And boom, there it is! The last few days in the Netherlands are here…. aaaaaand of course,,, I am excited to get on that plane. Oh wait, not to get on the plane. I am excited about getting to Japan and play some softball!!
Since I will be in Japan when I write my next blog, I will go ahead and tell you what the first few days will look like, but also globally what the next months will look like.
I arrive in Japan on Friday morning 9.15 am. After that I will find out if my visa gets me into Japan… let’s hope so! Then after I get to pick up my luggage and I will try to find the team manager of Minamo. When I went to visit the team in November, we took the train from Osaka to Ogaki, but they won’t let me travel by train alone. Pretty good idea I would say, because my Japanese reading level would not get me to the right city…!
Not sure what the first weekend there looks like, probably some softball and some things to arrange. On Monday the pitchers and catchers of the team fly out to a more southern part of Japan for a training camp of two weeks.
As you might have heard/read somewhere. Dinet is coming to Minamo for the month of February to practice with the team. She will arrive on the 2nd of February and will then travel with the rest of the team to the training camp on the 4th of February for the other 9 days of camp.
After the camp we go back to Minamo, where Dinet will then stay for two more weeks. Besides the gezelligheid I am very happy she will be there the first weeks of grocery shopping and exploring Ogaki as rookie Japanese.
Then the season. The league play either starts at the end of March or the end of April. Depending on the availability of the stadium. Pretty cool reason..!
After the start we play every on the weekends. One game on the Saturday, one game on the Sunday at either 11.00 am or 1.00 pm. It is a bit different from the Dutch setup. Each game weekend there are four teams at one field, matching up in two different games. Minamo is linked to another team, both teams are at the same field each weekend.
Early June the first part of the season is over, which is when I will fly back to the Netherlands to join the Dutch League and National Team program again.
As I am flying out Thursday, step 4 comes into practice: Fly! It takes some legdrive and explosiveness, but it will speed up your pitch and release your arm. With an open mindset, trying to find the right balance and focus on the process; you will struggle, but also find your jump. If you find it hard to pitch with it right away, try to practice the jump first and then add the arm rotation when you feel ready.
Until next time, all the way from Japan land!