Learning starts, but never finishes.
That’s the philosophy Corner Brook soccer coach Robert (Rocky) Mitrovic has taken in his quest to be among the elite soccer coaches in Canada.
Mitrovic, a former professional soccer goalie from Serbia who has played a key role in player development with the Corner Brook Minor Soccer Association for a number of years, recently completed his FIFA national B soccer coaching course.
He is one of only 23 Newfoundland and Labrador soccer coaches to achieve the B coaching certificate in the past 20 years.
He had to pass an online exam before joining other B coaching hopefuls who got through the exam at a week-long coaching clinic in Mount Pearl where he was exposed to new training tips and ideas and got to rub shoulders with other elite coaches from across the country and discuss the latest training regimes and tactics of the game.
Soccer is a game that continues to evolve so Mitrovic was bent on getting his B coaching certificate so he could be a better coach who could share his expertise and wisdom with coaches in the minor system. More importantly, he would be better equipped to teach players how to play the game at a higher level and having the B certificate in his pocket makes him more confident about his teachings.
“I feel really good about it and I appreciate Corner Brook minor soccer giving me the opportunity to go for it,” he said.
Mitrovic plans on using his wisdom to bring out the best in young players he has been grooming in the city for a few years and he would like to achieve his A coaching certificate — which would allow him to coach professional teams and anything below if he so desires — over the next few years.
Dragan Mirkovic, technical director for the Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Association, is one person who believes the lanky Serbian will find his way to the top before long.
He had high praise for Mitrovic because obtaining a B certificate requires completion of a difficult course and not everybody gets through it.
He said the Canadian Soccer Association uses the coaching certification process to filter out the best coaches and push them toward higher learning.
“He left a very, very good impression, and he will be getting challenges and probably pushed forward to take the A license course in the near future,” Mirkovic said.