Competition has always been part of my life since I started getting trained as a young athlete. I used to try not to be defeated. More effort was paid to a next game if I ever lost one. The same patterns of life repeated from my days in the professional baseball league to after-retirement life of working as a coach. Then, it occurred to me that lack of commitment is the sole cause of failure when I trained younger athletes.
One day, I had a eureka moment while reading Hermann Hesse’s Demian where I found the solution to my suspicion. A sentence says in the book that the bird fights its way out of the egg, which led me to break the mold and have a completely different viewpoint. A never-changing fact is that things never stop changing. Looking back at my life, I realized that I had lived in my own world where I only stayed narrow-minded and near-sighted.
Back in 2012 when I coached the LG Twins pitchers, the team struggled chronically with unstable playing at the end of the game due to lack of trustworthy closers, which resulted in poor records by the end of the season.
As part of a solution, I proposed to shift the team’s top starter Bong Jung-keun to a closer. However, it was never an easy decision. Along with the club’s management’s strong opposition, Bong found it hard to make a choice. I argued that improvement will await us only when we think out of the box and take a step forward into a new world. Then chief coacher Kim Ki-tae sided with me. As Bong turned into a successful closer, LG Twins ended the darkest time of 10 years, finishing the regular season in second place.
Serving as the head of the LG Twins, I still have a strong belief in fighting my way out of the egg. Former South African President Nelson Mandela once said that everything seems impossible when you start anew. Even today, I still pay an extra effort to say no to getting complacent and stereotyped so that I can meet a whole new world.