Dr Richard Mitton joined Powerful Practices in 2001 as a client and in 2008 as a coach. His primary passions in life include his family, his country lifestyle and his service to the profession. He then combines his competition and coaching background in equestrian with 20 plus years running a successful practice, and life experiences working in Europe , to assist his clients to find absolute clarity in their lives. He is well known for assisting clients to convert their analysis into action.
Richard was born in the outer suburbs of Melbourne , Victoria , Australia in a place called Donvale when the area used to be mostly orchards. He was the middle child of 2 brothers and grew up playing with bikes, billy carts and cubby houses when they used to be built 10 foot up in the fork of a tree.
As a kid, Richard also had a couple of acres and a few horses. There is no such thing as learning to ride horses without falling off and Richard had his fair share of falls. All too often Richard was onto his head – even with a helmet. It didn’t do great things for his neck.
The family used to get a chiropractor out to check to horses occasionally. When Richard mentioned to him one day about his most recent fall and his neck problems, he suggested he go to see him at his office in Heidelberg . His name was Bert Thompson. After a few adjustments, he was hooked onto the philosophy and the results, so at the age of 15, chiropractic found him. Although he didn’t realise it at the time, it was a significant about-face for him when he was at a stage of his life when he was considering going into the family pharmacy business.
After completing high school he applied directly into Chiropractic School in 1980. Richard was living with his family at the time in St Andrews , only a short distance from RMIT University in Bundoora, Melbourne. He didn’t get accepted initially but pestered Dr Mahinda Lall enough that when a New Zealand student couldn’t make it over to enrol at the last minute, guess who got accepted?
At the end of 2nd year, he took a year off to work, travel and pursue his horse riding interests so he graduated in January 1987.
Following graduation, he worked for 12 months in Rosebud on the Mornington Peninsula , south of Melbourne before being offered a position in Hamilton in the Western Districts of Victoria . He reluctantly took the position as it seemed way out in the country at the time, 3 hours from his friends and family. However, he settled in well to the relaxed country lifestyle and 20 years later, he is still there.
After 2 years as an associate and 18 months running the practice in the principals absence, the travel bug got to him, so he left the practice and moved to Northampton in England . The main purpose for his trip was to compete on an international stage in his chosen sport of horse riding in the area of eventing.
In England , Richard could ride full time and be paid to support his “habit”. He could compete 3-4 days a week, have a team of horses and grooms to help him and gain his Instructor Certificate while coaching at an elite level – perfect! It wasn’t long before he connected up with another Aussie to open a practice in Banbury in the centre of England . Together they developed the practice where he worked 2 evenings a week.
Amongst Richard’s many successes working in England between 1991 and 1995 was meeting his wife to be. Tanja came from a Veterinary Clinic in Germany to work in the Physio Centre of the establishment where he worked. Her 3 month visit was extended to 18 months.
When Richard lost a significant sponsor for his riding, he was faced with a decision to start over or relocate. Although he had come close to Olympic selection he decided it would take several years to re-establish his team so he stopped competing and with Tanja decided to move back to Australia . After almost 4 years away, they bought his old practice back and settled into Hamilton .
Richard married Tanja in 1997 and had their first daughter Laura in 1999. In 2001 they decided it would be special for everyone to adopt a child from China . The 2.5 year journey was like an extended pregnancy but well worth the effort. They travelled to China in September 2004 and adopted Jessica at 20 months of age.
They live on a small (40 hectare) farm just out of Hamilton with a menagerie of animals including horses, cats, dogs, chickens, ducks, cows, guinea pigs and rabbits. The lifestyle can be very demanding especially when they have to deliver calves in the middle of the night or bury one of the kids pets, but it also keeps them solidly grounded. They enjoy getting away for the weekends to horse competitions. It’s a sign of the times when the kids horses seem to be gradually taking over most of the room on the truck. Richard says taking the children to ballet and swimming carnivals is so much easier!
In his down time, Richard loves to get out to do jobs on his tractor, build a shed, fix a fence or potter in his orchard.
Tanja and the girls visit family in Germany each year (usually during our Winter) and we all go over to enjoy a European Christmas occasionally and catch up on a bit of “serious” skiing at the same time.
Tanja and Richard have always enjoyed going to the Dynamic Growth (DG) Congress each year, often taking their children with them. They have not missed a year since 1995. From their involvement with DG Congress, Dr Dave Cahill, the Convener asked them to run the Victorian State DG Experiences in 2003. Although challenging at times, it has assisted them in significant personal growth – Richard as the Co-ordinator and Tanja as a passionate speaker. Tanja has pursued a direction as an Neuro Linguistic Program (NLP) Master Coach, specialising in the mindset and personal confidence of horse riders. They have also attended many Parker Chiropractic Seminars in the US and Australia .
During his early years in practice, he continued to participate in the equestrian to an international level, but found himself more and more in a coaching role helping others to develop their riding skills. His initial role involved personnel and incident management of a section of the cross-country jumping course, from briefing and positioning judges and emergency crews to coordinating incident response to updating control on the smooth running of the event. He enjoyed ‘sector controlling’ as it kept him involved with the sport he loved. It also enabled him to give something back and especially because he felt it developed his leadership qualities.
At the Sydney Olympics he volunteered as a technical official doing a similar job – an experience he thoroughly enjoyed. Since Sydney he has continued to help out but increasingly in the Control Tower as the Event Manager.
During 2007 he was asked to apply for a position at the Beijing Olympics (in Hong Kong due to quarantine restrictions). Just prior to Christmas his application was accepted as an “International Specialist” and 2 nd In Charge in the Control Room.
It was then that he realised that he had fulfilled a long term dream to represent his country at the Olympics, just not in the way he initially planned as a competitor, When he missed his Olympic selection, he never conceded defeat and when he retired, he never gave his dream a second thought for more than 12 years! However the vast groundwork that he had put into that dream all those years ago was obviously still enough to get him over the line … so NEVER give up on your dreams but be prepared to modify them as circumstances change.
Richard became interested in finding more ways to help Chiropractors be more successful in their lives and their practices. So in his coaching, he brings together his learnings from 20+ successful years in practice, numerous personal development courses, 11 years of marriage, 10 years as a parent, 30 years as an athlete, 20 years as a riding coach and 45 years of enriching life experiences.
Richard knows that like yours, his life is a work in progress. He also knows that a trained coach can generally see the client’s situation from the outside better than he can from being in the thick of it. Richard has a passion to assist you in every way he can to balance your life and create the practice of your dreams. Richard looks forward to coaching with you soon.