silent knights

From fans’ non-stop chanting to shouts that accompany every practice swing in every sport in every school across the nation, noise is such a prominent feature of sports in Japan, that one almost expects competitors in Shogi (Japanese chess) matches to shout every time they slap a piece onto the wooden board.

But on Monday, Hanshin Tigers manager Akihiro Yano and his coaches asked players to focus on the task of catching and throwing the ball without the seemingly obligatory shouts that ring reverberate through Japanese practices, the Nikkan Sports reported.

“It’s become second nature for players to shout, but even when doing that they seem to move lazily. We wanted to see how they looked without the shouting,” said Kazuki Inoue, whose job as head coach is primarily to keep players from being lazy and to ride them when they make mistakes–something that might not be a natural fit for the easy-going former Dragons outfielder.

Manager Yano said, “I thought the outfielders were more conscious of their throws, rather than shouting ‘Oi’ when they released the ball. I want them focused on executing and thinking, ‘That’s where I’m going to put the ball.'”

And when the ban on shouting was lifted, the story said, the players cheered loudly as if a weight had been lifted from their shoulders.

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