Northern Mariana Islands Football Association is encouraging its member clubs to have their coaches attend and complete an Asian Football Confederation “C” coaching certificate course set from June 26 to July 8.
Former NMIFA technical director and CNMI national men’s team coach Kiyoshi Sekiguchi will conduct the course, which will cover both the practical and theoretical parts of coaching. NMIFA technical director Michiteru Mita, who holds an AFC Pro license certificate, will be assisting Sekiguchi and asked various clubs and their coaches to capitalize on this great opportunity.
Sekiguchi first held a similar course in December 2016, but in the past years, majority of the CNMI coaches had to go off-island to obtain their C license. With NMIFA hosting the course here, the seminar will be tailored on the specific needs of the island, save coaches and clubs the travel costs, and give them flexibility with the schedule, as classes will be held at night on weekdays and full days on weekends.
“I also started with a lower-level license and have recently received the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Professional Coaching Diploma, which is the highest level. The more I learned about soccer at the international level, the more exciting it gets and the more I realize that I have a lot more to learn. Through the coach training, one can learn new things, build his or her skills, and help develop kids’ potential. Pursuing coaching also opens the door for opportunities inside and outside of NMI and at the global level. It also helps build the quality environment for kids to enjoy soccer and achieve their full potential. I would like to see many people experience the excitement and joy of coaching and soccer,” Mita said.
“Of course, completion of the course doesn’t mean that one becomes a good coach, but NMI has many clubs and youth teams and has the environment where licensed coaches apply what they have been learning and improve their coaching skills, which ultimately enhances the quality of the players,” he added.
The NMIFA official added that well-equipped coaches are needed to work on players beyond the “golden age” of the sport.
“Having observed the youth league games and the national youth male and female players, I see that many of them have the ball-handling skills, but to be honest I have rarely found players who have a comprehensive skill-set required for a soccer player, such as soccer techniques, individual tactics, and physical and mental fitness. I think this is why we hardly see teams with players in U15 boys, U16 girls, U18 boys league that demonstrate combination plays or team tactics,” Mita said.
“I think the reason behind this is a lack of opportunity for the players to receive a comprehensive training beyond the so-called, ‘golden age’ between the ages of 10-12. For Saipan to achieve full potential, we need people who are able to train and coach teenage players,” he explained.
Having certified coaches will soon be a requirement for clubs and national teams under AFC thus NMIFA wanted to take an early step toward meeting that standard. The course will give individuals the proper foundation in coaching and according to NMIFA, the “C” license is also the minimum certification needed to qualify as a coach for national and international tournaments.
Deadline for submission of the course’s registration form is this Friday. For more information, call NMIFA at 235-0173.