Two weeks have passed already, with no off days and another 10 days of camp I did not find the time/energy to write a blog. BUT… Here I am, back in Ogaki, typing from my own bed in my own apartment near the softball field!
After the last blog the battery camp finished and the team camp started. Sunday night the rest of the team arrived and off we went. Monday through Thursday and then Saturday through Wednesday, 7 hours a day. On the last Sunday of camp my body decided it was enough. Really tight legs and a sore back kept me on the side. Monday was a better day, and Tuesday I could return to full practice. My body is not used to 7 hours of standing and training in the cold I think..?!
Last Wednesday we returned to Ogaki after the morning practice. Thursday was an off day where we went shopping to get the last things for cooking in my apartment and Dinet moved into the apartment for now only 10 more days.
Friday morning we walked to the mall, did some tourist shopping and had a nice lunch before walking back and getting ready for practice.
Before practice we removed the outfield fence and replaced it by a new Mizuno JSA (Japan Softball Association) fence and also backstop, pretty nice! Then we had a good practice in preparation of the games of Saturday.
Saturday morning it was raining and a pretty cold wind was blowing over the field. In combination with the sun there was a beautiful rainbow, and according to the mountains it promised to be a nice day.
But that turned out a bit different….! The longer the day lasted the colder it got, we played in the snow, rain, sun, wind and temperatures below zero. Pretty crazy! Butttt most importantly, we played good games and got two wins.
This morning we had a fan event where the team of 2018 was presented to the companies of Ogaki that support Minamo Softball. Quite a lot of people and an official presentation of the new players made me realize how softball here is way different from club softball in the Netherlands. After greeting all the tables/companies and meeting some business people it was time to introduce myself In my best Japanese… On stage… That was quite the challenge, but I think they understood what I was saying haha
Well and there I am with a nice cup of tea in my bed and a head full of impressions again. It is not easy to remember everything I experience and also not to explain. So many things happen each day. Every night I try to realize where I am, what I am doing and what all is happening, it is quite overwhelming.
Everyone here is really nice, helpful and a lot of them try to speak english. I try to learn some Japanese and teach them some Dutch also so we can communicate in our own special way :)
Which makes me realize I didn’t even mention the attendance of Tomo yet. Tomo (the Japanese player who played for Olympia last year) is also going to be part of Minamo this season. During the camp she joined for a few days already and she will join the group again in March. Her English/Japanese is going to help me communicate in an easier way.
I think you are up to date for now! This upcoming week is going to be the first one that will look like most of the weeks here. Monday-Friday afternoon practice with 2x weight lifting. Monday-Thursday we have dinner together with the team. This Tuesday a pitching coach will be at the field to work with the pitchers, I am definitely looking forward to that! And the the weekend is Saturday practice and Sunday practice games.
And then time for step 7 of Pitch it, this might be the most important step: the landing. If you don’t do this right you are risking an injury, but also loosing out on speed you already created. So use that speed, grab the ground and let the force of landing travel through your body to the ball.
This time I will try to write a blog next week and get back on schedule, so see you next week!