Q & A With Radnor Soccer League Director Thorne Holder
We welcome this year Thorne Holder as the Director of the Radnor Soccer League, RSC’s recreational and developmental program. We believe that players and families alike will find Thorne a dynamic individual and coach and that he will add significant value to the RSL.
Q: Why Radnor?
A: My first reason for joining Radnor is my respect for the Soccer Director Alan Mezger. I have had some experience working with him and I really like his style of coaching and methods of communication. Alan is also very sincere about his commitment to excellence.
The second reason for joining the Radnor team was because the history of the club. It’s an organization with a rich heritage of premiere soccer training and community service and involvement. Radnor is also a very beautiful township which make coming to work very encouraging.
Q: Why now?
A: Right now the leadership at Radnor has made the decision to revamp the club’s popularity by putting together a team forward thinkers that are very experienced at what they do and are very motivated to deliver on the goals set forth. It is a great opportunity to be a part this regime and I feel at this time I am uniquely prepared to contribute to measurable growth and excitement within the local soccer community, alongside my highly respected colleagues.
Q: The RSL is Radnor Soccer Club’s recreational and developmental program. What is your vision for the program?
A: My vision for the program is to create a simple system for young players to be able to enjoy learning the fundamentals of the game. I want each kid to have a unique experience, that encourages them to participate in the sport at higher levels.
Q: You are going to be working with our youngest players. What do you hope they get from this year?
A: What I hope the youngest most inexperienced players gain from this year is an understanding that soccer is a fun sport to play, and that practice can improve any skill desired. I also hope that they learn about the benefits of physical activity; how staying active can improve their performance at school in the classroom. Being an active part of a group or team is very healthy for making awesome friends and having memorable life experiences with them.
Q: You will also be working with travel soccer aged players. How will you balance the recreational and developmental aspects of the RSL for those players?
A: I believe the key to maintaining such balance is to include a variety of different level exercises within the training. We will include some challenging exercises, because making a game out of a challenging drill can prove quite entertaining. Also, the more skills a player has, the more fun the game is. This gives the coaching staff an opportunity to identify players that can contribute to the travel soccer program and also keep regular sessions interesting for those who may be ahead of the group. Generally, all exercises will be in the form of a drill turned into a game, so development is always occurring even though it is fun.
Q: RSL will have 700 or so players. You cannot coach them all, obviously. How will you help the parent coaches to make sure the kids get the most out of the program?
A: I believe that all coaches must be on the same page as far as the model for sessions. Once a coach feels like they are operating within a standard structure, they are more comfortable to engage with and develop relationships with players. Once players ‘know that coach cares’ they will then ‘care about what coach knows’. This creates good communication between coaches and players which is a great environment for learning. I also plan to monitor the parent coaches and give them feedback with notes that they can review at their own discretion. What I will certainly enjoy most is popping into sessions, when convenient, and illustrating different ways to communicate fun ideas and also methods of ‘hyper children control’, attention management and ways of keeping a session flowing.