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ODP- what's your opinion?

Discussion in 'Youth & HS Soccer' started by chitownseadog, Dec 26, 2006.

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  1. ucraymond

    ucraymond Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Of course I believe it, I've seen what he can do. Do you really think Freddy has less skill with the ball than fellow left mids Beasley or Convey? That's not what's holding him back, though he has plenty of other things to work on. JohnR could be right that he's in his own category and not something to generalize from. But, I rather suspect it's not a coincidence he started out in Ghana, and he wouldn't have been the same kind of player if he'd spent his whole life in DC.

    I completely agree--how could I not--that picking players based on their ethnicity is dumb. But that's not to say that cultural groups of players don't have, on average, certain attributes. You can see the proof in the summer of every year that's divisible by four. Apparently Hackworth is finding useful attributes in African immigrant populations. What of it? So are the French and English teams.

    In days of yore the USMNT had some use for a Uruguayan and a couple guys of Argentine origin. Now there are a couple of twentysomething prospects who spent part of their youth in Brazil. Again, probably not a coincidence. It's not just a matter of expanding the talent pool, though that helps too. I think there are also things these kids bring in that are, GENERALLY speaking, missing from American soccer culture. Heavily recruiting immigrants is just a stopgap until we can change the wider culture.
     


  2. Lensois

    Lensois Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2004
    As an ODP coach I would EXPECT to be spoken to in that way if I didn't play a kid all day after he and his family drove three minutes to play let alone three hours.
     
  3. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2000
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I like your attitude. However, your bosses disagree. We ODP parents were subjected to a lecture from a psychologist in which we were told how we damage our kids by watching their soccer practices (and even games). "Do you go into your kid's classroom? Do you watch the teacher?"

    Annoying at the time, funny now. I realize that it was preventative medicine, to forestall the situation when the entire training session consisted of kids born in the first half of the year playing for "European scouts," while those born in the second half watched. Not good if the parents watched that first hand.
     
  4. HiFi

    HiFi New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2004

    Sheesh. With stories like these, it's no wonder kids increasingly don't want anything to do with ODP.
     


  5. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

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    Jun 23, 2000
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    They had the kids come for the training session. The olders played. The youngers watched. The session ended. The kids went home.

    Mom I knew had a custody battle that day, had to go to court to get her kid released for this critical ODP session. Yep, he was a younger.

    She doesn't get mad easily, and she's still mad at that one.
     
  6. PERFDBDAN

    PERFDBDAN New Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    John,

    I have ased around Region Ii, and this has got to be an Illinois issue. I KNOW my State is not as you describe and others swear they aren't.

    Sorry you and yours suffer.
     
  7. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

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    Jun 23, 2000
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    No worry. Suffering is over.

    Tell us some good stories then. I'm always happy to hear of better things happening elsewhere.
     
  8. PERFDBDAN

    PERFDBDAN New Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    Good Stories?

    The rain will start after practice tonight.

    My taxes are done and filed, and for those whose taxe returns I could not finish extensions have been filed.

    Dinner is cooked and so is Imus.

    How's that?
     
  9. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

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    Jun 23, 2000
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Not a bad start. There is still time for me to send you my taxes, too. A beautiful evening, this.
     
  10. Rommul

    Rommul Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Location:
    NYC
    Do you agree with this outlook?

    Shouldn't there be less emphasis on selection and more emphasis on skills acquisition?
     
  11. HiFi

    HiFi New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2004

    Why should there be less emphasis on selection at the highest levels? There will always be better players, and those better players need to be trained at a different level and need to play at a different level than those that may be less skilled.
     
  12. scoachd1

    scoachd1 Member+

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    Jun 2, 2004
    Location:
    Southern California
    Ironically one of the biggest contributing factors to high performing schools is heavy parent involvement - both with their children and with the school itself. Obviously involvement can be inappropriate. But the solution is not no involvement and leave it the "professionals."
     
  13. scoachd1

    scoachd1 Member+

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    Location:
    Southern California
    One of the biggest upsides he's finding is that they don't keep really good birth records. Its not just soccer and Africans either. In baseball there is Danny ElMonte (a very good 14 year old looked like the greatest pitcher ever throwing to 12 year old batters) and a bunch of Latin American players that suddenly have different birthdays once they became established.

    Adu's a skilled player. But now that he's much smaller than everyone and continues to be so rather than being much bigger, he's far from dominating. In fact, there are other players that are being looked at as better prospects at his "age."

    As for the culture being a big component of success I agree. There is a well founded argument that it takes about 10 years of persistent practice to become proficient at a skill. If Freddy started at 4 in Ghana but 8 in the US he'd be about 4 years behind. Add to the fact that schools in Ghana likely don't ban soccer for fears of lawsuits and you can tack on several more years many US fall behind. Then top it off with an often dysfunctional identification program and things don't look so good.
     
  14. Rommul

    Rommul Member

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    I think the whole "trained at a different level" thing is pure nonesense that appeals mostly to parents who want to believe that their kids are special.

    If this whole "trained at a different level" thing were so valuable we would see a stark difference between players who particpipate in ODP and players who don't.

    Why don't we see that difference?
     
  15. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

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    Jun 23, 2000
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    It probably applies to kids from small-time clubs.

    It certainly doesn't apply to kids from the major clubs, not at the State or Regional level, and very possibly not even at the National level.

    Also, there are calendar issues. My son plays against kids 11 months older in club soccer than at ODP. His club team would destroy his State ODP team. So the only "different level" for him was, he got to wallop kids during ODP training, whereas for club training he was often the one getting whupped.
     
  16. PERFDBDAN

    PERFDBDAN New Member

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    May 6, 2004
    John is right about ODP being different for different players, but it is more than just being from small time clubs. How ODP is run differs from State to State and even within a State from age group to age group and between boys and girls.

    People often assume that what they experience with ODP in their child's or children's age groups is the norm for the entire program. Not so. This makes comparisons and most general conclusions on forums such as this near meaningless.

    I wish ODP would remove the word "development" from its name. It will not and that is a decision made not by anyone involved with soccer, but by the US Olympic Committee, who actually owns the name and the servicemarks. I wish Associations that administer ODP would remove the word "development" from any listing of the benefits of ODP, but they will not for ODP does lead to development of players, but not as most here conceive of that concept.

    Development is often seen as the improvement of the player, their growth in the ability to perform in a game. A logical, reasonable interpretation of the word and one that every coach and most parents involved in ODP with top programs would instantly see as the meaning. It is one I read into the langauage for years and I have two children who passed through the program making State Teams and another who is now on the State Team and has a chance of going further.

    These players, my own children included, did not develop in ODP. They developed in their clubs. They play on teams and for clubs almost all would recognize as being among the best in their Regions.

    But, what many people forget is that soccer is largely run at the youth level be people with little experience playing the game and whose children are not likely to reach such levels or ever play for the club teams whose members populate ODP squads. These people are often hostile to ODP, see it as an elitist group and if they see any benefit in it at all it is in the opportunity for children who never played for a top program to:

    QUOTE=ucraymond;11271881] Given that there are six advertised benefits for the program and the first two are: six advertised benefits


    1. Development as a player. The opportunity to train and play with the best player's in one's age group.
    2. Quality instruction from nationally licensed coaches.

    [/QUOTE]

    For these players the only chance they will have to experience 1 and 2 is most likely ODP. That is seen as a chance to develop by many throughout soccer. And, for them it is. This is where John is right.

    It is not a chance for the elite to develop - they already have.

    This is why many States over a decade ago started PDP (Player Develop Program). It was an attempt to not water down ODP. It failed.

    To suggest that ODP is pathetic is richly undeserved. If you go to any country and see how they conduct trials and selection of Youth National Teams you will hear almost all of the same complaints. They will moan, as many do here of incompetent coaches and a program that is poorly funded in many cases.

    Feel free to complain, but instead of being like most, explain how you would do it better. Where you would get the coaches - and pay for them. At the same time explain how you are actively involved, or well become involved, to accomplish these ideas. If you are only bitching, and nothing more, you are worse than worthless. If this matters for your child, and matters enough for you to whine, why aren't you involved? If it is not worth your time, you have indicated that the matter is at best trivial.

    In my own State there is much I would do if I only could find the money, including upgrading the coaching staff. You get coaches who select their own club's players, their own and their friends' chilren, who make well meaning but poor evaluations, when you cannot afford better.

    The dilemma for many State Associations is how to price ODP in a manner that does not drive potential players away and yet raises enough money to operate.

    Even with these problems, the system probably finds 95% of the potential players. One way to verify this is to look at the players who are selected by Regions after coming through the State Associations and those tapped by the Y League or "discovered" in US Club ID camps. They are almost always the same. There will always be a few you can point to who were not placed on a State Team or made the State Team and not the Regional, but the overall percentage is not that great. No reason not to get better; but, no reason to label the system pathetic or dysfunctional.
     
  17. Rommul

    Rommul Member

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    NYC
    That I can agree with. That in itself could be useful if gets kids exposure that can lead to permanent moves to a more challenging environment.
     
  18. Lensois

    Lensois Member

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    May 19, 2004
    Lack of consistent training, perhaps? At best ODP teams train once a week, many far less than that. There's another thread discussing the number of training session per week needed to better develop players and your question ties right into that. It's an apples and oranges comparison at this point, IMO.
     
  19. HiFi

    HiFi New Member

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    Nov 2, 2004
    This is not the way it workd in hockey or tennis. Or any olympic sport such as gymanstics, swimming, etc.

    In those sports, the best players are put together at the highest level. If you are going to fully develop any player at any level in any sport, you have to put like-skilled players together and give them appropriate training.

    You don't see the difference in the ODP kids because it isn't a development vehicle, and as you can read from this thread, there is a gross difference from state to state, region to region, and coach to coach. The process is flawed. There is not an agreement that the ODP process is without bias, and that the coaches are objective and accurate. During the tryout process in my state, the coaches apologize to the parents in advance because they know they are going to pick the wrong players. They don't even have confidence in their own ability to pick the best players. And that doesn't even begin to address the issue that some of ther best players don't even show up to the tryouts.....

    The parents have nothing to do with it. The skill level of the players decide where they go.
     
  20. thekeepersdad

    thekeepersdad New Member

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    Apr 15, 2007
    Bottom line is if your kid CLEARLY stands out amongst the crowd do it, if not don't. Save the time and money and take a family vacation. A lot of parents will tell you that ODP is the path to college soccer but don't buy the hype. I personally know alot players that either skipped or dropped out of the program and still ended up with quite respectable college soccer careers. What you will find is that while making the regional pool can help move a kid's soccer career along not making it doesn't mean they are a lesser talent and should give up the sport. As soccerboy9 points out there are a lot of different agendas and viewpoints in the program. Getting to the regional pool is often more about the individual relationships within the program and selling job the state coaches do than about the on field activities at the Rider Cup or the mini camps. As far as the training goes, while there are a lot of qualified coaches in the program most people walk away finding that the constant sense of audition that prevades the environment detracts from the learning experience and their kids don't take much away from the training.
     
  21. HiFi

    HiFi New Member

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    Nov 2, 2004
    I know of several kids that are currently visiting prospective high profile colleges. They mention they are ODP players, and it gets little notice from the soccer coaches. They mention what club they play for, and the coaches will see them on the spot.
     
  22. CVAL

    CVAL Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2004
    Players do not develop in clubs or ODP players develop at home. There is not anywhere near enough time spent with a club to fully develop a player.

    This is why kids of parents that have played are good. In there spare time they go outside and kick the ball around with dad or mom and are guided on proper technigue sometimes without even knowing.
     
  23. Rommul

    Rommul Member

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    How many like skilled players did Alex Rodriquez or Wayne Gretzky play with when they were developing their talent.

    Let me make it even easier.

    How many like skilled players did Landon Donovan play with when he was developing.

    I think you are going out of your way to justify this all star team mentality.


    There seems to be a lot of disagreement concerning that.
     
  24. ClarkC

    ClarkC Member

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    Dec 28, 2005
    Location:
    Virginia
    My oldest developed quite well in ODP. We are from a college town with one club, not a major city with numerous competing clubs. We have some very good travel team coaches. But, when he first started in ODP, he had the poorest coach in the club travel program.

    So, I agree with PERFDBFAN that it is hard to generalize. In fact, I disagree with his generalization that the word Development should be removed from ODP. :) Our ODP district and state training sessions in Virginia have been very focused on development.
     
  25. scoachd1

    scoachd1 Member+

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    Jun 2, 2004
    Location:
    Southern California
     
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