Sunday, July 12, 2009

UPS alum, Baseball and Japan

This is random, in no way related to our department, but still cool--from the Japan Times--

Brit muscles way to BayStar success

...Since 1998, Turney, 37, has been the Yokohama BayStars' strength and conditioning coach. The seeds to his success were planted in England. Turney's father, Alan, naturally had his own dreams as a boy. Studying judo in London, where he grew up, Alan became fascinated with all things Japanese. His love of the language, literature and budo would eventually take him as an adult to Tokyo.


Turney studied karate for 10 years in the Japanese community near his home. He also played tennis, but his mother's favorite sport was baseball. "As a kid, we always watched baseball on TV and went to games at the stadium in Yokohama," Turney says.

While in high school helping his tennis coach at a children's summer camp in England, he began to consider a career in coaching. "I thought, maybe I can find something like this in baseball, not skill-related, but more conditioning-related."

His choice of baseball took him to yet another country, as Turney realized the U.S. could offer more specialized training in baseball.

Although he started his undergraduate program on the U.S. East Coast, he transferred after one year to the University of Puget Sound in Washington state and stayed on the West Coast to complete his masters in exercise science.

"Every year, I wanted to come back to Japan, during Christmas break and summer." The West Coast was a little closer to home.

Turney's experience with a number of cultures, as a student at an international school, as a foreigner in the traditional Japanese community of karate, in America with a bicultural perspective, all helped when he faced his biggest challenge — entering the world of Japanese baseball as an outsider.

Read the whole thing here.