tennis

Nishikori hardened by American dream

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Unlike other (one in particular) sports stars in the US from Japan, Nishikori uses English when he talks with reporters or English speaking fans. He embraces his being Japanese but recognizes that other countries have things to offer him personally and professionally, that he could not get in Japan.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

Apparently he is quite a star in China too, where people feel proud that he is flying the flag for Asia.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Unlike other (one in particular) sports stars in the US from Japan, Nishikori uses English when he talks with reporters or English speaking fans.

Unlike other stars, he went there when he was 14, not when he was already a middle-aged man with his own translator and staff, lol. And many players do speak English with their teammates and fans, but reporters are a totally different ballgame.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

He actually trained at the famous Bolliteri academy in florida , where just a few of the other pros have been trained, sharapova , Agassi , courier, just to name a few, he got mentally stronger because he dealt with the real surroundings and training of what it' like to be a tennis pro, plus he is extremely talented and has a great mental game,and received the appropriate guidance.'(winning mentality) If you have the no#1 ranked player and his or her hitting partner ranked #101 having a rally, or doing some warm up drills, you will not see any difference on terms of their respective level, but take that into a competition or major tournament the whole game changes. at this pro level 80% mental 20% physical...That's why in the last 10 years only wawrinka and delpotro have won a slam except the big 4..

4 ( +4 / -0 )

So basically, the Japanese have no reason to cheer for him since his success was a product of training in the U.S. by American coaches (presumably), playing in American tournaments with bigger American players.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Japan’s Kei Nishikori believes his rise into the world top five would never have happened had he not forged his skills in America’s do-or-die sports environment.

“When I moved to U.S., you have to be stronger somehow, and a lot of kids from different countries and sometimes you have to play with big guys, especially I was small when I was little.

Spot on. Kei recognizes that, at least in tennis, but possibly in many other sports like soccer, a talented athlete can only grow so much if only facing Japanese competition, who are all basically the same size, and play the same kind of game. Plus, once an athlete gains some notoriety in Japan, they tend to be coddled too much and fawned over by the press. They get treated like stars, and compared to world-class athletes in their sport, but, in reality, are nowehere close. I'm a fan of Kei -- he seems to have his head on straight and has worked hard for everything he's gotten, including overcoming some serious injuries in the recent past.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Now if he can just ditch and tell off the J-media a little more he would be under a lot less pressure and could probably go further. I'm glad he feels he has toughened himself, and I do hope he rises in the ranks and makes the top even more fun than it already is.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Credit where credit is due. What a talented, charming young man. Stay where you are to train.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So basically, the Japanese have no reason to cheer for him since his success was a product of training in the U.S. by American coaches (presumably), playing in American tournaments with bigger American players.

Not so much this, though it is a part. In America good players are expected to lose, and lose often, before they begin to win. Hard work and failure are the basic raw materials of great success, and because of this, there is no shame in failing. Most young American athletes are not going to break down in tears or scream in agony (or do crazier things) if they lose a big game, because for every winner there must of course be a loser. When they lose, they shrug it off, learn what they can from their loss, and use it to improve their next game.

In Japanese athletics, hard work is admired, but failure is not. Many potential athletes would rather not play at all rather than risk losing, and the shame that comes with it. Nowadays during elementary sports festivals, many organizers have arranged them so that there are no winners or losers, everyone gets a ribbon. This aversion to losing and risk prevents many people from entering and becoming successful in sport. And, unfortunately, the consequences of risk aversion are not limited to sports, but educational and economic success as well.

Japan could learn a lot from Nishikori's success, and how much environment can play a role.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Nishikori is not "the first Asian man to reach a Grand Slam final" , that honour goes to Michael Chang.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

his success was a product of training in the U.S. by American coaches (presumably), playing in American tournaments

Oh, so just any Japanese 14 year old with no English skills can move to the States and become a top athlete? Really lame comment. It took a lot of guts to move to the US. The US just molded him. The guts to fight and win was already there.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Nishikori is not "the first Asian man to reach a Grand Slam final" , that honour goes to Michael Chang.

Actually he is, Michael Chang is American, and was born in the United States.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Actually he is, Michael Chang is American, and was born in the United States.

But he is still Asian, unless my eyes deceive me?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

A tennis player that has limitations or are disadvantaged must work to overcome restrictions such as Nishikori had being small when he was little and as such, understand how to succeed. Fortunately Nishikori had the financial resources to attend the elite IMC Academy but more important he had a burning desire and passion meaning that no one and nothing prevented him from doing what was necessary to reach his goals. He was willing to pay the price in order to become sucessful. Once a player understands the correlation between desire and goal setting, the rest of the journey becomes the reward and the level of actual skilled play a player reaches is icing on the cake. Nishikori will continue to persist and continue to try and to charge forward to become the best he can.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

But he is still Asian, unless my eyes deceive me?

Asian heritage is not the same as being Asian.

I would hope that people who post here would be able to understand the significance of the differences.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Basically there are two stereotypes that affect Asian Americans. One is that all Asians Americans are the same. That is, many people are unable or unwilling to distinguish between different Asian ethnicities. Korean American from a Japanese American, Filipino American from an Indonesian American etc. This becomes a problem when people generalize certain beliefs or stereotypes about one or a few Asian Americans to the entire Asian American population. The result is that important differences between Asian groups are minimized or ignored altogether, sometimes leading to disastrous results. The second stereotype is that all Asian Americans are foreigners. Although more than half of all Asians in the United States are born outside the United States. Many non-Asians simply assume that every Asian they see, meet, or hear about is a foreigner. Many can't recognize that many Asian American families have been American citizens for several generations. As a result because all Asian Americans are perceived as foreigners, it becomes easier to think that they are not fully American and then deny them the same rights that other Americans take for granted which results in prejudice and discrimination in its many forms. Therefore Michael Chang was the first American of Chinese heritage to reach a Grand Slam final.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

@NovenachamaMAY. 29, 2015 - 12:55AM JST

Therefore Michael Chang was the first American of Chinese heritage to reach a Grand Slam final.

Key word...AMERICAN, he ain't Asian. Your apologetic excuse is the same as the Japanese here saying to all white folks....LOOK an American!

Like I wrote, I would have hoped that people here could realize the differences, and then you came and try to justify them.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

But you still have to state whether you are Asian/Hispanic/Caucasian etc on a lot of U.S paperwork, even as a citizen. I don't see how this is something that is such an issue as you are making it out to be.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Exactly. As there are Mexican Americans, Native Americans (original), Black, Asian Americans etc. etc. . There are even Japanese Americans. So what's the big deal?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Fizzbit, I didn't say that his achievements are not noteworthy. I mean, he hits a tennis ball - gotta be at the level of Mother Theresa, right? Also, his success is a product of the American system of training elite tennis players, so I ask again - what do the Japanese have to be proud of when he wins?

Yubaru - "Asian" is a race. "American" is a culture. There is a difference. So culturally, someone can be Chinese-American, Japanese-American, etc. Many Asians in the U.S. - 1st, 2nd, whatever generation call themselves Asian and are proud of it, but their distinguish their culture from each other. To say Michael Chang is not Asian is probably not something he would be happy with. Jeremy Lin is Taiwanese-American, but he still identifies himself as Asian.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Yubaru - "Asian" is a race. "American" is a culture.

American is not a culture it is a nationality. Nishikori is Asian, from Asian, born in Asia, Michael Chang is American, born American, with Asian heritage, it is his ancestors who are "Asian" he is American.

I doubt Michael Chang gets upset being called an American. He is American first and foremost, Nishikori is Asian (Japanese) first and foremost.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Yubaru, believe you me, I know exactly how it feels to be " be lumped together with something you are not"

But taking your assumptions about me aside, Both are Asian, but one is an American citizen.

Nonetheless, Chang and Nishikori are both awesome,

1 ( +1 / -0 )

“It’s an honor to be Japanese. I am the number one Asian player and many kids start playing tennis in Japan.”

Just plain YUCK!! It is not an honor to be Japanese any more than it is an honor to be anything else. I can NOT stand this sickening logic. I can not stand when people talk about being proud to be anything simply because there are good and bad of every group. Gag me with a spoon, PLEASE. This type of idea is what divides us. Screw nationality and heritage.

You should be proud to be as good as you are, cause the other people who are of the same make up as you have nothing to do with it. It is the same as if someone from your group does something bad. It is not you who did it.

We win! We win! Seriously? You did not win anything. You just watched and you did nothing at all to help that person win.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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