What Drives Success

by Mark Parsons and Thorns FC Players

Mark Parson’s, Head Coach Portland Thorns FC 

Presents “What Drives Success” Programming Series


Mark Parsons, media day, 2019

Beyond Athletics

Beyond Athletics

We hold our Academy players to a high standard and expect all players to excel on and off the field, in their academics and community, including in school and in the community.  Each player is encouraged and supported in all aspects of development; academic, social, psychological, and physiological. 

To achieve this, the Academy provides players with:

  • Frequent opportunities to participate in community events
  • Participation in Timbers/Thorns "Stand Together" Program
  • Top level coaching and training from our USSF licensed coaches
  • Sports Psychology Sessions
  • Sports Nutrition Education
  • Monthly events and opportunities to engage with Thorns FC first team and coaching staff
  • Social Media Training
  • College advising from Thorns Academy staff
  • Opportunities to view Thorns training and games…seeing as much professional soccer as possible.
  • Attendance at Thorns FC home games

Baseline Testing with TALO


2020/2021 Academy Programming

2020/2021 Programming Events

Sports Performance

The Thorns Academy works with Team TALO to deliver performance training and education for our athletes and coaching staff on all areas of fitness, strength, speed, agility and recovery.  Our players participate in virtual education sessions, quarterly baseline testing and regular strength and conditioning sessions with Team TALO.  Garga Caserta is the owner and founder of Team TALO and has been coaching top level athletes and teams for over 15 years, including the Portland Thorns.  We are honored to be working with one of the best Sports Performance Coaches in the NW!

Sports Psychology

To help our Academy players reach their full potential on the field and in life, building a strong mental mindset is key.  Renee Pirkl, licensed psychologist and performance specialist, uses a holistic approach to help our players build resilience and maximize their performance.  Our players will engage in regular scheduled programming throughout the course of the season. 

Sports Nutrition

Optimal performance goes hand in hand with the right nutrition.  Our nutrition programming equips our players on the best foods to eat to maximize performance and recovery, eliminate and reduce inflammation, proper supplementation for female athletes and pre and post-game nutrition.  Helping to equip our players with the knowledge and education on proper nutrition for athletic performance is paramount for the success of our players.


Programming Partners

Coming Soon

Thorns First Team Coaching



Portland Thorns FC, Assistant Coach Sophie Clough, runs a training session for the Thorns Academy 2008 team at Providence Park.