Obsessive “Unlocking” Park Jonghoon “It’s comfortable to admit it”

SSG submarine pitcher Park Jong-hoon (33) is preparing for the 2024 season at the Florida Spring Camp in the U.S. in a relaxed mood. He intends to let go of his obsession, which he has been whipping at him over the past two years, by saying, “I need to do well” and “I need to improve.”꽁머니

Park Jong-hoon said, “I had a strong thought to be perfect for two years, so it was rather poisonous,” adding, “I’m quite old now, but I tried to improve too much. Now that I admit my age, I feel comfortable.”

From 2017 to 2020, he was an underhand pitcher representing the league in which he filled four consecutive innings. He has accumulated 47 wins during this period. He was selected as a member of the Korean national baseball team, and won the gold medal at the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games and the runner-up prize at the 2019 World Baseball Softball Confederation Premier 12. However, after undergoing elbow surgery in 2021, he has hardly recovered his former strength. He lost three games and five games with an ERA of 6.00 in 11 games in 2022, and recorded two wins and six losses with an ERA of 6.19 in 18 games in 2023.

“Last year, I thought I should throw strikes and allow batters to hit them,” Park Jong-hoon said. “I will admit that I was a pitcher who threw a lot of balls anyway.” “The year 2023 has passed. I have to do what I need to do in 2024. I am not thinking about doing well, but I am trying not to think about it.”

A noticeable change this year is weight loss. Last year, he gained weight and weighed 100 kilograms, but now he weighs about 83 kilograms. It is a choice to regain his good image. He plans to weigh 85 kilograms before the end of the Florida camp and 87 kilograms at the start of the season. “I am trying to find and match what I checked when my physical condition, flexibility and angle were good,” Park Jong-hoon said. “Pitching coach Bae Young-soo also comes to see me a lot when I was good, reminding me of that.”

He also tries to increase the weight of his main weapon curves. Park Jong-hoon’s curves are powerful as he flies from a low altitude and suddenly surges into the batter’s field of view. “I feel pressured as my body grows bigger. On the contrary, I feel so comfortable now,” Park said. “I originally threw more than 60 percent of curves, but I couldn’t throw that much curve last year. I purposely throw a lot when I pitch now. If I throw 100 pitches, I throw 50 curves and throw the rest of the pitches.”

The three starting pitchers for the 2024 season are Kim Kwang-hyun, Roenis Elias, and Robert Duggar. Park Jong-hoon, Oh Won-seok, Shin Heon-min, and Song Young-jin will compete for the remaining two spots. “Preparation is going smoothly so far. All the coaches, including Lee Soo-yong, make me feel more comfortable. That’s why I’m throwing more balls to find relaxation than trying to get better,” Park said. “Last year, I just wanted to throw one more game and start the season because I wanted to keep checking the ball, but now I hope the season comes soon.”

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