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#57820 08/08/04 12:25 AM
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I am not sure what has happened to the ODP program since my last year in 1994, but here is how it used to be run....

Sometime in October or November, each region of South Carolina met on back to back weekends to pick a team. I was in the upstate and we met at Wofford for both weekends. Each day was about 3-4 hours of training, small sided and full sided games. After the first weekend, there was a cut and the remaining "pool players" returned the next weekend for the same schedule of events. From that, the Upstate Team was picked.

We met in Columbia in January and played the Mid and Lower State teams on Saturday. Sunday was also two games but the three teams consisted of approx 6 players from each team. From that the South Carolina State Pool was picked. The weekend before high school started, SC, NC and GA met for the Interstate game that was organized in the same manner as the weekend in Columbia.

I have a sincere desire to return ODP to that format, but there has to be a commitment from all coaches at all age levels to put any politics aside. There also has to be a commitment from the people running ODP to release coaches who put politics ahead of purity.

We have some awesome players in SC, and there is no reason our players cannot be better prepared for Region and National camp. That starts with eliminating the politics, and then the best of the best will again come out to ODP and then we can return to the format that saw some of players have the most success at ODP.

#57821 08/09/04 02:14 PM
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My oldest sons participated in SC ODP starting in 1988. It was a joke from that time until the youngest started college that ODP was nothing more than a fund-raiser for the National team. In fact, one of the national pool players at region camp told them as much. Back then, unless you were really exceptional, you had no chance of making the region team because the guys from previous years pretty much had a spot sewed up.
My current player, a girl, has had better luck. It seems that at least the girl's side of SC ODP is at least trying to field the best players that come out. If you would note that last sentence - that come out. The better players are not showing up in numbers. What do you think the reason is for this? Money? Lack of interest?

#57822 08/10/04 01:40 PM
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My daughter has player for the SC ODP for 3 years now in a row. The first year a lot of the best players showed up and has dwindled down every year. I really worry that we will not even be able to field a team next year.

Politics of picking the players does not seem to be a problem. I believe most parents feel that the coaches do their best to pick the best players available at the time. I really don't think money or politics is a current problem in SC ODP.

The problem comes into commitment of the coaches and the organization. I am not sure who is at fault. But in three years I bet my daughter has had at the most 9 practices combined over the 3 years. Other states are practicing once a week and we do it once every 2 months. The players and the parents are looking for a solid commitment by SCYSA to help make the teams successful at the region camp. Parents do not want to spend money on a losing cause and Players to do not want to waste their time on a losing cause. A lot of these players are finding their summers becoming packed with other camps and events, so a choice has to be made and I believe SC ODP loses its luster as time goes on. My daughter really loves playing for SC ODP. She really loves the idea of representing her state at regional camp. She really loves the other players she meets from around the state and she has had a really good time meeting the different coaches. But she becomes very frustrated by the lack of training and preperation for the region camp.

Okay I think I have rambled on enough.

#57823 08/11/04 06:27 PM
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I'm asking this question as honestly and as up-front as I know how (i.e., there's no intent here to be anything but straightforward). Have you communicated to SCYSA, the ODP administrator, or any of the coaches about the lack of practices versus other states? If you have, who have you spoken to and what have they said and/or done about it? If you haven't, do you know if anyone else has and what the response has been?

#57824 08/14/04 04:43 AM
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Mark,

I of course did ask that question and asked if I could help out in anyway possible. I was told by Mary that SCYSA did not want to interfere with the clubs and HS soccer clubs, that is why the tryouts are held after the state cup. I was also told that they didn't need any help.

I figured with that attitude it wasn't worth pursuing any further.

#57825 08/14/04 01:12 PM
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Chapindad: Understood. Thanks.

I spent several minutes looking around for ODP information in GA and NC, I couldn't find GA but did find the following for NC (girls) regarding number of practices:

NC
91 2
90 4
89 2
88 1

About the same rate as SC [I can't find the precise numbers on SCYSA.org anymore, so this is from memory]; but then again I heard that NC didn't do very well placing girls in region pools this year (I don't follow the boys side). I've heard, but can't confirm, that GA and TX have many more practices than SC does and I know that GA placed 57 total players into region pool [they proudly proclaim this at GASoccer.org] And of course, TX dominates.

I was told that this year that SC didn't place any girls into region pool in any age group. Assuming this is true; with 4.16% of the region III population and an age-group pool being 30-35 or so players then you might expect roughly a player or two a year per age group to make it -- thus out of the 90's, 89's, 88's, and 87's this result is a bit surprising.

In any case, without having as much experience as you do in ODP, here are what I've heard as the potential candidates for why SC is underperforming with respect to putting girls in the region pool:

1) Not enough practices. This might hurt our ability to be competitive in games, and in particular might hurt our offensive players ability to show talent. I've heard that most smaller state players chosen are defensive players (e.g., Cat Reddick, AL).

2) ODP coaches aren't focused on a goal of getting players on region pool. I've been told this, but my question would be if they're not then what are they focused on?

3) Clubs not strong enough. Our ability to develop players capable of playing on a regional or national team would seem to be somewhat dependent on whether these players are playing on club teams that are competitive regionally and nationally.

4) Best players don't try out. It does appear that over time players "give up" on ODP. It's not clear whether this is because of SC-ODP or ODP overall.

What other reasons are there and what am I missing?

#57826 08/15/04 01:32 AM
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At this year's Region III Boys 91 Regional Camp, the staff coaches held one keeper training session, somehow a list of GKs had been already been developed with the top 4 players already placed in the pool. It is not at all clear to me how this initial list was developed. Maybe from earlier subregional competitions. One 91 field player from SC was invited to the follow up national training camp, I guess a total of 100-120 kids from around the country were selected. Wish I knew what the ground rules were.

#57827 08/15/04 03:11 AM
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SCYSA needs to lets us know whether this is an important endeavor for them or not. If they have no commitment to success then we should go ahead shut it down until the commitment is there again.

Now that I have complained enough for everyone in the state. My daughter has really enjoyed the friendships that she has established through the ODP program. She has been able to meet players from all over the state and different age groups. She has also been exposed to the smaller schools of SC because they are the ones doing the coaching for the ODP programs. So despite SCYSA it does have its good points.

#57828 08/15/04 03:47 AM
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Chapin Dad

I agree with everything you have said. My daughter has played with yours, and has enjoyed the friendships she has developed.

I too would like to see more practices, and more of an effort to make South Carolina teams competitive at region camp. Sometimes I feel like we could be using the money spent more
effectively! It's obvious that not all the best players come out for SC ODP. That needs to change.

Instead of leaving everything up to the coach's discretion, I think there should be a minimum requirement set by SCYSA as to what they expect from the ODP coaches/players (boys and girls).

I would love to see South Carolina girls win something at region camp!

#57829 08/15/04 01:18 PM
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I have not figured out ODP. Except the $$$ part of it. My son is an 88 and has been participating in ODP since he was elgible. He has one more year left to participate and I don't know if he will or not. I have yet to see how this has or will benefit him. Everyone says the colleges coaches look to see if they participated in ODP. I know players that did not participate and received scholarships to play. Yes he has made some friends along the way and played with good players, but really what is it going to do for him? If it is to build friendships then I could send him to a summer camp and spend less $$$. He has been chosen to play in 5 pool games over the last 2 years, with the end result of zero SC players chosen for region pool (his age group). Over the last two years we have had 2 players (I think, maybe only 1) held over an extra week, but that is it. This year 9 NC players were held over. I don't understand it. I was under the impression that once you get to region camp it is more of an individual effort than a team effort. You are there to show what you can do. I was told that this year was the best chance SC would have due to the amount of SC coaches involved in the selections. Yes it is a fact that the best players do not try out. I have known this for a long time. I don't know if it is political or what the reason is. Although it does seem logical that if you have returning pool players year after year and if their game play has not declined then it is going to be hard to break through. My sons team has had a different coach every year and switched coaches once mid-way. We tried to practice 2 and sometimes 3 times a month this year ha. You never have the complete team at practice. It is hard to be at all the practices, especially the older ones due to preparation for regional play with your club team. I don't know it is frustrating when you know SC can and should do better.

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