Northern Mariana Islands Football Association conducted a coaching clinic last Saturday at the Koblerville Elementary School Field in time for tomorrow’s opening of the 2017 NMIFA Youth Spring League.
NMIFA’s new technical director Michiteru Mita, along with the association’s coaching staff members Jershwin Angeles and Jonathan Takano, divided the clinic into two sessions with the first one for coaches handling teams in the non-competitive division (U12, U10, U8, and U6) and the second for those in charge of squads playing in the competitive age groups (U12 A, boys U14, girls U14, and boys U17).
“The two divisions require different training drills and techniques so we have to split the group,” said Mita.
“For the first group, the objective of training drills is not only to teach the basics of soccer, but also to make the kids enjoy the game,” the NMIFA technical director added. “For the second session, we worked more on skills development using the different drills and coaching techniques.”
After the clinic, Mita said he and his staff will check on the development of coaches from the various clubs.
“We will sit down with them, have discussions, and analyze their improvement. We want to give each club a chance to raise their concerns as far as coaching is concerned,” Mita said.
He also thanked the participating coaches for showing willingness to improve their skills and help more players get into the sport.
“They are asking to have more coaching clinics like this and we will work on that,” Mita said.
Liz Phan of Kanoa Football Club was among the coaches who attended the weekend clinic and is looking forward to more sessions with Mita and his staff.
“We’ve been lacking a good number of experienced coaches who actually know what soccer really is and let alone, can teach it to others. From experience, I think learning from coach Mita will give us a good foundation of the sport. Soccer is not only about kicking a ball as hard as you can to score the most goals; there’s a lot of action that actually goes on before a goal is scored. It’ll probably take a while before we get into that kind of stuff. Still, I believe coach Mita has a lot of experience and expertise to offer our coaches in terms of allowing players to build necessary skills and techniques through the drills he shares,” Phan said.
Tinian Premier Football Club president Arley Long, who joined the clinic with husband Phil, said through a message sent to NMIFA that the workshop provided them with useful information that they could share and teach to their young players. She is also hoping to encourage more parents to join TPFC’s pool of coaches.
Meanwhile, the 2017 NMIFA Youth Spring League will kick off tomorrow at the various school pitches on Saipan.
In the boys U17 division, MP United and Kanoa will play in the opener at 8:45am at the Hopwood Junior High School Field. At 10:30am, TanHoldings will have its season debut against Matansa. Paire drew a bye in Week 1 and will have its first game on Feb. 18 versus MP United.
In the boys U14, all six teams will see action in the opening day with the pairings as follows: Paire vs Kanoa; Matansa vs MP United; and Shirley’s vs TanHoldings. All matches will take place at the Koblerville pitch.
Over at the Francisco M. Sablan Middle School Field for the girls U15 games, six of the seven teams will have their season debuts. Paire will duel Kanoa, TanHoldings will take on MP United, and Matansa will collide against Shirley’s. Southern United got a bye.
Back at the Hopwood pitch for the co-ed U12 competitive division, Kanoa 1 will meet TanHoldings, while Kanoa 2 will challenge MP United. The non-competitive U12, U10, and U8 games will also be played in Hopwood at different times.