Thursday, May 20, 2010

Samurai Spirit

I taught ultimate frisbee to the elementary school girls softball team today. I happened to show up and talk to the coach right before practice, and, since it was raining, he invited me to teach ultimate. I had told him it was the only sport I could play. It was super fun.

A word about the softball team, which is really what this is about. There are 8 people on the team, you need 9 to play, so they never actually play games. Instead they just practice for 2 hours, 4 times a week with 8 year old girls swinging full size aluminum bats (barely). I mentioned, "you just need one more player, eh," to the coach and he told me that there aren't any teams around Kushiro so all they can ever do is just practice. Practice begins and ends with a bow and one of the many ritualized greetings of Japanese. Without an opposing team present, they turned towards a phantom team and thanked them loudly and confidently, removing their matching red baseball caps. It doesn't seem sad or insane at all, not with their enthusiasm, discipline and ridiculous grins.

1 comment:

  1. I love the mental image I'm getting of this softball practice.

    Lucky for them they know ultimate now and only need 2 people to play frisbee

    Having watched lots of soccer lately, is there any emphasis on soccer for Japanese kids? What is their big sport?