Men’s basketball and volleyball qualified for the Paris Olympics, baseball won the World Baseball Classic (WBC), and women won their first gold medal at the IAAF World Championships. In 2023, Japanese sports enjoyed a truly golden age.
At a regular briefing in November, Japan’s Sports Minister Koji Murofushi (49) said, “The younger generation is developing rapidly. This is thanks to changes in coaching methods that have made the so-called ‘strength theory’ obsolete,” he said.
The emphasis on mental strength is not new to the Korean sports scene. Coming from a minister who has been in charge of Japan’s sports administration since October 2020, the country that originated the “grit theory,” the comments are particularly relevant to its neighbors.
This is especially true when you consider that Minister Koji Murofushi was a world-class athlete produced by Japan Sports, winning gold in the men’s hammer throw at the 2004 Athens Olympics. 아톰카지노 도메인
Although he was born to a Hungarian-Romanian mother, his father, Shigenobu Murofushi, was a track and field superstar who won five consecutive Asian Games hammer throw titles. He is no stranger to the “grit” that characterizes Japanese athletics.
“Even from people in Japanese culture (outside of sports), I’m told, ‘We’re encouraged by the achievements of so many athletes,’” says Minister Koji Murofushi. I’m glad that we are now in a time where all sports are active in the world (beyond Asia). What has changed the most from the past is the relationship between athletes and leaders,” he emphasized.
“It’s a time when people are healthier because of sports. It gives people courage and hope,” said Minister Koji Murofushi, who described the positive effects of sports in Japan, noting that “instead of indoctrination (such as muscularity), athletes pursue their own potential.”
“The hierarchical relationship between athletes and coaches has almost (but not quite) disappeared,” he said, citing the example of Haruka Kitaguchi, 25, who became the World Athletics Championships javelin champion after breaking free from her Japanese coach and choosing to study in the Czech Republic.
Kojiboshi Murofushi, the pinnacle of sports administrators, is still coaching as Minister of Sports. As a personal trainer (PT), Masataka Yoshida, 30, an outfielder for the Boston Red Sox of Major League Baseball, is his most famous client.
Hammer throwing and baseball share kinematic similarities in that they both involve the upper body, primarily the arms, and the lower body to support them. “When Masataka Yoshida, who plays in Major League Baseball (MLB), came to us from an athletic background, he did so voluntarily, saying, ‘I want to receive this kind of instruction,’” says Koji Murofushi.
“The disappearance of the atmosphere of obeying orders is showing good results even after going overseas (where a horizontal culture is common),” said Koji Murofushi, who summarized the athlete-led transformation of Japanese sports by saying, “It is now an era where even leaders are chosen (by their disciples).”