Some comments from another board:
ODP in 1990s and early 2000s was a lot more relevant then, than now. With the increase in quality coaches at the club and high school level and of course the rise of the DA and ECNL, ODP is just another thing to spend $1,000 on. I believe there is still some merit for ODP, particularly if a player is from a rural or non-traditional soccer area, but for players already involved in DA/ECNL and attending Showcase/ID events, it's hard to justify spending that kind of money.
I have mixed feelings. My son made the State team and went to Alabama region 3 camp. But there, for 2 years in a row, it was pretty obvious that the coaches were only interested in boys that were more physically developed than anything else. Yes, there were a couple of exceptions. But generally speaking, if your son didnít hit puberty by 10 or 11, then by 13 or 14 he just wonít be sufficiently physically developed to move on. Almost the same thing could be said for USDA. Which is a shame. Just because a person develops physically first, it doesnít mean that they will be the better player in the long term. We wonít be going back next year. These days there are many more alternatives for your son to get college exposure than just ODP.
I agree, my son doesnít want to go back next year. Says it was a waste of his time. The truth is, I donít want to push him. Between club soccer, high school soccer and all the showcase tournaments, we could use the break. I donít want him to burn out anyhow.
Trying to be identified for region team is tough with the many states elite talent. This year more quality training and talks in between the games. Like to hear our child tell us the names of the college coaches and that the training is great. They are having fun at camp and practicing their game with new players. ODP doing a better job putting the schedule out there ahead for the parents and scouting coaches. When ODP takes the focus off identifying and that those not pulled up for pool training are getting small group excellent training from college coaches makes the camp a great one.
If your playing DA, ODP is an unnecessary luxury. If your not playing DA, then by all means try it out. The opportunity to be seen and coached in a more intimate setting by college coaches has its merits. You can make the argument that ODP is no longer means what it used to though. With so many showcases for ECNL and DA, ODP can be a redundant.
The level of play and competition has declined significantly over the past 3 years. My daughter started ODP in 8th grade and now a junior did not participate in this years Region camp despite her invitation. The higher level players have moved on to just ECNL and are all attending college camps instead.
I love ODP and think it was awesome for her at the younger ages. It was a great program.