“Tom has developed into one of the most balanced and knowledgeable trainers I know, in a world where I often see the leaders of the industry.”

Daniel Halangahu is a former professional Rugby Union player. Daniel was capped 74 times in Super Rugby and Captained the Waratahs, won 6 premierships with Sydney University in the NSWRU Shute Shield and is currently Assistant Coach with North Harbour Rugby Union in New Zealand ITM Cup. 

“So you were the Schoolboys flyhalf”

A question or a statement, I was not too sure. A sparkly eyed 6 foot 2’ bloke extended an oversized right mitt to welcome me to Sydney University Rugby.

            “Tom Carter. I’m from Young. Heard you are from Yass.”

I didn’t manage to get a word in, but all I could think was how does this guy know so much?

Over the ensuing months and years I often wondered this question… How does Tom know so much?

In those days it would have been pretty easy to judge Tom, strutting around like a young rooster with all his feathers fluffed up. It may seem to some like he was only interested in himself. But time and time again, Tom shows his amazing knowledge of others. He wants to know your siblings names, the age of your kids and he remembers where your Grandma is from.

I’ve come to learn that this gift of Toms’ stems from his genuine interest in others and his innate ability to connect with those he meets.

These days I miss Tom’s question after question in his quest to know more. More about other people, where they come from and what makes them tick. Questions and answers about how people move and how to facilitate other people to find reasons to push themselves to things they did not think possible.

Tom has a knack for pushing elite sportsman to be better than they thought they could be. He does this because he was that person. A moderately talented sportsman who no one predicted would reach the heights that he did.

He did it for as long as he did because of his resilient spirit. Tom overcame so much to achieve what he did in Rugby.

Just as easily Tom has the ability to help everyday people push the boundaries that we all place on ourselves in one way or another. Again, it comes from his experience in his own life and pushing his own boundaries. His resilient nature comes through the curve balls life sometimes pings at our heads. And Tom has learned when to duck and when to hit it out of the park.

Now that I no longer see Tom 6 days a week I have to settle for modern day communication from across the seas. Our chats have evolved into anything from questioning modern day materialism pervading society and the growing need for status to the technical running mechanics that allow team sport athletes to move better on the field.

Tom’s thirst for knowledge continues to drive him at the forefront of a moving world balancing the psychology and physiology of an athlete.

There has been a shift in the big man with the large right mitt, which now carries scars from multiple surgeries. The fluffed feathers are no more, but the warm smile remains.

Tom has developed into one of the most balanced and knowledgeable trainers I know, in a world where I often see the leaders of the industry. If I could rip him across the Tasman I would in a flash, but for now I will have to settle for the WhatsApp messages and phone calls.





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