Philosophical Commitments of a Players First Club
• Players First™ represents our club’s commitment to placing the long-term interests of each individual player at the heart of every decision in structuring, operating, and managing our club.
• Players First™ represents our club’s commitment to providing a holistic approach in player development for all of our players, recognizing that the soccer experience must include lessons and opportunity both on the field and off.
• Players First™ represents our club’s commitment as professionals in youth development to expect ongoing learning, education and development from all of our staff members in order to ensure that our players have the benefit of best-in-class information and resources in teaching and training young athletes.
• Players First™ represents our club’s commitment to engage with and educate parents to help them understand and embrace the appropriate expectations and roles for them in their child’s overall soccer and athletic development experience.
Players First licensing is led by a robust application, in which clubs prove their commitment to Players First, its philosophy and the five pillars: Club Development, Coaching Development, Player Development, Parent Engagement & Education and Player Health & Safety.
When clubs apply to become licensed, they’re extensively reviewed by US Club Soccer. Then, they’re either approved in the same term of which they applied, or their applications remain open for up to six months to allow them to meet any additional requirements necessary for licensing. About one-third of all approved clubs have been accepted after their initial evaluations required them to raise standards. This process – and the results – overwhelmingly prove that Players First licensing is elevating standards in youth soccer.
The Players First community is diverse, featuring variations of club infrastructure, levels of national prominence and extending to suburbs, cities and rural areas alike. All these clubs share at least one commonality: the Players First philosophy.
Players First is a branded, holistic club soccer experience for parents and players, which emphasizes the development of each individual to his or her full potential, and helps parents make better choices about where their children should play. All Players First-licensed clubs stand out locally and nationally as improving the club soccer experience.
“We believe this to be the most rigorous and comprehensive attempt in U.S. Soccer history to identify those clubs that have demonstrated a commitment to creating the kind of infrastructure and culture necessary to provide the best overall environment for players,” said Kevin Payne, US Club Soccer CEO.