What are the Benefits of Participating in US Youth Soccer ODP?
By: Kim Maurer, NLSA Trainer, ODP Coach, HS Coach
1. Development as a player. The opportunity to train and play with the best players in one’s age group.
- I have been a part of the ODP program for the past 13 years and I believe the best benefit for participating in the ODP is playing with and against the best players in your age group in the State. Practicing with high caliber players throughout the year allows you to bring your game to the next level.
- ODP coaches are required to have a soccer license from US Soccer or a National License at the highest level they are able to achieve
3. Quality competition. Games against other state association ODP teams.
- Throughout the ODP season, New Jersey partners with EPYSA (Eastern Penn.), Eastern NY, Delaware, and Virginia to compete in various friendlies in preparation for the ODP tournament. Coaching during these friendlies allows me to witness the abundance of talent in NJ. NJ competes at the highest level and has become a Regional (Region 1) power house.
4. Exposure to regional and national team coaches.
- During the ODP tournament, regional and national team coaches watch games and select a variety of players from different states to compete at Regional Camp. Players are selected based off their technical ability, tactical awareness, fitness and athletic ability, and psychological component of the game. Once these players are selected to regional camp, they are training and competing against the highest caliber players from other states. A few players are invited to National camp where they will be trained by the national team coaches in their age group.
5. The opportunity to represent one’s state, region, or country in competition.
- There is nothing greater than being selected as an ODP, regional or national player and being given the opportunity to play for the crest on the front of your soccer jersey. It is an honor and a bragging right to be selected as one of the top players and to represent the State of New Jersey and/or the United States of America on the soccer field. Knowing all the hard work that was put into the game of soccer has paid off and you are able to represent your state and nation on center stage.
6. Exposure to college coaches.
- Throughout the years, I have had the privilege of working with coaches from different colleges and universities. Coaches from The College of New Jersey, Rutgers, Rutgers Newark, Monmouth, Stockton, Loyola, Villanova, and Manhattan have instructed players at different age levels in ODP with their expertise and knowledge of the game.
To learn more about NJ’s ODP Program, click here.