Coaches from various football clubs on Saipan attended a clinic last Saturday at Koblerville Elementary School in preparation for the 2017 NMIFA Fall Youth League.
Northern Mariana Islands Football Association technical director Michiteru Mita facilitated the clinic and was assisted by Jershwin Angeles and Jonathan Takano. The coaches used the CNMI women’s, boys U16, and U18 national team’s training camps as a case study during the classroom session of the seminar, while the U18 players demonstrated drills at the Koblerville pitch in front of the club coaches.
“We reported about the training camp in Guam, Korea, and Japan. We shared with the participants the technical challenges we faced in each camp. I also shared national team players development concept and which factor we should focus on to improve our players,” Mita said.
“I believe that it is very important to share these challenges with club coaches and work with them to develop our players because our players come from the clubs,” the NMIFA official added.
Mikky Vargas was among the nearly 20 players who attended the weekend workshop, which gave her a different perspective about the national team program in particular and the CNMI soccer in general.
“I had been to a couple of coaching clinics but for this one, I think it was a great move on coach Mita’s part to base the things that we learned during the course on the performance of our CNMI teams. He showed us some videos of the training camps and international games and explained what we lacked, what happened in a certain situation, and what could’ve been done to better our team’s chances,” said Vargas, who will coach Kanoa Football Club’s co-ed U12 team and the boys U17 squad.
“So, basically he led the course with the CNMI soccer in mind. Instead of having a course with general information about coaching, we had a course with specifics to CNMI soccer. That way when we go out to our clubs we wouldn’t have a jaded perspective of soccer, because we all know that our soccer is different,” she added.
Raymond Zapanta, another Kanoa FC coach, agreed with Vargas’ observation.
“The workshop was enlightening because I was able to learn more about our national teams—their weaknesses as individuals and as a team. As a coach, knowing these weaknesses help guide me on what skills and techniques I must help my players improve on to build a better team and improve their chances of making it to the national team,” said Zapanta, who handles Kanoa FC’s girls U15 crew.
For Paire Football Club’s Patricia Coleman, watching the national teams train gave her more ideas how to work with her girls U15 squad.
“Coach Mita gave us an example of a training session that can be used in the competitive leagues. I appreciate his efforts to raise the standard of soccer in the CNMI,” she said.
Meanwhile, Mita said NMIFA will hold more coaching workshop this year and he is encouraging the clubs to take these opportunities to help develop players and coaches in the Commonwealth.
“It was very short time and many coaches did not attend so I could not share all information but I will hold more coaching clinics or workshops to improve our coaching quality. I want to spread the joy of coaching to them,” the NMIFA head coach said.