The Northern Mariana Islands Football Association continues to build local capacity as far as coaching education is concerned after holding a pair of courses recently at the NMI Soccer Training Center in Koblerville.
Last Jan. 29, the NMIFA offered the Grassroots Kids Leader Coaching Course with 11 individuals attending the opening session conducted by course instructors Michiteru Mita, Jershwin Angeles, and Angie Ito. The course participants include Kelsey McClellan, Chang Yang Woo, Pritom Sen, Robait Ratol, Pia Ngewakl, Nishtah Thomas, Isaiah Barcinas, Britany Wally, Gideon Borja, Elaine Enriquez, and Kristanna Lim.
The Grassroots Kids Leader is an entry level course and tailored to the NMI’s grassroots soccer community, as it involves parents and volunteer coaches. Participants started with small sided games at the pitch for the first session, which focused on the most important factor in coaching at the grassroots level—having fun. They also had classroom discussions on introduction to football; NMI football development; guiding principles and child protection; basic first aid/injury prevention; nutrition; and grassroots football. The participants who are from Kanoa Football Club, Matansa, MP United, Paire, and William S. Reyes Elementary School will have to attend two more sessions, slated for March 4 and 5, to complete the course.
Meanwhile, eight individuals have completed the NMIFA “D” License Coaching Course last month.
MP United’s Shawna Brennfleck and Dev Bachani, Kanoa’s Joe Antonio and Andrew Sablan, Paire’s Brian Lubao and Kathy Ruszala, Southern United’s Nicole Lumbad, and TanHoldings’ Tyana Hix attended the Jan. 16, 17, and 23 field and classroom sessions to earn their NMIFA “D” license.
In the three-part course, which also had Mita, Angeles, and Ito as instructors, coaches were given guidelines on properly organizing and conducting basic training sessions for youth players, particularly for those in the Under 12 age groups. The course concluded with a practical test where participants conducted training sessions for the Under 15 national training pool.
Mita, who is also the NMIFA technical director, is pleased with the turnout from the two courses, as the association prepares to bring back competitions and soccer-related activities at the NMISTC possibly next month.
“Grassroots Kids football is our foundation for development. It is very important to have qualified coaches for us to further develop NMI football, and under the slogan ‘Together we can shape the future in 2036’ we need more family members and volunteers who can support our football development,” said Mita.
He added that having better coaches help develop better players and to bring children to the program they must find the activities fun and safe.
“We aim to guide coaches to help players discover the fun part of football. Also, we share with the coaches our philosophy and guiding principles to provide a safety environment for the kids and when the environment is safe, parents and guardian are comfortable to leave their children to the coaches,” Mita said.
“Most of coaches are national team players. They have the advantage in demonstrating techniques to kids. However, it is important to have adult coaches, too—like Shawna Brennfleck, Kathy Ruszala, Kelsey McClellan, and Britany Wally. They’ve been very active in our football community and have good experience in handling kids. Add to that the basic coaching knowledge they gained and you will see them moving forward to continue contributing to the development of football in the NMI,” the official added. (PR)