Antonia 'Toni' Land JuNE 2020, Rfca Quarterly NEWSLETTER

To access our previous RFCA newsletter with the marvelous Mercy Akide Udoh from VA Rush, please click here.

Rush Soccer counts on numerous talented, brilliant female coaches and personalities, and we want you to meet them. This quarter we present the wonderful

Antonia 'Toni' Land!

Antonia "Toni" Land, CO Rush Youth Girls DOC, and also a member of The Rush Coaches Female Alliance is an awesome, energetic, and fun person that we want you meet.

Originally from Wheat Ridge, Colorado, she started playing at the sweet age of 3, developing a fierce and competitive spirit thanks to her two older siblings. Her first steps in soccer where taken at the very original Rush club: Colorado Rush.

Below you can find some of her career highlights:

  • Played for Colorado Rush's from U11 to U18.
  • Played alongside Lindsey Horan and was coached by the President of Rush Soccer, Tim Schulz.
  • Played 3 seasons at the University of Louisiana Monroe Warhawks Football.
  • She's currently the Head Coach of the U11-U13 Girls Youth Division at Colorado Rush.
  • She's Colorado Rush's DOC for the Competitive Youth Girls Elite Program "Girls Academy".

Jess Nash, current DOC for Rush Wisconsin and a member of the RFCA, covers Toni's story with her on a fun, engaging Podcast Recording available for all at the Rush Coach Development Website, as well as in Spotify.

One of the charming features of her Toni's story is that she never really expected to be a coach, she says, as she actually started coaching at a local club as a favor when she got back home after graduating.

"I didn’t really know necessarily what direction I wanted to go, if going back to school or not, I didn't really have a plan at the time"

Moreover, Toni shares in this recording that her coaching career in Rush started, in fact, with another unexpected event...

"...As I was saying, I started coaching as a favor, and one day I happened to coach against Nik Penn's team, the Executive Director of Rush Soccer, and he ended up calling Tim Schulz and said -hey we need to get her on board.. so next thing I know I am in an interview with the Youth Girls Director at Colorado Rush and full time employed..."

That was a great opportunity that came as a sign to follow her path as a coach.

Along the recording, we couldn't avoid asking about her experience as a Colorado Rush player, when coached by Tim Schulz and playing alongside Lindsey Horan, a question she's very much used to hearing every other day. She still highlights how fortunate she was to have Tim as part of her career and to played with Lindsey:

"I was fortunate to have him take part of my career... When people ask me I always reply that Tim is just Passion, he instilled so much passion on every minute of everyday he was around us... He loves the game so much and he loves the players and that enjoyment is something really special that I have experienced with him."
"Lindsey, on her end, I mean... she was an unbelievable player... just her ability... even at that time you would want to sit and watch the way she would take players. She would do so much for our team... I was fortunate to play with her as well, and to be good friends is just a cherry on top, so to know her personally and still have a relationship with her is really great"

When asked about her coaching philosophy, Toni gave us some good insights on what she bases it on:

"...Players need to step on the field and bring the controllables... You know, there are so many things you can't control in soccer, but there are others that you can. The same applies for coaching: I can control my work ethic, I can control my effort, I can control my coachability..."

Toni highlights the importance of attitude not only from a competitive standpoint but also from a player development one.

"When you have an attitude like that, as a player or as a coach, you're like a sponge, you can become better every single day"

In reference to the Rush Female Coaches Alliance and the evolution of females in the sport, she adds:

"I thinks is great and I am honored to take place in the program. In a predominant male industry like this one, we (as women) have to persevere and have a drive for what we want to accomplish and know that it can be accomplished. I think this alliance and the network we are creating is not only helpful for current directors or female coaches but also for young female players to see a pathway that is being created..."

Thank you Toni, Thank you Jess. Rush Soccer is proud of you and all the female coaches that make our club better every day. Go Rush!

Learn More About The Rush Female Coaches Alliance.

The Rush Female Coaches Alliance is beautiful program in which we highlight, on a quarterly basis, some of the amazing female coaches that are part of Rush Soccer.

If you want to know more about this program or know an excelling female coach whose profile should be highlighted, email coachdevelopment@rushsoccer.com