‘I’ll coach any­body’

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

Nick Mita has coached squash at the high­est level but says he loves teach­ing the game to ‘‘ev­ery­day peo­ple’’.

The for­mer Wairarapa-Bush rugby rep­re­sen­ta­tive picked up squash af­ter his rugby ca­reer ended, and he went on to the provin­cial level on the court too. Coach­ing was a nat­u­ral pro­gres­sion.

‘‘ I’ve al­ways seen my­self as a play­ers’ coach, I have a pas­sion for the game and know what peo­ple want. Help­ing peo­ple and bring­ing them up to a level they need to be is a re­ally sat­is­fy­ing feel­ing.’’

Based in Welling­ton the past six years, Mita was the re­gion’s num­ber one coach un­til De­cem­ber, when a ‘‘change in di­rec­tion’’ from the new Welling­ton board saw him out of a job. Since then he has strived to estab­lish an academy and ju­nior pro­gramme and of­ten trav­els overseas with the ju­niors he has been coach­ing at his own ex­pense.

He is based in the Porirua basin, say­ing the Tawa and Mana clubs have been ‘‘awe­some’’, let­ting him use their fa­cil­i­ties and backing his plans.

‘‘This re­gion has the best squash play­ers in the coun­try right now, the high­est ranked ju­niors that should clean up at the [up­com­ing] na­tion­als. I coach all but one of the ju­nior boys – if it wasn’t for the kids, I wouldn’t be do­ing this any­more.’’

Though Mita says squash clubs in New Zealand are gen­er­ally in good heart, the ju­nior pro­gramme is want­ing. Only eight un­der-19 girls will con­test the na­tion­als, and 16 at the un­der17 level, which he says is ‘‘poor’’.

‘‘New Zealand Squash has a great na­tional coach now and there are plenty of good things go­ing on in the sport. But things like tar­get­ing schools needs to be done, that’s where we can grab the next young play­ers. ’’

Mita says he is spend­ing nearly 40 hours a week coach­ing, with a steadi­ly­in­creas­ing client base, along with trips around New Zealand and overseas to help top play­ers. It’s a bal­anc­ing act but he will al­ways have time for lower- grade bat­tlers and ca­sual play­ers.

‘‘Peo­ple as­sume I’m too busy, think­ing ‘he’s away with the top play­ers’, so I won’t bother try­ing to con­tact him. But I’m avail­able more than you think – I can coach any­body and I en­joy it, it’s fun.’’

Nick Mita can be contacted on 021 526 224.

Coach­ing class: Nick Mita, one of the most re­spected squash coaches in the coun­try, has based him­self at the Tawa and Mana clubs.

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