The coaches attending the three-day softball coaching clinic organised by Softball Asia in collaboration with the Japan Softball Association (SA-JSA) in Kuala Lumpur which enters its final day today have gathered valuable knowledge of the game.

Conducted by reputable course instructors with vast knowledge and experience of the game, after the first day classroom session and spent the next two days at the Bukit Jalil National Sports Council ground conducting and which saw coaches from five countries participate, namely, from Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Philippines Hong Kong and Malaysia.

Paticipants of the Softball Asia – Japan Softball Association Coaching Clinic with Clinic instructors Softball Asia president Datuk Low Beng Choo

There were a total of 42 participants.

The course was conducted by Reika Utsugi, (Japan’s National Women head coach) who played for Japan. Originally from China, she was naturalised as a Japanese citizen in 1995. She played for the Japanese teams that won silver medal at the 2000 Olympics and bronze at 2004 Olympics and was the manager and coach of the 2020 Olympics team that won gold.

The other instructors are Yukiko Ueno (Pitcher – Japan National Team – two time Olympic gold medal team member), Urara Fujimoto (Outfielder), Yu Yamamoto, while Aiko Nakamura is the interpreter.

Warming up session before clinic

The various topics which were touched on during the three-day course included the role of the head coach, athletes preparation, catching, throwing and fielding and pitching methods, batting and stretching and warm-up of teams.

The course involved theory and practical sessions.

The second day at the grounds, the clinic touched on stretching, warm-ups, pitching and batting, while today, the final day saw offensive and defensive strategies displayed, before the session ended with questions from the participants, which were answered by the instructors.

All participants were presented participant’s certificates.

Japan’s national softball coach Reika Utsugi at the clinic imparting her vast knowledge about the game

It was indeed a fruitful three-day session with the participants returning home with valuable knowledge to impart in their sessions with their respective teams.

Datuk Low Beng Choo, Softball Asia president and secretary-general of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), thanked the instructors for agreeing to conduct the clinic and impart with the valuable knowledge and experience.

Clinic in progress as Japan’s national pitcher Yukiko Ueno explains to a Hong Kong participant

“I hope this clinic will see the coaches return with new ideas and methods to help raise the overall standard of the game in Asia by their coaching of their respective teams,” expressed Datuk Low.

Coaching Clinic participants at National Sports Council grounds for their pratical clinic on Day 2 and 3

“This is very valuable clinic because we had the best of the game and vastly experienced coaches and players, to share their experience and show us the way forward to improve the overall standard of the game in Asia.”