Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Players First! Part I - Player Health & Safety

Over the past two years, Prince William Soccer has adopted a philosophy of:
  • Players First! 
  • Club 
  • Team 
Our aim is to approach all decisions to be in the best interest of the individual players within the framework of team competition. We have introduced this approach in presentations and town hall meetings as a new way of tackling the player development equation.

In August 2015, US Club Soccer introduced its Players First philosophy "to help make the youth soccer culture more nurturing and holistic in the way it measures and values each player's experience."

The philosophy is based on five pillars:
  • Player Health & Safety
  • Coaching Development
  • Club Development
  • Player Development
  • Parent Engagement & Education
This five-part series will detail the programming and initiatives adopted by Prince William Soccer in each of the pillars.


Concussion Protocol
Beginning August 1, 2014, PWSI adopted concussion protocols that includes mandatory annual concussion certification for all select coaches as well as return to play standards. Concussion certification will become mandatory for all PWSI coaches, including recreational and classic coaches beginning January 1, 2016.

The U.S. Soccer Development Academy has mandated concussion baseline testing for all Academy players and we are working with local organizations to hopefully expand this baseline testing to all select players.

Sentara NVMC & Nova Orthopedic and Spine Care
PWSI's partnership with Sentara provides Certified Athletic Trainers for all home U.S. Soccer Development Academy and VPL/Virginia NPL. 

Additionally, Sentara ATC's are also on site for PWSI tournaments - DMV Premier Cup, Holiday Shootout and Icebreaker.

Our partnership with Nova Spine and Orthopedic and Sentara provide our members priority care access at both Sentara Lake Ridge and Nova Spine and Orthopedic (Dr. Layfield).

ACL Screening
This fall, approximately 225 female select players participated in ACL screening through Explosive Performance. These results will help the individual players/families as well as our staff develop strategies to lessen the injury rate of our players.

Injury & ACL Prevention 
Beginning August 2015, all U15 and older select teams and the Development Academy are required to adopt the FIFA 11+ injury prevention program.

The 15-exercise program was development by international experts from FIFA's Medical Assessment and Research Centre specifically for amateur athletes.

Part II will describe the areas PWSI has invested in the development of our coaches.

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