The 2015-16 ODP Player Tryout Pools have been announced.
Please check your child's team page.
For all who tried out, we thank you for your effort. Our Technical Director Mike Barr penned this letter on behalf of Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer that went to all participants. It is well worth your time:
To the 2015 ODP Tryout Participants,
The Olympic Development Program is primarily developmental in nature. It’s also a program to recognize players who have potential to make regional and national teams. The players who made the ODP pool teams and possibly ODP have been recognized as being the elite players in their age group among the thousands of players who play soccer in Eastern Pennsylvania. For those selected your success is quite an achievement. Our goal is to provide top level training and competition to all the players and to assist each of you in reaching the next level. Only through hard work and commitment can you expect to achieve that goal.
I continually struggle with addressing players who did not make ODP teams or the pool. For many of you this may be the first time you did not make a team. We as coaches sometimes overlook a player's ability in the try-out process and that player comes back the following year as a regional player or in two cases actually makes a Youth National Team. Coaches are human and very capable of making mistakes in the identification process. Don't be discouraged but understand all of us will be faced with other selection processes throughout our lives whether it is in sports, the arts, AP classes, college or future employment. No one is guaranteed they will not fail or be recognized in an endeavor.
In all honesty, the secret to future success may be failing at something you really want. If you are willing to persevere and overcome what may be perceived as shortcomings by others, you will achieve success. Maintaining optimism when others around you look to find blame in the methods of selection or provide excuses to you should be your goal throughout life. A player who experiences setbacks or failures can be more successful in the future.
Making the Olympic Development Program does not assure players achieving success in the future. It does not guarantee scholarships or even the opportunity to play in college. An individual’s work ethic, determination and confidence will carry more weight than being selected to ODP or any elite level team.
Bill Gates, Walt Disney, Albert Einstein, Oprah Winfrey, Thomas Edison, J.K. Rowling, Michael Jordan and Steven Spielberg—to name only a few—all experienced setbacks or were told they were not good enough when they were young. Arjen Robben and David Luiz were both rejected by Chelsea. Chris Waddle, perhaps England’s most exciting player in the 80’s and 90’s was working at a sausage factory and rejected by Sunderland and Coventry before signing with Newcastle. Carli Lloyd was cut from the United States Under-21 team. Morgan Brian did not make her ODP team and is now a star on the US National Team.
Educators are now recognizing that successful students and athletes are the ones with exceptional character strengths, like optimism, persistence and social intelligence. They are the ones who are able to recover from a bad grade, a poor performance or a coach or teacher not recognizing their talent and have a firm resolve to do better next time. They bounce back from disappointment, resist the urge to feel sorry for themselves and do not blame others for the outcome.
Soccer probably plays a huge role in your life at this time and in many instances your parents as well; but it is still only a game and eventually will be a small part of your development as an adult.
Ultimately, you will not be judged by your soccer playing ability but on the effort you put forth in contributing to your family and community, providing happiness to others and persevering in all aspects of your life.
Don't allow not being selected to get you down. Embark on an effort to become stronger and better at soccer if that is what you really want or look for other areas to achieve success. In each of us is a hero who only needs a positive outlook and determination to develop and be recognized.
Michael Barr and Kelly Connor
Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer