Pure love for the game. It’s that simple.

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When asked why we do yamabushi training, Master Hoshino offers a very simple answer, ‘to do yamabushi training’.

The true reason to do something, the true reason to do anything, is to do it.

For the sake of it.

No, for the love of it.

In 2014, then captain of the New Zealand cricket team, the one and only Brendon McCullum, Baz, called NZ’s most famous sports psychologist Gilbert Enoka asking how to get out of the doldrums. His advice?

"All your preparation, all you've ever thought about in cricket, just throw it out the window for this one game," Enoka said.

New Zealand sports psychologist Gilbert Enoka

And they did. And for the first time in a long time, things went well. Since then, the NZ cricket team has literally gotten to the top of the world (see one of the best pieces of sports writing, ever, here).

If you can do something without getting bogged down in all the statistics and mind games, if you can take your ego out of the equation, you can do it well, and you can do it forever.

Whether you’re a yamabushi or a cricket player, an artist or an engineer, do it for the love of it. There’s no other reason necessary. No set goals, no set reasons, just pure love for the game.

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Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan 

tim@timbunting.com

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