A South Korean coach conducted a clinic for Northern Marianas Badminton Association players recently at the TSL Sports Complex.
Ji Woong Jung of Sahagu Sports Club in Busan worked with NMBA players last Sunday and Monday, demonstrating basic movement and footwork and other helpful drills. NMBA officials and members, and players who represented the CNMI to the 2019 Pacific Games in Samoa attended the brief sessions.
“We are very thankful to Mr. Jung for taking time out from his short vacation on Saipan to reach out to our players and share his skills to us. Since we started the organization, it’s been a challenge for our players to get coaching so every opportunity to learn from someone who has experience and knowledge in the sport is very much welcome,” NMBA president Merlie Tolentino said.
Nate Guerrero and Jordan Pangilinan, who played in the Pacific Games, also acknowledged the help of the visiting coach.
“We are thankful for this experience, gaining training from a professional coach like Mr. Jung because none of us were ever trained by a real coach. The footwork technique will definitely be helpful in improving everyone’s speed and balance on the court. Eventually, all of us will be able to do the footwork technique precisely as we keep practicing them and prepare for the next tournaments,” Pangilinan said.
“We learned how your footwork should be when striking the shuttle. It was really good to know and correct ourselves so we could implement that in our game as well as teach that on to others. We also got to play with him and he’s a pretty good player as well,” Guerrero said.
Jung, through interpreter Tommy Kim, said he is pleased to find out badminton is an active sport on island and he is happy to help the players, especially the young ones. He added that he felt it’s like a mission for him to come to Saipan and meet national players.
When asked to assess CNMI players, the South Korean said they have good competition skills and if you add technical and physical strengths to it that would make them more successful in tournaments.
Jung admitted he did not have a lot of time to share more about the sport, especially the technical side of it, so he will be back to Saipan this April to conduct longer sessions. (PR)