The Panasonic Baseball Club is involved with giving community-based baseball lessons.
Panasonic Baseball Academy

The National Intercity Baseball Championship Series is the leading baseball tournament between non-professional teams sponsored by corporations in Japan. The Panasonic Baseball Club has participated 55 times in the competition, representing Kadoma City. To contribute to the local community, the club members served as temporary coaches at sports events and baseball lessons in Kadoma City. However, rather than being involved in a single baseball class, the club wanted to oversee the development of the children while providing continuous guidance. So in 2021, we launched the "Panasonic Baseball Academy for Young Athletes," a continuous initiative focused on guiding teams of youths throughout the year.

Panasonic Baseball Club

Team for corporate members established in 1950. Two-time winner of the Japan Amateur Baseball Championship.

Photo:Panasonic Baseball Club

Keisuke Suzuki

Team number 17
Born in Osaka in 1994.
Appeared in the Spring National High School Baseball Invitational Tournament in his third year at Riseisha High School. Appeared in the Japan National Collegiate Baseball Championship in his fourth year at Naragakuen University, and advanced to the best four. Winner of the Fighting Spirit Prize. His nickname is “the Gorilla.

Photo:Keisuke Suzuki

Overseeing the development of the children in a continuous activity

We have 12 to 15 baseball lessons annually. The same athletes provide guidance to the same teams, allowing them to form close bonds. The main goal of the activity is to encourage the children’s passion for baseball. If they have fun they get better faster, so it’s great to watch them improving their skill levels while sharing practice drills and our way of thinking, and to hear them shout “Wow, I did it!” For small children, it’s important that they get accustomed to the ball, so we start by having them practice chasing after the ball. For older elementary students, we provide more in-depth guidance on fielding practice and batting techniques. We also thoroughly practice somewhat complicated plays while providing advice from the children's perspective. One example is a pinch (tagging out a runner stuck between bases), which tends to result in an error during a match. The initiative is ongoing, so we get to oversee the children on the teams as they grow and improve. It’s fun for the kids too, and we feel happy and encouraged when we hear them say things like “You’re leaving already?” or “When will you come again?”

Photo:Baseball lessons

The instructors learn from the students as well.

In the process of providing guidance for the children, they teach us things as well. One time, we did a relay at the end of practice. The children were separated into two teams, but all the members cheered for the final runner who was running alone, and the team that lost was so upset they cried. It’s important to be so passionate about supporting your friends. I felt that was missing for us, and seeing the children in that moment made me realize it. Also, their parents are also enthusiastic, and ask us questions about technique like, “Is my son throwing the ball correctly?” or “What’s a good way to practice?” At those times, the children, parents, and athletes have a three-way discussion, and we try to think of ways to advise and guide the child in a manner that suits them. We have to take responsibility for the things we say, so we can feel a little tense.
Our team (Suzuki, Yokota, and Ueda) provide guidance to a combined team of the Kadoma Tigers and the Kadoma Victory Fighters. We check the teams’ game outcomes every time. We feel attached, so we are happy when they win and upset when they lose.

Photo:Baseball lessons

We want to expand the activity scope

In conducting the activity, we feel that the first thing is for the children to enjoy baseball. Then, while sharing our knowledge and experience, we try to make that information useful to the children in any way so that it can serve to help them progress rapidly. We’re hoping that the children who participate will go on to play in high school or even pro settings in the future.
Our mission is to support as many children as possible in playing at a high level as an athlete for as long as a day or a year. So, we want to expand the scope of the activity going forward, and are hoping to hold baseball lessons in more regions. My hometown in Moriguchi City, so I want to hold baseball lessons there as a way of giving back to the area.

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Rasing the next generation though baseball lessons

Panasonic is sympathetic to the aim of the Olympics and Paralympics to “create a better world and a more inclusive society.” The Company has supported the Olympics since 1987 and the Paralympics since 2014 as a worldwide partner. And going forward, through various sports-related activities including the baseball lessons, we will contribute to places of learning that draw out the potential of children. We will contribute to the education of the young generation who carry the hopes of the future.

Photo:Baseball lessons

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BASEBALL Panasonic

Mr. Suzuki wore his uniform on the day of the interview! He spoke with passion about the Club’s initiatives.

Also, 2022 is a year of transformation for the Panasonic Baseball Club. “We’re all fired up right from the start of the season! We plan on bringing our A game to each and every match, so please cheer for us!”

Photo:Keisuke Suzuki
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