ML Survivor Choi Ji-man’s Secret of Local Adaptation to Challengers
You have to approach first for quick adaptation.”
Choi Ji-man (29) of Tampa Bay gave advice to KBO league players who are taking on the Major League (ML) challenge. Currently, there are three players knocking on the ML door. Among the fielders are Kim Ha-sung of Kium and Na Sung-bum of NC, and Yang Hyeon-jong of Kia Tigers. All three are receiving constant attention from local media. It is drawing attention from fans, with an appropriate amount of contract with a certain club being offered. “Toronto Ryu Hyun-jin shared a meal with Kim Ha-sung,” said TNS, a Canadian media outlet on Tuesday. “It’s as clear as Toronto’s eye on him,” he said. What do ML challengers need to achieve a successful career? ML senior Choi Ji-man replied, “Adapt.”
Choi Ji-man said, “I heard that Kim Ha-sung, Na Sung-bum, and Yang Hyun-jong are taking on ML challenges. I think it’s a good opportunity,” he said, applauding those who take on new challenges. “If you enter ML, quick adaptation is the key. Asian players with great careers in other leagues have challenged ML. There are many cases of failure, but I think it’s mostly because I couldn’t adapt. “As I live in another country, there must be a lot of difficulties,” he said, stressing his adaptation to build a successful ML career. Having to live in a completely different culture and environment from Korea can have a negative impact on the player. Failure to adapt can soon be passed down to performance.
Choi Ji-man went to the U.S. early as soon as he graduated from Dongsan High School. It must not have been easy to live in another country at a young age. His cheerful and active personality also helped him adjust. Choi Ji-man said, “You have to approach first. Because the cultures are different, players can be wary at first. But first, you have to say hello and talk to each other. That’s how we can get along together,” he said, stressing that he should be active.
Players who challenged ML also complained of difficulties in adapting to the local league. They say that unintentionally behavior can be misunderstood, especially because of different cultures. However, as Choi Ji-man said, an active attitude is essential to adapt. In the ML stage, where the fierce competition for survival of the deficit is taking place, it is expected that the challengers who won the KBO will succeed.