a competitive advantage. In the world of sport, there is a fine line between good and great & that line is the masterful balance between brilliant strategy and clinical execution. My approach to storytelling combines two decades of locker-room learning, anecdotes & strategies to show you how champions handle that “Defining Moment”.
One of the questions I am most frequently asked is,” What is mental toughness?” I’m not quite sure that that is the right question, because “mental toughness” as a phrase is probably one of the most commonly used but misunderstood phrases in sports psychology. Mental...Continue reading
Love – The Story of the Japanese Shield Bug “To have a profoundly tender affection for someone” One of the most endearing examples of love and devotion are found in the maternal instincts and behavior patterns of a small group of insects. The Japanese Shield Bug, indigeno...Continue reading
a new dawn brings a new beginning…. (reflections of 2012) a.a milne once said…. good judgment come from experience, but experience comes from poor judgement. as much as i appreciate the brilliant works of milne, life has taught me a few things about experience… ...Continue reading
Sports Scientist | Psychologist | Healer | Leadership Coach
I was born in Tongaat, a tiny town on the North Coast of Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa. I’m a third generation South African with my roots tracing back to Surat, India.
All I wanted to do in the early days that shaped my life was play cricket for my country, South Africa.
And all i got in return for that ambition was a series of hardships that threatened to veer me off my path.
That is why I want to level with you for a minute.
I had a promising start to what could have been a career in sport, having played representative cricket at club, state & national level, but my skin colour was not fair enough to match my dreams in a pre apartheid era (apartheid was a system of institutionalised racial segregation and discrimination in South Africa).This made the decision to retire at nineteen & focus on an academic career in sport an obvious one. I studied a degree in Sport & Exercise Science whilst working as the strength coach with the state cricket team to help make ends meet. Those were hard days. I had to juggle a full days work with a full time academic degree, not to mention put aside all racial prejudices & my personal financial constraints to win over the confidence of everyone who doubted me for years. The switch from being a player to a member of the coaching team was both psychologically confusing and physically taxing. Having said this, I sincerely believe it was the prejudice that fuelled my hunger to succeed.
In 2003, I got a lucky break as the Technical Analyst of the Indian Cricket Team during the 2003 Cricket World Cup. Most people know this, but few know that the coach had not approved a travel budget for me, which meant I had to drive in a rented car to each & every venue. I had driven over 12000 kilometres during the tournament & had never missed a single practice session. This helped me earn the respect & trust of everyone in the team. Its true what they say – opportunities are usually disguised as hardships.
After the World Cup, I was searching for a more fulfilling life, one that allowed me to give back. I was tired of being disappointed at the racial prejudices that existed. My quest took me to the Hare Krishna Temple in Chatsworth, Durban which became my home for close to three years. I had chosen the life of Brahmacharya (monk), which to date remains my most insightful & liberating years. The discipline of waking up at 3 am, the dedicated hours of scriptural studies & the perseverance to master focused meditation taught me the power one can yield by simply controlling the mind. It was this monastic life that inspired me to blend the science of emotional intelligence with the principles of spirituality. It was like stumping upon a magic elixir. Convinced of its results, I shifted my focus from physiology towards mental & spiritual health as means of developing that “Winning Mindset”. To date, it remains the core of my development model for athletes, entrepreneurs and organisations in search of purposeful progression.
I spent nine years working with South African first-class teams, both internationally & domestically. The politics & racial prejudice that kept many great players from representing the country still existed more than ten years after the fall of the apartheid. I was no longer as bitter or upset, but I was determined to ensure no child suffers such a faith again. Sport is a meritocracy & should remain devoid of any racial, socio- economic, gender, caste or ethnic bias. I was determined to become the spokesperson for the fight against discrimination in sport.
In 2007 I moved to India to work with the Indian Davis Cup Team. I spent six years traveling with the players on the ATP tour. After two Olympic Games in Beijing (2008) & London (2012), I realised that the prejudices I was fighting all my life existed in India as well. However, in India it went beyond the colour of ones skin. My determination to level the playing field forced my hand at new adventure – one that would prove to be my toughest yet – Entrepreneurship. In 2012, I founded the HEAL Institute Pty Ltd, a healthcare start up that aimed to put the spotlight on performance enhancement & raise the standard of awareness around no surgical treatment & physical rehabilitation. We had an earth shattering start which came tumbling down a few years later. These were some of the darkest days in my life. In hindsight, I believe that HEAL was simply ahead of the curve. Entrepreneurship is India taught me many lessons & toughened me up for the road ahead. Founding HEAL was the best business school I could have ever attended. In South Africa we have a saying – if you can’t run with the big dogs, stay on the porch. Nothing describes business in India better.
I’ve spent close to two decades working with elite athletes, celebrities, world renowned industrialists, children, disadvantaged communities, schools & NGO’s and game changers. These experiences have shown me life through many lenses, some joyous, many sad, but all unforgettable. Before you rise up, you have got to lay down. It is there that you will find quiet courage and purpose. Spirituality taught me how to be comfortable on the ground – how to starve my fears and feed my courage when no one else is around. It taught that today’s weakness is tomorrow strength.
The most beautiful thing about life is that adversity will always reveal something beautiful – either materialistically or spiritually. At every stage of life, many people will doubt you & if you lucky, a few will support you. None of this has any bearing on what your true potential is. Believe, work hard & have faith. Its the secret to unlocking that “Winning Mindset”.
Mahesh Bhupathi – 12 x Grand Slam Champion & Former #1
" Shayamal opened my mind to a whole new world — a world were self-belief, preparation, confidence, determination, integrity and trust take on new meaning. "
Desiree Vardhan – Manager of Coaching Development SASCOC, Head of Sport: Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls
" Shayamal is a great team person. A leader & driver of sports performance. It was an honour to work with you. "
Rajat Rajgarhia – CEO Institutional Equities: Motilal Oswal
" Your session brought much-needed fresh air & was indeed highly inspiring to watch. Tough as they may be, external environment has never been an enemy of success and should never be – we learnt a lot from your insightful session. "
Max Mirnyi – UN Ambassador & Former #1 Tennis Player
" Shayamal has made a lot of input in my career and I’m sure through his books, he will help you as well. "