Posted on June 22, 2012 / Comments Off / Show post tags
JAPAN: Japanese sports authorities have come up with a novel way of preparing athletes for this year’s London Olympic men’s soccer tournament — training with odd-bouncing triangular “rice balls”.
The balls, shaped like the traditional Japanese onigiri rice ball wrapped in seaweed, were first fired at goalkeepers during training sessions last month.
“It was good practice,” goalkeeper Takuya Masuda told the Nikkan Sports newspaper after a dizzying session trying to stop the oversized lunch snacks.
“Hopefully we can apply it in matches.”
Goalkeeping coach Hisanori Fujiwara added: “The ball is irregular in shape so it behaves irregularly through the air too. It sharpens reactions and helps improve concentration.”
The proof, however, will be in the rice pudding: when Japan’s soccer team faces Spain on July 26 in their opening Group D match at the London Olympics.