“No batting practice tomorrow if you don’t make it.”
Kia is in the midst of its season warmup under the hot sun, and even though the team is without a manager, the competition for the starting roster is fierce.
The team is full of proven veterans, so the odds of making the first team are not high. In the infield, Kim Do-young, Park Chan-ho, and Kim Sun-bin are joined by veteran Seo Gun-chang and utility backup Kim Kyu-sung and second-round draft pick Go Myung-sung. With the exception of first base, the infield is already mostly filled.
The outfield is no different. Na Sung-beom, Choi Hyung-woo, Socrates Brito, Kim Ho-ryung for his defense, Choi Won-joon for his offensive balance, and Lee Chang-jin and Ko Jong-wook for his offensive power are the first-teamers. The first-team roster varies depending on the number of pitchers, but it often has six players in the infield and outfield. There is no room to squeeze in.
Outfielder Lee Woo-sung has put on the mitt to make the switch to first base, and Hwang Dae-in is sharpening his knives in the second team. Han Seung-taek, Joo Hyo-sang, and Han Jun-soo are competing to back up Kim Tae-gun, the starting catcher. There are at least three catchers, so the odds are a whopping three to one. The reason why Kia is the favorite to win the title is because of its unexpectedly deep roster.
Byun Woo-hyuk, Kim Seok-hwan, and Oh Sun-woo are fighting for a spot in the first team, even as backups. Second-team stolen base king Park Jung-woo is also participating in his first first-team camp to test his competitiveness. It’s no wonder there’s a joke that it’s harder than a camel going through the eye of a needle to make the Kia first team roster this year.
That’s why there was an interesting scene at the spring camp, which opened on Sept. 9 at Narabunda Ballpark in Canberra, Australia. The young players rotated through batting and fielding drills, and during a long-tee (hitting a tossed ball far out to the outfield) drill, hitting coach Lee Bum-ho’s “order” caught our attention.
For example, when the destructive Kim Seok-hwan prepares his long tee, he sets a goal: “If I don’t hit three out of five over the fence, there’s no batting practice tomorrow.” The rotation is not long, and the longies only have five swings before they have to give way to the next batter. Kim had already “pushed” two in his first turn and reached his goal in his second.
This may seem like a routine, but the coach’s words are important. It’s a foreign concept to not train you if you don’t meet your goals. Usually, athletes who don”t meet the coaching staff”s expectations have to train at a much higher intensity, such as special hitting drills.
If you don’t hit a home run, he won’t let you do extra batting practice the next day. The answer to this question can be found in the way he yells at his players.
“When you bat (in practice), less than two out of 10 swings are your own. “In long tees, the ball is tossed to you at your own pace,” he says, “because the 토토사이트 추천 ball is fast, but there’s a lot more variety and you’re in a hurry to hit it. You set yourself up enough to make your own swing. If you get five, you have to make your swing all five times,” he emphasized.
If I can’t get my swing right even in training, it’s just labor to do extra drills. The funny thing is that he would tell me to “go over the fence,” but if I swing with perfect balance, he would give me a pass on a line drive.
“If you try to force yourself to hit it hard, you’re going to hit it badly,” he says. If you have the balance, timing, and power (which you naturally have), you’re bound to make quality hits. It’s one thing to be in a hurry to hit, but it’s another thing to try to swing the bat hard without thinking about balance or timing in order to go far,” he explained.
Spring training is a time for coaches and players to talk. The coaches give detailed instructions as they prepare for the season. Sometimes they joke around, but all the conversations end up being about baseball.
The players strive to make the season better. The theme of KIA seems to be “thinking for yourself”. What makes KIA a favorite to win is the “details” of the coaching staff, who instill a complete process into the players.