The sincerity of the commander’s determination ignited the players’ fighting spirit. Some cringed, others steeled themselves for battle.
In the end, they did it. The women’s national baseball team, led by Yang Sang-moon, qualified for the World Baseball Classic with a 9-5 victory over the Philippines in their final group game of the 2023 Asian Cup (BFA) in Hong Kong on Aug. 28 (KST).
The game against the Philippines was a crucial one. The two teams met with the Philippines tied at 1-1, and only the winner would punch their ticket to the World Cup. One game could decide everything.
Yang had watched the Japan-Philippines game the day before and carefully analyzed the Filipino players. After analyzing them, he realized that it wasn’t going to be easy, so he held a team meeting that evening.
Yang shared his analysis of the opponent and announced that they would play “running baseball” with aggressive stealing and bunting. The opponent had good power but lacked infield detail, so they would run around and shake things up.
He didn’t just talk about power analysis. Yang was also able to motivate the team, which is one of the qualities of a good manager.
“I don’t want to say goodbye to you guys here in Hong Kong,” Yang told the team from the heart. If the team loses to the Philippines, they will 메이저사이트 not qualify for the World Baseball Classic in Japan/Canada in August/September. Failure to qualify would effectively end Yang’s time with the team. That’s why Yang wants to win the game and stay with the team longer.
“We are stronger than we think we are.”
He also recited his own words. “We are stronger than we think,” Yang told the team, “The Philippines are outnumbered 55-45, but we are stronger than we think, so let’s do it.”
He cited the example of women’s table tennis, which reached its first world championship final in 30 years after crossing the “Great Wall of China” on July 27. “Shin Yubin and Jeon Jeon-hee also beat the world No. 1 Chinese table tennis team,” Yang said. What can we not do?” Yang is said to have motivated the team.
Yang’s meeting with the team was a huge success. The players were running around in a frenzy, throwing themselves into the air and digging into the bases. National team pitcher Park Min-sung said, “The coach told us a lot of things in the meeting the day before. He had a lot of good things to say, and I felt like something was boiling inside of me after listening to him.”
Yang was named head coach of the women’s national team last December. At the time, Yang was busy working as a technical consultant for the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) and a commentator for SPOTV, but he was so moved by the passion of the women’s game that he accepted the position.
Yang has assembled a stellar coaching staff. He called Jeong Geun-woo and Lee Dong-hyun, both former professional baseball stars, and asked them to join the team, creating an unprecedented, ultra-luxury coaching staff for the women’s national team.
Not only did they lead training sessions, but they also helped the women’s team in every way possible. When the team couldn’t get a main sponsor, they worked hard to find one. He would often buy meat for the team after practice to keep them energized. Yang’s son also often visited the team to help with training.
However, Yang’s monthly salary is zero yuan. The women’s national team head coach position is not a full-time position, so there is no salary. Instead, they only train on weekends and receive a per diem. The stipend covers transportation and food. Yang shares this with her four coaching staff members. The Korean Women’s Baseball Federation (WBAK) can only support two coaching staff members.
Nevertheless, Yang is committed to the women’s national team. Even after the game against the Philippines, he talked about the growth of women’s baseball.
“I want people to realize that the girls are playing with a lot of passion, even in such poor conditions. We’re still a long way off, but I hope we can win the rest of our games and make the sport more visible.”
Although Yang’s team has secured a spot at the World Championships, she is not letting up on her pursuit of a medal. “We won’t be satisfied with where we are now. I will prepare well.”