Thomas Carlile, international and French Champion event rider, explains why he got in touch with Touch & Sport Rider.
What is the ‘high level’ ?
“My personality as a competitor makes me constantly question my physical and mental capacities. Through that I have learned to know myself better and to optimise my potential in various circumstances, with their various degrees of risk, in which I may find myself during competition.
Having had the good fortune to discuss with many top level athletes, riders and also from other sports, I’ve developed a good understanding of what can be called high level sport. Whatever the discipline, I describe it as the capacity to combine technical mastery and physical ability, even up to the extreme limit. That limit is the point at which mistakes happen or injuries occur.”
Tuned like a Formula 1 car
“I like to think of a successful athlete as a tight-rope walker that uses the finest wire possible. The closer you get to the top level of sport, the more that your competitiveness and performance depend upon the finer details. The best example to me is Formula 1 racing. It is certainly the most advanced high level sport with the most developed support and huge financing. The Formula 1 engineers calculate to thousandths of a second the improvements in lap times for each gram of weight saved on the car.
In equestrian sports, which is my discipline, like elsewhere, top level performance depends upon the finest of margins. One small detail can make the difference between winning and losing. The physical and mental well-being of the rider is a key performance element of the day of competition. At that point the rider must have a method that allows to be fully prepared, to optimise their capacity in order to target the required performance. I believe that it is that ability to concentrate and to prepare mentally that allows one to remain the master of technique during critical situations and circumstances. That is what is sometimes called, in jargon, being “in the zone””.
Touch & Sport Rider : towards a blending of Body / Mind / Technique
“It was further to the advice of the French National Eventing Technical Delegate, Mr. Michel Asseray, that I contacted the kinesiologist Juliette Marret. Energetic kinesiology, as is well summed up by Juliette, is the fruit of combining chiropractic (a discipline close to osteopathy/physiotherapy) and psychology. The goal of the system is the osmosis of the physical state and the mental state. It works as much on the body’s strengths and weaknesses as on problems related to stress, anxiety, or concentration worries.
Juliette basically uses the technique of “Touch for Health” that originated in the USA. The approach groups the whole spectrum of knowledge and practices of chiropractic’s and Chinese medicine. It seeks to liberate the lines of energy, or Meridians, that we all have in our bodies. The assured flow of these meridians ensures the well-being of our organs and systems, we also gain, as I have experienced, an increase in the scope of one’s capacities and reserves.
The well-being associated to the meridians can say much about ones physical and psychic state. Understanding the reasons for their obstruction allows to put your finger on the real causes; an emotional anxiety, a physical stiffness, a shortcoming in technique . . .
The technique behind Touch for Health can sometimes take a while to grasp and understand, but once the essentials are acquired they allow a good deal of autonomy which will optimise their benefits”.