KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 24 (Bernama) — Learning the tricks of the trade from Japan’s softball icon Yukiko Ueno at the coaching clinic organised by Softball Asia (SA) could be just the tonic the national coaches need to guide their charges in the two-day 2024 President Cup here on May 28.
SA president Datuk Low Beng Choo said the coaching clinic, held in collaboration with the Japan Softball Association (JSA) and also involving Japan head coach Reika Utsugi, allowed the local coaches to learn newer and better training methods.
She said coaches from Singapore, the Philippines, Taiwan and China also attended the three-day programme, which ended at the National Sports Council (NSC) in Bukit Jalil here today.
“This programme aimed to raise the players’ standards because Japan are the best team in Asia,” she told Bernama.
National team head coach Zamuin Mohamed Yusoff said the involvement of national coaches would help them to adopt the latest techniques and training methods practised by Japan.

“From what we learned, the Japanese training pattern is more specific and dynamic compared to what we practise during training sessions. Even our warm-up routines need to be changed.
“The way Japan warm up based on position, pitching and throwing are different. In Malaysia, the whole team will do the same warm-up routines. Japan warm up for a long time, two hours compared to us, which is about an hour and a half,” he said.
Another national coach, Muhammad Afnan Abdul Azizi, who specifically coaches the pitchers, said the coaching clinic could be used as a platform to correct the team’s weaknesses so that they will be able to put up a decent challenge for a podium finish in the 2024 President Cup.
Meanwhile, 41-year-old Ueno described the coaching clinic as a good platform for her to exchange ideas with the softball community here and hoped that all coaches could grasp the concept she taught during the clinic.
With a fastball that tops out at 128 kilometres per hour, the two-time Olympic gold medallist is widely recognised as the fastest pitcher in women’s softball.