ODP Update

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					Wednesday, November 28 2007

Dear OYSAN ODP Families,

With the high school season over and snow starting to threaten Northern Ohio, the indoor
ODP sessions are starting to gather steam and I want to provide everyone with a program
update. Apologies for the length of this e-mail, but there is much to cover.

ODP Staff
You will find a list of the respective age group coaches at the following link.

We strive to have a minimum of two field coaches and a goalkeeper coach at every
session. Typically, the goalkeepers will work with their trainer for 30-45 minutes at the
beginning of practice while the field players are warming up.

ODP Schedule
The winter schedule is posted at

We will NOT be sending out weekly reminders from the office, but I will notify any
group specifically affected by a schedule change.


1992 (U-16) Boys
The 1992 (U-16) boy's session scheduled for March 1st has been cancelled.

The 1992's have the option to train with the 1991 boy's on December 15th at PSA (10-
12). Coach Herb Haller will attend this session.

There is a possibility that the 1992's will combine training sessions with the 1991's after
the turn of the year. This is related to the US Soccer Development Academy mandate that
Academy rostered players be precluded from competing with any outside group,
including ODP. This is OYSAN's first experience with the DA and the dust is still
settling. As a general operating practice, please read the OYSAN position statement at
the end of this e-mail.

1995 (U-13) Boys
The two 1993 (U-15) boy's sessions for Sunday, December 9th at Kent State University
are being combined. Training for the entire group will now be held between 4:00 pm and
~6:30 pm.
The 1995 (U-13) boys 5th training session will be confirming in the next few days. The
most likely venue is PSA.

1995 (U-13) Girls
The 1995 (U-13) girls 5th training session is now scheduled for PSA on March 1st (2-4).

1996 (U-12) Boys and Girls
The numbers for our U-12 programs are again below our maximum regional quota of 50
boys and 50 girls. This failure to attract U-12's into the ODP process has always been a
personal source of frustration because the regional camp is a fantastic developmental
experience devoid of the selection pressures that follow in the years ahead.

In naming Tavi Muresan and Chris Black to head the boys program, and Mike Stoerkel
and Jen Whipple to lead the girls, I am hopeful that each of you will become advocates
for the value of ODP training and help bolster our U-12 representation at the regional
camp in July.

So, until such times as we have bulging numbers at the U-12 practices, I would like to
offer any U-12 (or U-13) player the opportunity to attend any of the U-12 sessions listed
below. The optimal training numbers are 24-28 players, so I would ask that you let me
know in advance if your son or daughter wishes to attend. There is no problem with girls
and boys training together. U-12's will have priority over U-13's for the sessions;
otherwise, it will be first come…

1996 (U-12) Boy's Schedule
Western OYSAN Players @ BGSU
Saturday, December 1, 2007 (6pm - 8pm)

Western OYSAN Players @ BGSU
Sunday, January 6, 2008  (12pm - 2pm)

Western OYSAN Players @ BGSU
Saturday, February 2, 2008 (4pm - 6pm)

Eastern OYSAN Players @ KSU
Sunday, December 9, 2007 (12pm - 2pm)

Eastern OYSAN Players @ KSU
Sunday, January 13, 2008 (10am - 12 pm)

1996 (U-12) Girl's Schedule

Eastern OYSAN Players @ KSU
Sunday, December 9, 2007 (2pm - 4pm)
Western OYSAN Players @ BGSU
Saturday, January 5, 2008 (8am - 10am)

Western OYSAN Players @ BGSU
Sunday, February 3, 2008 (10am - 12 pm)

1995 (U-13) Boys and Girls Additional Training
I would like to offer any U-13 player the opportunity to attend any of the U-12 sessions
listed above. Please let me know in advance if your son or daughter wishes to attend. The
U-12's will have priority and there will be a numerical cut off point, so first-come…

PSA Climate
While the field house at PSA is very near to completion, the doors have yet to be attached
so there is no heat in the building. Please dress appropriately and, more importantly,
please dress your son or daughter appropriately! The doors - and heat -- should be on by
the middle of the month.

Related…On any visit to PSA, please remember that, if the weather cooperates, the ODP
training session may take place on the outdoor turf field. Again, please dress your son or
daughter appropriately with layers, hat, and gloves. The ODP T-shirt should be the top

ODP Uniform
Under "normal" climatic conditions, the ODP training uniform comprises of the white
numbered ODP T-shirt provided at the first session, black shorts, and white socks. The
shorts and socks are not provided.

Practice Check-in.
Please make sure that every player checks in with the team administrator before starting
practice. With larger groups of players in particular, associating names, shirt numbers,
and soccer personalities is the initial key to a valid identification and selection process.

GK Training
There are eight, optional, 2-hour training sessions set aside for ALL goalkeepers.
Typically, players on the eastern side of the state would attend the University of Akron
and players on the western half of the state would attend BGSU. We have three
goalkeeper trainers scheduled for each session, but will be asking for confirmation of
attendance beforehand.

The first western session at BGSU is scheduled for this Sunday, December 2, 2007 (8am
- 10am)
The first eastern session at U-Akron is scheduled for next Sunday, December 9, 2007
(10am - 12 pm)

Please e-mail Bernie Telmanik ( if your son or daughter (GK's only)
will be attending.

Note: Goalkeepers should attend their regularly scheduled age group practices.

On-line Player Evaluations
All players are provided with an on-line evaluation at the conclusion of their ODP

?      Evaluations for "released" state pool players are completed at the conclusion of
the winter (March) or spring (May) sessions, providing the players have attended a
minimum of three indoor or three outdoor (spring) training sessions.
?      Evaluations for all state team members, including alternates, are completed at the
conclusion of the Region II camps in July.

Spring Schedule
The spring training and summer regional camp schedules are posted at

Please note that NO age group will utilize ALL the training dates listed and I have asked
the head age group coaches to announce their schedules by the turn of the year.

Only players whose club teams are eliminated from the state cup finals weekend are
expected to attend the Wednesday evening sessions on May 21 and May 28.

State teams will be named on, or before, Friday, June 20.

Club Conflicts
Every year, families are challenged to decide between club and ODP schedule conflicts.
The OYSAN position statement on this issue is included at the end of this e-mail.

I think that's all for now.

If you have any questions, please call the OYSAN office at (330) 659-0989.

You can also e-mail….
State Director of Coaching, Tom Turner at;
State Assistant Director of Coaching, Tony Niccoli at;
Programs Manager, Mike Prosser at; or
Programs Assistant, Bernie Telmanik at

Good luck to everyone!


Thomas W. Turner, Ph.D.,
Ohio Youth Soccer Association North
Director of Coaching and Player Development
3554 Brecksville Rd.
Richfield, OH 44286
Office: (330) 659-0989
Fax: (330) 659-0993
Cell: (216) 496-4683

OYSAN Position Statement
US Soccer Developmental Academy and ODP
Tom Turner, OYSAN Director of Coaching and Player Development
September 2007

US Soccer will begin play in the Great Lakes Conference of their national Development
Academy program in the spring of 2008. The USSDA was created to change the youth
soccer culture by limiting the number and schedule of games played in a season; by
increasing the volume and quality of training; by demanding a more worldly, possession-
oriented style of play; by requiring professional coaching qualifications; and by
eliminating the pressure to win games at the expense of long-term player development.

The Developmental Academy seeks to attract the top players and OYSAN supports the
initiative as a positive advance from the tournament-based model that has virtually over-
trodden the historic values of the sport at the club level.

The USSDA divisions are structured around the 2-year U-16 and U-18 age groups which
naturally provide for the inclusion of the top U-15 and U-17 players from each academy

The USSDA does not currently include divisions for girls.

OYSAN players who compete in the US Soccer Developmental Academy will be
assessed for US National Youth Teams via an evolving USSDA scouting network.

Players who compete in the USSDA are not permitted to participate in other Olympic
Development Programs.
The primary objective of the Olympic Development Program is the advancement of
talented players to the respective youth national teams. This has historically been
achieved by the state team selection process and the subsequent regional camp program.

The secondary objective of ODP has been the development of a broader base of
competent players who serve to raise the overall standard of play. This has historically
been achieved by exposing state pool and state team players to top quality coaches at the
local and regional levels.

For players lacking the quality to compete on the national level, ODP has also served as
an efficient filter mechanism for college recruiters and many ODP participants do so
expressly to be identified by college coaches.

OYSAN will continue to offer an Olympic Development Program for U-12 through U-17
boys and girls in order to 1) service those who do not compete in the USSDA; and 2) to
continue the secondary "training and exposure" functions of ODP.

The evolving impact of the USSDA on OYSAN and Region II ODP programming will
continue to be assessed on an annual basis.

OYSAN Position Statement
ODP vs Club Conflicts
Tom Turner, OYSAN Director of Coaching and Player Development
September 2007

The OYSAN Olympic Development Program schedule provides leeway for players to
compete in important club events without jeopardizing their chances of being named to
the state pool or team. Players are not expected to make every ODP event, but are
encouraged to take advantage of the additional training opportunities and be evaluated by
the ODP coaches as often as schedules permit.

Because ODP is, first and foremost, about talent, the very best players can, in theory,
attend a very limited number of evaluation sessions to be selected to a state pool. With
second and third tier players, the more often they are observed, the more likely their
strengths will be accurately assessed; subsequently, raising their odds of being named to a
state pool or team (see article below on the state team selection process).

During the spring season, when the final state team is chosen and preparation for regional
camp begins, even a top player may be omitted from selection if they are not available to
compete for their place and participate in the teambuilding process.

OYSAN appreciates that the club season includes important events where teams should
prepare and compete at full strength. These events would include elite invitational
tournaments, the Midwest Regional League, and the state and regional cup competitions.
In turn, OYSAN expects clubs to prioritize their schedules so that talented players can
have the opportunity to compete for state, regional, and national team recognition.


What Makes an Olympic Development Program Player?
Tom Turner, OYSAN Director of Coaching and Player Development
September 2007

Many parents often ask what it takes for their child to become an Olympic Development
Program (ODP), or State Team player? Is it the best 18 players who are selected,
regardless of position, or is it the best team of players? What qualities separate those
selected from those who are not? This article will help answer some of these questions.

Player Evaluation
Team selection always begins with an assessment of individual players. There are four
criteria that form the basis for most evaluation schemes. These four criteria, made
popular by the KNVB in Holland, are collapsed into the acronym "TIPS," which stands

Technique * Insight * Personality * Speed

The most critical quality for all soccer players is Technique. This would include the
player's overall range of techniques and the speed and ease with which they secure and
use the ball. A player's balance and agility are closely related to technical range and at
each successive level of play technique under pressure becomes the most obvious starting
point for distinguishing between players.

Tactical Insight is the second element in the equation. The talent evaluation of this area
looks at how players solve small-group tactical problems and the degree to which they
can perform in a structured team organization. At the younger ages, tactical insight is less
important than technique and speed. However, as players mature into their mid and late-
teens, they are often chosen for representative teams based on their superior qualities in a
position or because of their adaptability to other roles within the team.

The third quality is Personality, and it is here that the players within a squad must be
balanced to allow a team to be built from the complementary sum of its parts. Personality
players are usually the first to catch a coach's eye and generally form the starting point for
the teambuilding process. In evaluating a group of players, it is readily apparent that they
come with an assortment of qualities. Some have exceptional dribbling skills, while
others have explosive speed; some have excellent passing range, while others dominate in
the air; some are resolute defenders, while others impress by their ability to read the game
and lead others; some very ordinary players are coachable and work hard and impress by
their selflessness, while some very talented players are lazy and frustrate through their
unwillingness to work for themselves or the team; some players simply score goals, while
others create chances for others through their set-up play; some gifted younger players
are worthy of investing time and opportunity, even if they are physically overmatched;
some players are so physically dominant that they are hard to ignore, even when their
skills are a little rough around the edges. In contrast, some players are so volatile and
high risk, or so one-dimensional in their qualities, that their selection poses a very
difficult decision; in these situations, only the exceptionally talented players are moved
along within the system, but it is not uncommon for these very talented players to be
excluded from international teams because their personality or playing qualities do not
match the vision of the coach, or the "esprit de corps" (spirit and work ethic) within the
existing squad.

Finally, the quality that often separates the good player from the exceptional player is
Speed. As a "relatively" genetic asset, physical speed from "A" to "B" is always part of
an overall assessment. At the top levels, there are no slow players, although there are
some international class players who are not considered "fast." Speed evaluation also
includes the time players take to assess match situations and take appropriate action
(tactical speed) and the speed with which they control and use the ball (technical speed).

Team Selection
Choosing representative teams is, in large part, a question of balance and adaptability and
it is not always the best eighteen attacking players who are chosen to fill the roster spots.
Coaches must always endeavor to blend ball-winners with "skill" players in order to
create a balanced team that can defend, and create scoring chances from both the center
and the flanks.

Adaptability is also a key determinant in player selection. When a professional or
national team coach needs a player to fill a role on the left side of midfield, for example,
the top left-sided prospects are invited into the squad to compete for that specific role.
With established professional and international teams, new players are usually selected
for their ability to fill existing roles within an existing system. Ironically, the arrival of
new players can also challenge the coach to consider ways in which the established
playing formation and system can be changed to accommodate the qualities of the new

In contrast, when a representative team is selected at the youth level, identifying the best
players is often the starting point for team selection and it his here that the versatility of
players becomes more critical for the final analysis. At the club level, the best all-round
players are usually found in central positions. At the ODP level, the dearth of natural
wide players often poses a dilemma for the selecting coaches. Assuming there is a rank-
ordering of the central players, if the second tier players cannot play in flank positions,
they are likely to be passed over in favor of naturally left-sided players and other natural
wide players, even though these players may not possess the same overall range of
qualities. A team cannot consist of eleven central midfield players.

Another critical factor at the youth level is "potential." Because everyone matures at
vastly differing rates during puberty, cohorts may be as much as a foot and 40 pounds
apart in height and weight. At the younger ages in particular, care must be taken to
prioritize from the "TIPS" analysis. A 13-year-old with wonderful skills will likely be
selected over a physically mature peer who has an immediate impact but limited technical
upside. Conversely, the 16-year-old ball wizard who cannot out-run, out-think, or out-
play the physically stronger opponent is unlikely to be given the benefit of the doubt at
that stage. Such is the difficulty in youth team selection.

Philosophically, ODP is a selection process and not a club system. However, the limited
frequency of training at the club level is considered a serious obstacle to maximizing
long-term potential in Ohio North. For this reason, the scheduling of additional ODP
training opportunities has become a necessary feature of the changing soccer landscape.

The ODP state team selection process can involve as many as six coaches at training
sessions to provide feedback to the head coach. With 40-60 players in each age-group
pool, this reduces the possibility than a player will be accidentally overlooked; and
increases the likelihood that the final decisions will be made on the basis of talent,
potential and team balance.

All team selections, in some way, reflect the bias of the head coach, except perhaps the
choice of first-tier players who are always the easiest to select. It is with the second and
third tier selections that coaches earn their salt; and where personal bias in terms of style
of play, player commitment to the teambuilding process, and overall team balance enter
into the final decisions. In the representative team environment, coaching bias should not
be regarded as detrimental; it is simply a fact of life. Coaches with experience make
selections based on potential at the next level and potential over time, with the physical
dimension often the last variable considered in the equation. Selecting the second and
third tier players reflect educated guesses that one player has more of the tangible and
intangible qualities to succeed than another. Without this perspective, the fine line in
selecting one player over another can be lost on most observers. Sometimes the coach is
wrong; more often than not, their experience bears out the selection.

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