Nakamura was not previously destined to play lacrosse, let alone pursue a career in a sport that few in his home country practice. Although it is Canada’s national summer sport, about 30,000 people practice it in Japan and little is known about how to get started.
Lacrosse was already introduced to Japan in the 80s by representatives of the American University. John Hopkins.
The main interested party discovered the sport nine years ago while studying at Nakamura Gakuen University. He learned the basics by skipping over YouTube videos of prolific American lacrosse player Michael “Mickey” Powell and himself creating his first team with friends and classmates.
Our team was very small. In the first year, nobody had any experience and we didn’t play any matches. In the second year, we were 11 players in our first official match. We were so badhe says laughing.
In Japan, there is not much lacrosse culture. There are teams in Tokyo and some major cities, but in my hometown of Kitakyushu, the Fukuoka region and in the south of the country, lacrosse is not popular. I had to go online to find poles and equipment!
Despite his strange beginnings, Nakamura was thinking big. He said from the start that he wanted to become a career in lacrosse and eventually join the Japanese national team.
My friends were like, Do you want to play for the national team? Aren’t you serious?
With his determination, he took part in a Japanese student exchange program that took him to Australia, where he played for a local lacrosse team for a few months. With that experience, he was recruited by Onondaga Community College in New York State, where he played for four years and helped his team win two national titles as a showdown specialist. Today’s professional experience.
in toronto to learn
Koichi Nakamura signed a one-year agreement with Toronto Rock on November 2, but he himself says it is
Not a professional player yet In the strict sense of the word. After being cut out of the team’s training camp on Monday, he plans to take advantage of his still valid contract to access the organization’s facilities in Oakville, a suburb of Toronto, and train daily.
The first step for me will be to be part of the reserve team. Then it will be the first team. I dream.
I want to be part of the team, but the gap is too big at the moment. I’m going to train every day, 9 to 5, to narrow that gap, he says. I have to keep working.
That hard work is what earned him a decade from the Toronto team, according to The Rock’s owner, president and general manager, Jamie Dawick.
I have experienced his time and work ethic here at [complexe d’entraînement de l’équipe], without any guarantee of getting a chanceHe said when announcing the Japanese contract.
He has the will and dedication and now he has the opportunity to show us what he can do.
Nakamura has played a lot of lacrosse on and off the court. However, his experience is limited in box lacrosse, the version played in National Lacrosse League.
The difference is significant because this version of the butt is more physical. It is played on a hockey rink with the ice removed. There is less space. Young players like Nakamura can’t avoid contact.
Here, there are two-meter players, big players who can do anything. I’m only 1.73m tall and weigh between 165 and 170lbs so the physical aspect is tougher for me.
Japanese lacrosse should study box lacrosse culture. No one knows it back home and no one knows how difficult it is in Canada and the United States because no one has been here before me.
Luxe La Crosse Ambassador to Japan
When he trains every day, Koichi Nakamura doesn’t just think about his personal goals. He says he wants to be a lacrosse ambassador for his compatriots, help the sport gain popularity in Asia and ensure Japan qualifies for the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
2028 is my long-term goal, Determines.
Lacrosse has not yet entered the 2028 Games programme, but world of lacrosse It hopes to make a comeback after appearing at the 1904, 1908, 1928, 1932 and 1948 games. Moreover, if the sport becomes part of the Los Angeles program, it will be under a new formula called ” sixes With six players on each side on an outdoor court where boxing lacrosse experience can be beneficial, according to Nakamura.
At the moment, the gap between Canada and the United States and some Asian countries such as Japan is very large. I’d like to help make it smaller. I want the next generation to be able to learn from me by watching my videos on YouTube and social media and saying “I’ve been to Koichi in Canada so I can go too”.
It is my dream to offer this option to the next generation. I have 7 or 8 years before the Olympics to get there.
Nakamura documents all of his training on social media. On Instagram in particular, he has three accounts: a personal account, an account for bodybuilding sessions and another account for his posing techniques.
I need social media because it allows me to educate the people in my house. They also force me to be responsible. If I say I’m going to train, I have to. My friends and a lot of people are watching me. It’s good for me as well as for them, explains the Japanese who also sponsors several companies in his home country.
Toronto Rock will begin their next season on December 4th in Hamilton. Koichi Nakamura, he, will continue to work in the shade for a day to carve out a spot with the team and make lacrosse shine brighter in the Land of the Rising Sun.
“Alcohol scholar. Twitter lover. Zombieaholic. Hipster-friendly coffee fanatic.”