Sen-dai Matsudo Coach Mochimaru, who has led four schools to the Koshien tournament, has a “greatness is the players” approach to coaching. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Sen-dai Matsudo Coach Mochimaru, who has led four schools to the Koshien tournament, has a “greatness is the players” approach to coaching.

From Ryugasaki Ichiko High School to Fujishiro High School to Joso Gakuin. This is the kind of life I had because I played baseball.

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<Between the excitement of the WBC and the start of the professional baseball season, high school baseball players are also doing their best. On the 10th day of the 95th Anniversary High School Baseball Tournament, the team that advanced to the semifinals had a “famous general” in their ranks. He is Shuichi Mochimaru, the coach of Sendai Matsudo High School. In his 11th tournament, the team reached the top eight for the first time. I wonder if I will be able to see a new world. I didn’t think I could see this kind of world at the age of 74,” said Mochimaru in a long interview in the summer of 2009, in which he talked about his passion for coaching high school baseball.

High School Baseball is in Education

I’m embarrassed, you know. I’m embarrassed that I’m still playing baseball at my age. I am ashamed to be called a great general after going to the Koshien. Because it is the children who are playing baseball. I can’t enter the field. I can’t even hold a bat. The great ones are the players.

In the final of the Chiba Tournament in the summer of 2021, the Senshu University Matsudo High School baseball team dramatically won the championship with a tiebreaking, “sayonara” home run in the 13th inning. The coach, Shuichi Mochimaru, said this with a tanned smile.

I coached at four high schools: Ryugasaki Ichiko High School, Fujishiro High School, Joso Gakuin High School, and Senshu University Matsudo High School. Shuichi Mochimaru has coached his teams to the Koshien Tournament at all four high schools he has coached. His true face is surprisingly… Photo by TEN

I get asked how I can make the team stronger and why I can send them to the Koshien, but I don’t know that, even I don’t know that,” said Mochimaru.

Following the Sembatsu tournament, this is the second consecutive spring and summer for Sendai University Matsudo, which will be going to the Koshien Tournament. He also led his predecessor, Joso Gakuin in Ibaraki, to the Koshien. And before that, Fujishiro High School in Ibaraki Prefecture. And before that, he coached his alma mater, Ryugasaki Ichi High School, to the Koshien Tournament. He led the baseball teams of all four public and private high schools he coached to the Koshien Tournament.

He said, “Originally, I was a teacher. He is a teacher of Japanese history. I believe that high school baseball is a part of education. The Koshien may be important, but it is not enough just to play baseball. There are kids who aim for the pros, but most of them will never become professionals. But I want to teach them something that they can respond to and say, ‘This is how my life turned out because I played baseball.

Accumulating the things that are natural for high school students

I’ve been playing baseball for a long time, and I think that in high school baseball, if you practice hard, you can become strong. If you have a certain amount of sense and practice hard. If the children work hard, they can become a winning team. They are high school students, so they have to study as well. They also have to be disciplined in their daily lives. They have to go to school, take classes, live their lives, and play baseball as hard as they can.

Only they know how hard they worked. You have to think about how far you are going to go and how you are going to do it, and you have to think about it and do it. It’s the accumulation of all those things.

Coach Mochimaru rarely yells at his players.

He looks at each member individually. He is very gentle and does not overbear,” said Nao Iidaka, a third-year manager of the baseball team.

Although it is a strong private school, the baseball team does not have a dormitory.

Most of the team members commute by train from their homes in Chiba or Tokyo. After school, we take a bus from the school to the field, so before exams we discuss problems with each other on the bus. Everyone in the club is nice. We are a group of kind people. Mirai Miura, a junior)

The atmosphere of the team is cheerful, led by Eiki Ishii, who is ” persuasive andhas the personality of‘the captain. Michihiro Yoshioka, who “always gives his all, ” Hosuke Fukazawa, a sidethrower who is “not an assertive type,” Riku Okamoto, a pitcher who is “quiet and cool,” and Haruki Ishigami, who is “essential on the bench,” are all members with strong personalities. They all look stretched out.

When the coach comes into the club room, the players are relaxed and not particularly nervous. Even during games, there is a moderate tension on the bench,” he says.

Many of his students are professional baseball players. Among his students are Manabu Mima of Lotte (Fujishiro High School), Naoyuki Uesawa of Nichiham (Sendai Matsudo), and Rei Takahashi of Softbank (Sendai Matsudo). On April 17 this year, there was a surprise: “All three winning pitchers in the Pacific League were my students.

I received a birthday message from them on my birthday. It made me happy. That was nice.

On the day of the game, a number of alumni visited the field and greeted the coach.

Many of them are kids I used to scold a lot,” he said.

The smiles on the faces of his former students are special.

On the way, a young alumnus who had just graduated happily chatted with us while eating ice cream he had brought with him.

When I think about it now, I am ashamed of many things. When I was young and became a coach at Ryugasaki First High School, I thought I could do it, but I was wrong. I have been blessed by the people around me, and it is the students who play baseball. My role is to believe in that and help them. I just do what I can to help the children. My base is still a teacher. I don’t have a class now, but I love ancient history, and I teach it in detail, just as I did when I was a teacher.

His students at Ryugasaki First High School, where he worked for 24 years, still call him “sensei” (teacher) rather than “manager.

I’m glad I did it, even though I don’t like baseball that much (laughs). My students who are now teachers are at high schools all over the country, so when I go to practice games with them, they call me “Sensei,” which is a little embarrassing. It’s embarrassing, isn’t it? It’s a happy life. I am blessed with many people. I want my children to experience this kind of feeling.

The first game was postponed due to rain, and we waited three days. Because of the COVID-19 crisis, he was not allowed to leave his dormitory except for practice.

The children were quite relaxed. The kids are spending their time quite carefree (laughs). (Laughs.) Either way, it’s something for high school students to do. You never know what will happen.

He smiles broadly. Shuichi Mochimaru is 73 years old. He is 73 years old, and the alumni of all four schools are probably rooting for him to win one game at Koshien. Keep up the good work, Mr. Mochimaru!

The atmosphere of the team is “very cheerful.
The team’s philosophy is to play baseball with no tolerance for even the smallest mistake. The rest depends on each player’s sense of purpose.
The club has 49 members, including three third-year players, Miura, Iidaka, and Tachikawa, and two first-year players as managers. I love the coach’s way of thinking,” she says.
He wanted to be a newspaper reporter, but he was asked to coach at his alma mater, so he became a teacher. I’m thankful for that process. I still feel like a teacher.

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