Last year, Shohei Ohtani, a Japanese player, achieved the feat of winning the MVP award in Major League Baseball, the world’s best professional baseball league, with outstanding performances in both pitching and fielding.
He is also highly regarded not only for his baseball ability but also for his personality. In this blog, we will take a closer look at the personality of our new hero through his career to date.
When Otani entered Hanamaki Higashi High School, a powerful school in his hometown in Iwate Prefecture, he was instructed by the team manager to create a “goal achievement sheet. His goals were not only to improve his technical skills, such as pitching speed, control, and bodybuilding, but also to develop his mentality, humanity, and luck. In the humanity group, many themes are set as challenges to achieve the goals, ranging from the inner self, such as planning, continuity, and sensitivity, to how to relate to others, such as gratitude, consideration, and courtesy. From this, we can see that even in high school, Otani understood that to become a great athlete, not only technical skills but also human qualities are important.
Otani had already attracted a lot of attention since he was a student, because he had both a great physique and extraordinary talent. After he joined the Japanese professional baseball team, the attention became even greater. The team manager gave Otani strict instructions not to go out, including eating out, in order for him to concentrate on baseball. Although he was only 20 years old at the time, Otani followed the instructions to the letter and continued to train hard, leading to a great leap forward in his career.
Major League Baseball(MLB) in the U.S. is the best professional baseball league in the world and attracts the best baseball players from all over the world. Otani, who challenged MLB in 2018, is a young and talented As a talent, he was mentioned a lot before he joined the team. However, in the past, there have been many players who were unable to demonstrate their abilities because they could not adjust to the change in diet or teammates who spoke other languages in an unfamiliar foreign country, and this was a concern for Otani as well. However, by communicating closely with his resident interpreter, Otani was able to improve his living conditions and deepen his friendship with his teammates through games. In particular, David Fletcher, who is also the same age as Ohtani, has often shown his good rapport with him during games, and it is apparent that Ohtani’s personality has helped him to adapt to a different environment.
Ever since he was a student, Otani has been striving to develop not only his baseball skills but also his humanity, and these efforts have led him to take a further step forward. I felt that his humanity to be able to adapt to different environments is an example that we can all learn from.