NMIFA promotes soccer at home


The practice pitch at the NMI Soccer Training Center in Koblerville are off limits to children so Northern Mariana Islands Football Association is encouraging young players to work on their soccer skills at home. (Contributed Photo)

The Northern Mariana Islands Football Association has renewed its call to young players in our community to work on their soccer skills at home at this time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“NMIFA would like to continue to encourage the youth of our islands to stay active and healthy by playing #soccerathome!” NMIFA posted on its official social media account.

Also included on the post are the basic drills/exercise with instructions as well as a links to video demonstrations for better understanding and easier access. The #soccerathome! campaign was launched late March when NMIFA suspended its games at the NMI Soccer Training Center in Koblerville due to the pandemic.

All soccer-related activities were also put on hold for months before NMIFA resumed the training sessions of its national team pool last June while strictly observing safety guidelines set by local and federal authorities and the association. However, matches and other events for young players remain suspended and it looks like the halt will still be in effect in the coming months, as the CNMI continues to exercise safety precautions against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The appeal to utilize #soccerathome! is timely and appropriate as it caters to U10 players, who are not allowed to return to the pitch.

Under the written and visual instructions, NMIFA’s #soccerathome guidelines are divided into two parts—ball feeling and coordination with the ball. Both parts cover basic skills that can be done with ease while developing young players’ coordination, balance, and concentration.

For the ball feeling part, there are four involved exercise/drills, namely: tap taps; trickster; rock n’ rolls; and ninja. The coordination with the ball, on the other hand, has a more advanced approach to performing drills, which include the “latte stone,” skipper, cup and clap, rainbows and waterfalls, crazy 8s, and sitting “latte stone.”

All the drills can be done in less than an hour, giving young children a form of physical activity that they need to remain healthy and active at this time of the pandemic. NMIFA is reminding parents or guardians of the players to provide their children proper attire (shoes and comfortable clothing) as well as enough hydration when performing the drills.

To access NMIFA’s #soccerathome! videos, check https://youtu.be/40_GvOcCxws or https://youtu.be/qTt3QI0EQio. Players are also welcome to upload their #soccerathome! videos at the NMIFA Facebook account to encourage more children to stay active.

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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