Editor’s Note: Every quarter, US Club Soccer will announce the most recent class of Players First-licensed clubs. In the weeks to follow, those new clubs will be highlighted with Q&As from their directors.
Question: Why did Titans FC San Antonio apply for Players First licensing?
Martin Smith, Director of Coaching of Titans FC San Antonio: US Club Soccer is setting the standards for Club Development and Coaching Education. The partnership with LaLiga shows the intent of US Club Soccer with having the chance for clubs and coaches to learn from some of the top educators in the Spanish professional game. Players First licensing is a great initiative, which focuses on education and ensuring that clubs create a holistic learning environment. This also holds us accountable, and continues to make us work hard to provide, and meet the standards set. In turn, this makes not only our coaches and our culture better, but our players better, as well - which is the most important factor. Providing a professional, fun and educational learning environment for every player and family member associated with us is critical.
Question: What does it mean for Titans FC San Antonio to now be an official Players First-licensed club?
Smith: We are delighted to have been accepted as a Players First-licensed club. It allows us to be recognized as providing a platform where young players of all abilities can play, learn and have fun in a professional environment. As mentioned previously, this will hold us accountable and will help our leadership continue to raise our standards to provide the best all round experience. Having access to the many benefits offered is going to help improve the quality of our club and coaches.
Question: What makes Players First licensing different from other initiatives or programs your club has participated in?
Smith: For me, I think the Players First licensing is different to other programs, as it is bringing some of the best clubs and educators together who are like minded and share similar ideas on what effective player development looks like. This will allow further collaboration between individuals and clubs, which is only going to improve and grow the grassroots game in the USA.
Question: What would you like the parents of Titans FC San Antonio to know about what this means to them?
Smith: The message we want our members to know is that we have a passion for soccer, especially youth soccer. We strive to be the best we can be and offer exceptional programs and services. We take what we do seriously and we always have their sons' and daughters' best interest at heart. We hope that by working hard to maintain standards of a Players First-licensed club, we show how much we care about developing their child and ensuring they have a life-long love of the game, long after they have left our club.
A National Association member of the U.S. Soccer Federation, US Club Soccer fosters the growth and development of soccer clubs in order to create the best possible environment for players of all ages.
Anchored by Players First and its five pillars of Club Development, Coaching Development, Player Development, Parent Engagement & Education and Player Health & Safety, US Club Soccer offers registration, league- and cup-based competition platforms, player identification and a variety of other programming, resources and services.
US Club Soccer is sponsored by Nike and supported by LaLiga through a technical partnership.