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Rochester Pride - RSC Lightning '96
Rochester Pride - RSC Lightning '96:Coach K Intro  
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Get Directions to <b>RSC Lightning'96</b>Rochester Local Weather
RSC Lightning'96
Ken Hernandez
1460 W. University Ave
Suite 203
Rochester, Michigan
  Coach K Intro  

Meet the Coach

My favorite time of year is here and I am very pleased to be coaching your daughter's soccer team this season. Many of you now know me and are familiar with my coaching style and emphasis. Just as a review and an introduction to new members and families to the team I'd like to take a minute to review and share my approach to coaching young players so that you, as parents, can get an idea of what I'm trying to accomplish as a coach.

First of all, as the coach of young & developing players, I consider it my responsibility to create an atmosphere that fosters enthusiasm for this beautiful game and allows that enthusiasm to grow. That is my primary goal for everybody on this team and everything that I do throughout the season is meant to achieve that end. These girls are playing the game because they like it. Soccer is a beautiful game and I want them to always like it and have it remain fun and fulfilling for them well beyond pre-teen and teen years as it has for me as a player and coach. That kind of long-standing enjoyment will come from an appreciation for and understanding of the game - which is what I will strive to teach.

My coaching direction stems from certain fundamental concepts that have been taught to me, the most important of which is an appreciation of what is meant by good play. Good play is play that is skillful and thoughtful. My goal is to promote within the players the desire to play more skillfully. I feel that players at this age have stepped beyond "kickball" and are reaching a point where they ready and wanting to develop an understanding of positional play and execution. That desire to learn is important because as long as they want to learn and improve their skills, they will. And it is very gratifying to see the pride that a young player takes in her accomplishments as she realizes she is learning and getting better & better - game by game and week by week.

Good play also means fair, clean play and sportsmanlike conduct. Wherever I have coached, from toddlers to U-20's and at all levels including rec, club and high school varsity, I have always worked very hard to instill these traits in my players. I will continue to emphasize the importance of this because a match played in a fair and sporting manner is more enjoyable for all concerned. Now, I want very much to win. And you will find I intend to and very much expect to win. And I want my team to want to win, and to expect to win. There is nothing wrong with that - it is why we work so hard to improve our skills and execution. But much more important than winning is to win well. And as with all things, the effort reaps its own rewards.

Finally, I want to thank you, parents, for your involvement in your daughter's soccer season. Regardless of skill level, team record, friends involved, or personal achievements, NOTHING is more important to your daughter than your support in her endeavors.

I am looking forward to a terrific season.

Licensed USSF “D” Level Coach
KNVB Certified Youth Coach
SoccerPlus Goalkeeper School

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Who Is This Knut?
Back and forth throughout this site you may alternately see me referred to as either Ken or Knut. I go by either.

Ken (actually Kenneth) is my given name. Knut is a nickname I have gone by since about forever. Knut (pronounced to rhyme with “root”) is actually the original form of the anglicized Kenneth. Way back in grade school, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, some of my school buddies took to calling me Knut when we learned that neat little fact. No real reason – just a kid thing. It took hold and it has stuck ever since, most particularly with close friends and family.

Nowadays, as a growed up grown-up, when I meet new people I generally introduce myself as Ken, but I do still like my nickname and, as you can see, use both. You may feel free to call me either.   

Tut-tut. Looks like rain!
rainy day1
If bad weather occurs, teams can call the RYSL office at 650-0113 to see if the league has canceled the match. If there is no recording, teams should arrive at the scheduled time and the referee will determine if the match shall be played. Rain (even very heavy rain) does not necessarily constitute "bad weather" to the degree that a match will be canceled. Please do not just assume that there is no match. There is nothing more discouraging than having to play a match where half the team didn't show. Check the league office. There is no assurance that canceled matches will be made-up.

Parents take note: For the sake of not entirely trashing your car on rainy days, you may be well advised to have a "mud kit" packed in the trunk:

(1)         an old towel to wipe down with;
(2)         a plastic trash bag to throw muddy cleats, socks, jerseys & towel in the trunk with;
(3)         sandals or a spare pair of shoes;
(4)         old sweats / warm-up suit to change into or put on over their muddy uniforms for the ride home;
(5)         an old blanket to cover your upholstery.

Rainy and muddy games are usually terrific fun. As a player (goalkeeper) I've always loved them and players usually have a ball playing muddy games. With the right preparation, parents, you need not panic at the idea of the ride home.      

As for practices, that is sometimes a subjective call. If its just drizzling or even raining and the temperature is not too cold, I generally like to keep the practice session. Experience and familiarity with playing in wet conditions can prove quite beneficial in match situations. For storming or freezing conditions, of course, practice would be canceled. My rule-of-thumb criteria is if the players are just going to get wet, I'd rather keep the practice. If it seems they're likely to catch cold or if there is lightning, I'll cancel.

When I do cancel, I try to reach all parents but sometimes we don't connect before practice time rolls around. If you haven't heard from me but still have question as to if I've canceled practice you should 1st check this site. If I decide to cancel, I’ll try to post by 2:00 in the afternoon of the practice day. You can also try to call me at 248-875-7300, however I’ll probably be unable to answer my phone after 3:00 most days.

As a last note on this subject, even if I do keep the practice but you as a parent don't feel comfortable with it, then, naturally, you should go with your own judgment. All I would ask is that you please let me know if you decide to have your daughter not attend so that I may adjust my practice session accordingly. Again, if you can't reach me at my office, please leave a voice mail message at 248-875-7300.

- K

Team Uniforms & Equipment
RSSC uniforms and other items are available for purchase at Soccer World at 1900 S Rochester Road located north off Hamlin and west off Rochester in the plaza where Outback Steakhouse, Staples Office Supply and Hamlin Pub are.

Wadd Sanna is the owner & proprietor and a very good friend of the club. His daughter Natalia playes for RSSC. Please support him with any of your soccer needs. He is very accomodating and always happy to help.

For practices please remember, every player is to bring a ball. Also, be sure bring shin guards and plenty of water for yourself.

Keep in mind, with each practice session, we learn and grow as a team. Sometimes even one missed session can leave a player behind from a team standpoint until there is a chance to catch up (such as with set plays). While on the one hand, every player can count on playing time during matches, I do take missed sessions and quality of sessions into account in making up each game plan. Since you have made a commitment to the team, your teammates have a right to expect your presence and full effort at practice so that we can all gain the most benefit out of each session as possible and make this the most rewarding season possible for everybody on the team.

I do understand that, sometimes, conflicting commitments (track, confirmation classes, etc.) may occasionally (not frequently) necessitate late arrival, early departure or even missed practice. I understand it but I do not like it and I do not want it to become a habit. Everybody has joined this team willingly and with the foreknowledge and understanding that practice is part of team play. Your teammates have the right to expect your presence at training sessions so that everybody is learning new skills, tactics and plays together and one person won't end up holding up the entire team's development. If you do know you are going to miss practice, it is your responsibility (not your parents') to inform me as far in advance as possible so I can change or adjust the team practice I have planned accordingly. I can be reached at 248-875-7300. You will note that this is a new contact number this year. I have relieved my old answering service of their services, but can now be reached directly at this number. If I am unavailable, please leave a voice mail message.

One of the most neglected positions of most youth teams is the goalkeeper – but not on this team. Anybody who has an interest in proper and dedicated goalkeeper training has that opportunity available to them on this team. In past years it has been my practice hold a “Keepers Only” practice once a week. Last year, the club saw fit to follow my lead and now offers keeper-specific training for all members of RYSL/RSSC. These sessions are conducted by club Director of Coaching, Mark Hamilton and club coach Rob Euashka – both very accomplished goalkeepers themselves. There are a great many benefits to training with other goalkeepers and I urge anybody on Pride who is interested in the position to attend these specialized sessions. If, for some reason, the club-offered training ceases, I will probably resume my old habit of individual training – because I think it is that important… and that beneficial. All players are welcome to attend. If you do attend, that does not mean you will be obligated to play during matches if you do not wish to (beyond the scope of my team policy regarding goalkeeper rotation.)

If there is a particular corner kick play, direct or indirect kick play that you are familiar with and would like to introduce for possible use in our matches, I urge you to diagram the play and show it to me so that we can practice the play as time allows. The same applies to any practice drills or games you would like me to consider for use in our team practices. I highly encourage your input.

We will establish TEAM RULES at our 1st full practice after spring break. Once established, I expect them to be observed.

Rochester Pride - RSC Lightning '96
Rochester Pride - RSC Lightning '96
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