Q: Why did Arkansas Comets apply for Players First licensing?
Paul Kimbrough, Executive Director: At Arkansas Comets we are always trying to upgrade our player experience in our organization. We see Players First as a major initiative to help evaluate and improve our club. The application process demonstrated elite national standards in club development, coaching development, player development, parent engagement/education and player health/safety. From top to bottom, Arkansas Comets strives to be a leader in our local soccer community and Players First licensing demonstrates that our standards here in Arkansas align with an elite national standard.
Q: What does it mean for Arkansas Comets to now be an official Players First-licensed club?
Kimbrough: Players First licensing proves our commitment to providing a holistic club soccer experience for parents and players. On and off the field, Arkansas Comets strives to develop each individual to his or her full potential. We believe this recognition helps parents make better choices about where their athletes should play. Players First licensing is youth soccer’s “Gold Standard.” This license helps us stand out as a pioneer in improving the club soccer experience for players and parents.
Q: What makes Players First licensing different from other initiatives or programs your club has participated in?
Kimbrough: Players First licensing is a unique opportunity because it evaluates all levels of our club structure. Through Players First, we are joining a community of like-minded soccer clubs from across the United States. The immediate response has been impressive both from inside and outside our membership. Players First already brings national and international attention to our club as we look to provide the best possible youth soccer experience in northwest Arkansas.
Q: What would you like the parents of Arkansas Comets to know about what this means to them?
Kimbrough: We want our parents to know that we always focus on the player in every decision. The player is the building block of our club. The Players First license shows that we are committed to improving the soccer environment every day. We are constantly self-reflecting on what we can do to give a better experience for the player. Players First truly is a philosophy for us, not just a name.
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.
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