NMI players try hand at coaching

Posted on Aug 28 2020


Northern Mariana Islands Football Association technical director and CNMI Men’s National Team head coach Michiteru Mita explains a drill to participants in the NMIFA D License Coaching Course last Aug. 16 at the NMI Soccer Training Center. (Contributed Photo)

Ten out of the 12 individuals who completed the Northern Mariana Islands Football Association D License Coaching Course are members of the CNMI national training teams.

Joshua Abragan, Jireh Yobech, Reginal Pascual, Akira Kadokura, Chevy Alipio, Nathanette Blas, Winneb Echavez, Katrina Costales, Julianne Hall, and Kohtaro Goto attended the theoretical and practical sessions of the coaching course held last Aug. 15 and 16 and passed the written tests on Aug. 22 to earn certification from NMI. Also completing the course were MP United’s Gene Weaver and Martin Jambor.

NMIFA assistant coach Jersh Angeles, kneeling, demonstrates a drill to Joshua Abragan, right, and Jireh Yobech. (Contributed Photo)

NMIFA technical director and CNMI Men’s National Team head coach Michiteru Mita conducted the course with the help of assistant coaches Jershwin Angeles and Angie Ito. According to Mita, the course aims to train coaches to organize and conduct basic coaching practice for youth players, particularly those in the U12 age groups.

“All 12 were actively involved and we had a lot of good discussion during the practical and theoretical sessions. The course is a very good training, especially most of national team players haven’t had coaching experience yet, while Gene and Martin have more practical experience,” Mita said.

“They shared ideas and issues in our grassroots soccer. This is good cross learning environment. Also, it is good that our national team players like current men’s team captain Jireh Yobech and Katrina Costales, and other national team players are involved in coaching. They have good soccer skills and they can show them when they are coaching younger kids. They have an advantage as coaches, too,” the NMIFA technical director said.

Twelve individuals show their certificates and are joined in the photo by Northern Mariana Islands Football Association coaches at the conclusion of the NMIFA D License Coaching Course last Aug. 22 at the NMI Soccer Training Center. (Contributed Photo)

Mita hopes that more people will capitalize on the availability of NMIFA’s coaching courses as they are very instrumental in the continued growth of the sports in the CNMI.

“We need more coaches at the U12 level who can coach and help build the fundamental skills of players. I hope they will continue coaching as they will greatly contribute to our development,” Mita said.

Meanwhile, Goto, who plays for the CNMI U15 National Team, is thankful for the opportunity to take the course and learn from experts.

“I feel fortunate to be part of the CNMI national team and I greatly appreciate and recognize all the efforts of our coaches, especially for giving us the opportunity to complete the soccer coaching course,” the TanHoldings Football Club member said.

He added that although they know a lot about soccer since they’ve been playing for years, he finds it more challenging imparting his knowledge and skills in the sport to younger players. Despite the difficulty, he is determined to stay involved in coaching to help in the grassroots program.

“The challenging part is I will need to muster the courage to use the coaching skills to the youth that expect a lot from us. Now is that easy? The answer is definitely not! But, I chose to be in this field and we were taught and trained to do justice with our roles. Each of us contributes to the success of CNMI soccer. Big or small, we can help bring aspiring youth to the program and make them better and well-trained soccer players,” Goto said.

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.

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