Players // Coaches

takahito suzuki

Within this short article, we would like to address one of the patterns that we have identified throughout our encounters with various sports teams here in Japan.

As the title suggests, this article is about the relationship between players and coaches. We found that there is a lot more that links them together, beyond just their formal positions and responsibilities. We found that there is a genuine, strong bond that connects them, based on respect, strong sense of teamwork, and discipline.

Even more, players moral values coincide with those of their coaches, fact that highlights an effective communication between them.

Interestingly, regardless of the sport or educational level (i.e., high school, university), coaches’ priority is to form not just good payers, but kind, respectful, and wise individuals, in all areas of life, hence the emphasis they put on ‘being a good person’. Players in return seem to acknowledge their efforts and follow their guidance, focusing themselves on ‘being a good person’, as could be noticed within the past articles. [1] [2] [3]

japan hockey

By means of research, we identified a similar such emphasis – ‘on being a goon person’ above all – may be observed in the case of Finland, which denotes that similar moral values and ethics can co-exist, even in the case of two countries that are located on different sides of the world. In Finland, alike Japan, it is irrelevant to be a talented, skillful player, if your moral etiquette and behaviour undermine those of other people, or your own self. This proves the true importance of this particular value in the world of sports, on a global scale.

Lastly, another theme that we discovered is the self-driven willingness of current players to pass on their legacies to future generations, whether in Japan or other countries where they would wish to reside in, in the future. This reveals a transition pattern – it shows how the ‘student’ sooner or later becomes the ‘teacher’, how ‘players’ become ‘coaches’, and how each generation leaves its fingerprint, contributing with something new, unique, that shapes the path for our upcoming athletes.


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