Launched in 2016 by US Club Soccer, 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.
The Players First License is created to differentiate clubs in the marketplace that are committed to providing an exceptional player development experience through the proper facilitation of relationships with their coaches, parents, and players. To qualify as a Players First licensed club, Blaine Soccer Club met the program's standards of comprehensive Club Development, Coaching Development, Player Development, Parent Engagement & Education, and Player Health & Safety.
On the award, BSC Director of Coaching, Scott Macleod, said:
"This award is a nice recognition for the hard work all of the coaching staff have put forth the past couple of years. The club moved to a new coaching model -- appointing full-time staff coaches at all the younger ages and also to many of the older travel teams -- and we really feel this is starting to pay dividends in giving all players a great environment to play soccer and develop. Not only are the players improving rapidly, but so are our coaches. Our coach education program, which is now in its second year, consists of a collection of staff and guest coaches that meet every week to run coaching sessions and learn from each other. It's clear how beneficial this program has been for pushing each of our coaches to new levels so that they can better serve the players."
On the award, BSC Executive Director, Noel Quinn, said:
“This significant award is a result of a dedicated and professional approach to player development where the individual player is at the core of our vision. To be a Players First licensed club is a recognition of our investment in player development and the commitment to improving over the past few years. BSC will continue to strive to be the best. Being able to join a select group of clubs across the USA who are creating the best possible environment for its players is an honor that few could have thought possible just a few years ago. We are humbled and excited to be included in the first ever class with US club Soccer and we look forward to the future and serving our players even more.”
Blaine Soccer Club is honored as the only Players First licensed club from Minnesota and one of only six clubs in the Midwest.
Soccer clubs are the foundation on which American soccer will maximize growth and long-term success on the field. Players First provides an array of resources to aid in the growth and development of clubs.
Clubs should encourage their coaches to continually seek out new educational opportunities, and Players First provides resources to help coaches to grow.
Players First provides tools to clubs and coaches to encourage their players to individually invest in their own development.
PARENT ENGAGEMENT & EDUCATION
Players First provides a framework for parents to understand how to value their child’s soccer experience, replacing the reliance on match outcomes, which has served to hinder proper player development methodology.
PLAYERS HEALTH & SAFETY
Players First provides resources to help clubs and coaches better ensure the health and safety of their players. US Club Soccer believes Player Health & Safety is its first and foremost responsibility to members.