For the second year in a row my futsal team, MR. TIRED, participated in the 60th Annual All-Japan Youth Tournament. The above picture shows the entire Shiga Prefecture group, within which are various teams for various sports/events. Volleyball, baseball, bowling, basketball, futsal, singing, dancing, comedy as well as participants in the photography and speech contest are represented above. Also above are managers for each team. Can you find me?

I have to say, this year was so so so much better than last year. This year we actually had a decided upon strategy that we practiced for the months leading up to the tournament. We also were preparing our minds for this for a long time. Our goal was to win one game, seeing as last year we were eliminated on the first day of Group League games with back-to-back-to-back loses. This year we did so much better on the court.

Day 1. Group League

MR. TIRED 3 -1 Kumamoto

MR. TIRED 3 -2 Kochi

Tokyo Team A 2 – 1 MR. TIRED

I think this guy was just homesick or something.

Day 2. Playoffs

Tokyo Team B 4 – 0 MR. TIRED

MR. TIRED 1 – 0 Aomori

MR. TIRED 2 -1 Shizuoka

There’s our captain in the red jersey, Kiichan.

We ended up in 5th place overall out of 15 teams. The Ref’s pictured above made me cut out the nike swoosh on the soles of my shoes because they said, “They are blue and we don’t want anyone making marks on the court.” I was at first angry because I had already played 3 games with the same shoes. Eventually my excitement overpowered the anger and I was just stoked to be playing in the playoffs… just like all my teammates.

I cannot explain to you just how happy we were when we found out that we actually made it to the 2nd day of playoffs. You see after our first day of games we thought we had been knocked out of our group because we lost to Tokyo and Kochi came out on top. However, after our game I ran into one of the Tokyo players in the stairway and he told me, “Good luck tomorrow man.” To which I replied, “Uhh, no. We don’t have games tomorrow.” He assured me that even though they just beat us, because we had a better points-for/points-agaist ratio, we were actually second in our group, therefore in the playoffs on day 2.

Me and Kenta could hardly believe it. We worked our hearts out, won our first two games and because we lost our last one we were 100 percent sure we didn’t advance. Our moral hit rock bottom. And in this moment of sorrow came this good news, propelling our spirits sky high.

If you have played sports and taken a trip to enter a tournament then you know exactly what I’m talking about. Of course all your teammates are on the same page: we are here to win. Yet equally as memorable are the moments spent as a team off the field. The moments where bonds are made and relationships fortified. Here are some of those moments MR. TIRED had.

Our hotel was right outside of Shinagawa station. Since our hotel did not have any washing machines we looked to the crowded Tokyo streets surrounding us. Luckily we found this walk-thru vending machine with a couple washing machines in it. Gotta love the big city.

On the Shinkansen (Bullet Train) ride from Kyoto to Tokyo I busted out my notebook to draw what was in front of me.

The following picture is from last year.

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