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 Schwaben Athletic Club apply for Players First licensing?
Thomas Gansauge, Director of Coaching of Schwaben Athletic Club: Schwaben’s philosophy is centered on player development. Our player development philosophy encompasses players, coaches and parents, while offering each group educational resources to be more informed - on and off the field. Parent workshops, coaching education and player workshops are offered throughout the year. After reading about Players First, it seemed like we had a similar mission, and the five pillars of Players First aligned with what Schwaben has been pursuing as a club. We also wanted to see if we had met the standards set by US Club Soccer, to be evaluated by an outside eye and continue our commitment to grow.
Question: What does it mean for Schwaben Athletic Club to now be an official Players First-licensed club?
Gansauge: The Players First licensing is the benchmark for a U.S. youth soccer club. We are incredibly honored and proud to have met the standards. We are excited to share the new resources with our membership to continue holistic development.
Question: What makes Players First licensing different from other initiatives or programs your club has participated in?
Gansauge: Players First licensing is more rigorous and takes into account a holistic approach other programs have not.
Question: What would you like the parents of Schwaben Athletic Club to know about what this means to them?
Gansauge: Schwaben AC has a proven track record of successfully following through on the holistic development on and off the field of our youth players. Through this licensing, not only will coaches and players have more resources to learn, parents will be given more tools to help with effective parent engagement that will benefit their children’s experience.
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.