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October 19 (Fri) 4:00 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.
Former rugby player of
Japan's National Team
Ambassador for Rugby World Cup 2019
Ambassador for Kobe Steel Kobelco Steelers
"World Rugby Hall of Fame" inductee (2016)
Certified sport psychology
consultant in Japan
IOC Marketing Commission member
Seoul Olympics Synchronized Swimming
Duet Bronze medalist
Executive Corporate Officer, Head of APAC, Hitachi, Ltd.
Chairman, Hitachi Asia Ltd. & Hitachi India Pvt. Ltd.
Head Coach, Japan National Para Ice Hockey Team
Discussion started with a question from Nakakita, the moderator.
Nakakita: "What a team means in your sports?"
Mr. Ohata: "In rugby, we can say that one, you think about what you can do for the team in your position, two, it's a group that fights with a common goal and awareness, and lastly, an assembly of people who fight together with accepting diversities."
Ms. Tanaka: "There are three categories in synchronized swimming-solo, duet, and team, and you have to make everything synchronized in a team. The sense that I had when I was an active athlete was that athletes with different spirit, technique and physical condition complemented each other to make one plus one be four or even five. And because in the Japan national team (eight members), people who usually compete with one another-individually in solo, and as club teams in duet-fight together, it's important to have a common goal as a team."
Ms. Tanaka, who is a certified sport psychology consultant, explained in her presentation, using a picture "My Wife and My Mother-In-Law" as follows.
Ms. Tanaka: "In mental training, we focus on the fact that how the current condition, processes, and objectives are captured differs by person. The most important point is that the fact people see things differently. In sport, it isn't only because of each position-it depends on the level of visualization of goals and understanding of the current situation, so it is important to know your team through training designed to know more about yourself."
Mr. Ohata speaks about his experiences during his university days.
Following that, Mr. Ohata talked about his experience when he was in university. With the presence of strong manager, players came to feel that they had always been escaping from their responsibility as a player. In order to change this situation, they decided to pick their own leader by themselves so that each player would be able to gain a sense of ownership within the limited time, and everyone would be able to commit to the team.
Mr. Ohata: "When I was chosen to be a leader, I thought we needed a clear goal and set a target to become number one team in Japan. The goal seemed too far for the team, and at first, no one could envision that, but by continuously saying this, even people who were selected for the matches began to think about how each of them could contribute to the team from their respective positions, and the entire team began to look in the same direction as all of them made their approaches. As a result, although we didn't end up being number one team in Japan, we were able to achieve the best results in the history of our rugby team."
Ms. Tanaka begins to explain the aspect of mental training.
With an introduction given by Ms. Tanaka for a breathing method to control stress in between, the latter part (of the discussion) began with Nakakita's words as follows, and the session continued to talk about the topic of leadership.
Nakakita: "While there are often the cases where leadership in Japan focuses on a single person taking all the responsibilities, the situation is different when you turn your attention abroad."
Mr. Ohata introduced (an experience) of improved interpersonal relations after he began dealing with people by emphasizing positive aspects of the person he had talked to while in his old days, he had always dealt with the younger players through a method of deduction and had ended up dispiriting others. Ms. Tanaka, who had also been a tough coach, totally agreed as follows.
Ms. Tanaka: "I now make it a rule to always try to be aware that I myself become a secure base for them, to be as spaced out as I can so I can be a device for others to recharge. The theory is that when people have a secure place somewhere, they make challenges. I think the secure base leader is a leader suitable to Japanese leadership which has a high sense of cooperativeness."
Nakakita serves as moderator.
As his last question, Nakakita asked the two speakers as follows.
Nakakita: "How people can boost their motivation, create a good environment, and also improve themselves?"
Ms. Tanaka: "I am making every effort to convey my appreciation without expecting returns, which makes me energetic. But I do not overdo it when it is not possible."
Mr. Ohata: "I make it a habit to tell children to envision an image of who they want to be. If they learn to reflect on themselves honestly, without being shy, their motivation will be boosted and they'll be able to start to envision themselves after they've grown up."