The new softball year has officially started jeeh, five practices into the new year already…! Which also means it is now only 2,5 weeks until departure for Japan.
My suitcases came out of storage and I started putting together the first necessities for the approximately 4 months stay in Ogaki.
Living in Japan as a foreigner goes along with arranging a visa through the Japanese Embassy. Right before Christmas I drove to The Hague where the Japanese Embassy of the Netherlands is stationed. Only a few days later I could already pick it up. The way of working in Japan is something I could definitely get used to!
Not only my visa was arranged quickly, also the form that I needed in order to get my visa: the letter of eligibility. One of the companies, that support team Minamo, had someone travel to the Netherlands for the Dutch part of the company. The person brought the letter of eligibility to Hoofddorp, where I could go pick it up. Super efficient and a safe way to make sure I would get it on time.
Visa ready, check! And then: Flight booked, check! Not very surprising since the boat would not be efficient. But to me it was a special moment in the process. Now there is an official date and time of departure and arrival. It is an 11 hour flight by the way, 4 movies to get to Japan, or maybe some sleep time would be smart as well as I arrive at 9 in the morning Japanese time with an 8 hour difference with the Netherlands.
All the official documents are ready for now, on to the packing list. Of course I will bring my glove and other softball gear, clothing and shoes, but there are some different things when playing abroad. Japan has different outlets than the Netherlands, so I am bringing a connecting piece and a strip in order to charge/use my Dutch electronics. But more important, I want to make sure my body is going to stay fit and healthy, so I am bringing whatever I need to keep that up. Certified protein and medicines are something I bring from home to make sure I take the right things.
Well for now, enough about Japan, time for the 2nd pitch it step. The exercise in the video from last week is a good one to use for practicing step 2 as well. You just change the focus from foot to knee while moving along. Make sure you are in an athletic position at all times, with an active body in order to balance the motion.
I will for sure be working on my pitching this week as we head into the Cup tournament this weekend with Olympia. Who is going to be there as well? Looking forward to see y’all!