I suppose it’s safe to chat about my short stint as a S&C Coach for Japanese Professional Baseball players for one of Japan’s famous baseball teams, Hanshin Tigers based in Osaka. Not that there is any statute of limitations about this mind you. If you’re Japanese or lived in Japan for any amount of time no doubt you will have heard of this team and some of their players are celebrities in their own right.
I had the pleasure of training three of them when they visited my (old) gym for a few weeks during their off-season where I got them to do some FizFit and jiu jitsu training. These were young, athletic guys and it was to get them to stay active and maintain their fitness levels.
Like many Japanese their work ethic, determination and “never give up” attitude was second to none. Good times.
Physical abilities and conditioning aside, the most immediate things that I noticed when training with these guys was the strong mental focus and coach-able attitude. Try everything at the best of their ability, not for want to impress others but for self improvement. Every class they attended was something they eagerly sponged up and worked on until (1) they were happy with the movement or set reps (2) when they could implement it into their own toolbox. Partly due to the language barrier and unfamiliarity with our movements, they tried to figure out patterns themselves, exhausting all possible attempts until they either got it or requested for physical or verbal cues. These were pro-athletes and a pleasure to work with. I was impressed with their work ethic and drive and wished more people adopted the same traits.
It was unusual for a Malaysian S&C coach to train Pro-athletes and I’m proud to had this experience. Gambatte kudasai!
The smiling-devil (the nickname they gave me)
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