Note: All prices in US Dollars
JUIC SPONSORS JEFF LIN HUANG TRAINING IN JAPAN
When I first arrived in Japan, I stayed three days in Tokyo. I started to practice with some high school students, then I played games with players who each had a different style of play.
The next day I started my training. I would wake up at 6:00 a.m. every morning and lay in my bed daydreaming. At about 6:30 a.m. I would leave my guest dorm and head for the training center. In Aomori Yamada, time is very significant to the coaches and the players. If a player arrived late then he/she would be punished right after the session was over. The first impression I had was that Mr. Yoshida is very strict. However, he is very kind.
We would start morning exercise about 7:00 a.m. and end about 7:30 a.m. Then we ate breakfast. After breakfast I went back to my room and rested for about a half hour. Our first session went from 8:45 a.m.-12 p.m. and focused on placement and footwork. Right after this we played a one set game, the winner goes up a table and the loser goes down. After the games we stopped and went to lunch. Right after lunch I took about a 1/2 - 1-hour nap. The afternoon session began at 2:30 p.m. and ended around 6:00 p.m. It focused on footwork. We had a 10-15 minute rest, and then we played matches, just as we did in the morning session. Immediately after we played our matches, we practiced our service for about a half an hour to an hour. This type of training continued for about six days.
The last day before I returned to Tokyo, I played in a big round robin tournament. There I paid 500 yen. I played in division D, that may sound very bad, however, it was composed of players from a Chinese province team, Japanese Cadet Boys Champion and World Cadet Girl champion. The outcome was, I tied for first place with the player from the Chinese province team. However, because I beat him in the first match, I came out on top and won first place. I was awarded 2000 yen for my win. That night was a very dramatic moment, because I had to leave many of my friends and coaches.
I flew back to Tokyo, where Mr. Shioda met me and took me to my hotel.
Even though this whole trip was very short, I learned a lot in Japan. Mostly I improved my mental game and learned to play with better strategies. However, I know I could improve more on my footwork if I stay in Aomori Yamada longer. Nevertheless, the winter break is over and school is starting again.
I would like to thank my sponsors, Paddle Palace and JUIC for making this unforgettable experience possible. I will continue to work hard and try my best to represent them well.