Rugby Sevens Captain Tom Mitchell

See.Think.Do with Tom Mitchell

Most discoveries, achievements and projects start with someone envisaging a
simple idea. Before taking one small but big step. 
See.Think.Do is a series of conversations with a range of visionaries who did just that.
This week we discuss meditation, uncomfortable training sessions, embracing failure and planning for parenthood with Olympic Silver Medalist & England 7s Rugby captain Tom Mitchell.
Hi Tom. Whereabouts are you at the moment?

On a beautiful beach in Bermuda! Just finished the inaugural World Tens Series out here. My first chance to play some rugby in about 8 months and it has felt amazing.

What is getting you excited right now?

The unknown. I have very few set plans for the near future and although this was not all out of choice I am looking forward to seeing what it throws up. The only real date in my diary right now is the due date for our first baby which I am certainly excited about!

Tells us about your journey with England 7’s. When did you take that first big small step?

The first step was nothing to do with rugby - it was returning a call to the England head coach after he left me a voicemail! I very nearly didn't as I thought it was a prank by one of my mates. From there the next step was surviving my first training session. I say surviving because it was way more intense than my usual training sessions and I was nearly sick which might not have been a good look on day one! Sometimes you just have to get through that first session.

What’s been your highlight to date?

I'm going to cheat and give two

Playing for Great Britain in the 2016 Rio Olympics achieving a childhood dream of participating in the biggest global celebration of sport. Then earning my 50th Tournament cap at Twickenham in 2018. My Mum and Dad surprised me by doing the shirt presentation before the tournament and there were lots of tears of happiness reflecting on the journey to that point.


What have you learnt in the last 6 months, that you could apply to your next challenge/goal?

The importance of being true to myself, pursuing things which I truly believe have real value, and having faith in my ability to navigate uncharted waters. Practically speaking I have learned the benefits of a weekly planner. Planning helps with doing!

What's been inspiring you recently?

My teammates who are dealing with setbacks and crushing it on and off the field regardless. Finding a way to do what needs to be done. They are training hard whilst also finding new ways to make a living . And some are dealing with other tough challenges that life throws up. They are an awesome bunch.

How important is looking after your mental health? What helps you manage it?

The last four or five years have shown me how vitally important it is to be aware of my mental health. It truly is number one priority. I remind myself of this using the phrase 'you cant pour from an empty cup'. Meditation is my biggest anchor with mental health. I try to practise little and often. Sticking to regular meditation as a discipline is still a work in progress!


What’s your advice for taking that first big small step? 

Remind yourself that whatever the outcome or consequences you can learn from it. Win or learn! Try and be excited for what's on the other side of that choice and that should help let the fear subside. In my experience life is much more about the journey to a point than the point itself.

Any bad habits you’d like to kick?

Mindless Instagram scrolling. Leaving days before replying to emails and messages. Slurping when I drink my tea.

How will you measure “success” in 10 years time?

I will ask: Have I pushed myself to the point where I have failed every so often? Have I made decisions based on my priorities? Have I been kind? Have I loved people and life? Am I fulfilled?

What’s the next adventure?

Parenthood. And mixing this with an Olympic journey as I pursue a gold medal in Tokyo in 2021. Exciting!



Top Local Spot: Juliet's in Tooting for breakfast and coffee

Watch out for: Greentea Peng 

Best New Thing: My Paddleboard

Smallest Change/ Biggest Impact: Not owning a TV  - reading more, more selective when we do watch stuff, less mindless time!

Your Message in a bottle: Love. That is everything.


What's doing at Days? (from Mike & Duncs)
Doing: Wild swimming
Trying: The Wim Hof Method
Brewing: Pale 
Listening: Yes sir I can boogie
Learning: About Klaviyo

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