NH ODP Mission, Philosophy and Methods

          NEW HAMPSHIRE OLYMPIC DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM 
                                         MISSION STATEMENT        


New Hampshire Soccer Association's Olympic Development Program inspires New Hampshire's youth soccer players to develop and improve their soccer abilities to the fullest of their potential and identify and showcase those players whose skills and talents can add to the success of the USYS Region 1 teams and US National teams.

The mission of the NH ODP is to identify, develop, and promote top New Hampshire soccer players, as follows in order of priority:

The NH ODP will identify the top 18 soccer players plus alternates in each age group in New Hampshire, to bring to the Region 1 Identification events for evaluation

The NH ODP will develop the level of play of New Hampshire's top soccer players, and strive to improve general soccer excellence in this state, by exposing player both to the highest levels of competition and to a broad variety of the highest levels of instruction, training methods and environments.

The NH ODP will promote New Hampshire soccer players, and prepare them for the next level of play, both in terms of Regional and National team identification, and in terms of college soccer recruitment.

See "NH ODP Program Overview" for more general information.

PHILOSOPHY & METHODS - the NH ODP will accomplish it's mission as governed by a number of philosophical tenets, and by the following methods - click on title to jump to subject:
Identification Philosophy: The NH ODP will identify the top 18 soccer players plus alternates in each age group in New Hampshire, to bring to the Region 1 Identification events for evaluation. The NH ODP will strive to identify the top New Hampshire soccer players as equitably as possible, and by a variety of venues and means. Opportunities to participate in the program will be made equally available to both girls and boys in this state; and the NH ODP will strive to make it's program accessible to all geographic regions. The NH ODP will also ensure that the program is financially viable for any player in the state, via both financial aid support and fundraiser initiatives.

Players are encouraged to try out as early as possible in the identification process; however, players may be identified and added to a final state team pool at any time, either via referral or scouting, or - after the final state team has been named - by invitation of the NH ODP Director of Coaching.

Identification Methods: The NH ODP season runs from late November through late July. There are four phases to the NH ODP season, and to the identification process:
  1. TRYOUTS (August and September, and via referral and scouting);
  2. EVALUATION (November through early March);
  3. PREPARATION (Late March through June);
  4. SELECTION (July).
While every NH ODP player will follow this chronology in general, these phases are not necessarily distinct, and often overlap.

TRYOUTS - a player can be identified to a NH ODP pool in a variety of different ways, via an Open Tryout, via a Referral, and via Scouting.

OPEN TRYOUTS are the primary and the most equitable way for players to be identified. See "NH ODP Tryout Information" to learn more specifics about the current tryout schedule.
  • Initial Open Tryouts and Registration occurs in August and September.
  • Players may tryout at any time, up until April 1st when final State Team Rosters are named - after April 1st a player may join the State Team only by invitation of the NH ODP Director of Coaching.
  • It is strongly recommended that a player tryout as early as possible. Players will try out for two sessions; at the conclusion of the second session the Coach will indicate to the player whether they are invited to continue to train with the pool.
  • All players trying out for those first two sessions must complete a Registration Form and pay the $25 Registration Fee.
REFERRAL - a player may be referred to the NH ODP for a tryout.
  • Referrals are typically initiated by a high school or club coach, and sometimes by a Region 1 or US Soccer National Staff Coach.
  • The NH ODP Scouting Staff will also actively solicit referrals.
  • If a player is referred to the NH ODP, the NH ODP Coach in that player's age group will contact the player to arrange a tryout.
  • See the "NH ODP 'Invitational Tryout' Initiative" for more information.
SCOUTING - the NH ODP will work throughout the full NH ODP season to scout, identify and recruit top New Hampshire soccer players to it's program

EVALUATION - during indoor pool training from November till early March, as they train NHODP players are continually evaluated, with the goal of naming the final state team roster byApril 1st. Evaluation occurs at training sessions and via indoor jamborees. Winter training occurs on Sunday mornings, typically twice a month on average. 

PREPARATION - after the final state team rosters are named April 1st, the focus of NH ODP training moves more specifically to individual and team development from late March till early June. During that time, NH ODP teams will have a combination of training session and friendly matches, generally held on Wednesday evenings. 


SELECTION - all NH ODP teams attend Region 1 Identification and Selection Camps in July; see www.region1.com for more information. At Region 1 Camps NH ODP players are trained by Region 1 and US Soccer National Staff Coaches, and their teams play against other Region 1 ODP teams; typically these camps offer the highest level of training and the highest level of competition available to a player from New Hampshire. From those training sessions and match evaluations Region 1 Staff select a Region 1 pool in each age group; and those players selected go on to an additional pool camp, from which a team is formed to compete against similar teams from the other three US Soccer Regions. US Soccer National Staff then select National Team players from those Regional pool teams and Regional Tournaments- see www.ussoccer.com for more information.

EQUALITY - the NH ODP strives to make the opportunities of its program equally available to all
  • Open tryouts are typically held at a geographically central location in the state; and U13 District Teams strive to identify the state's youngest players as early as possible within each geographical district within the state. Winter training sites are located throughout the state, and no one team trains in a single geographic location, i.e. a team will train at various venues throughout the state in the winter to make travel equitable for all. Spring and summer outdoor training is typically held at a geographically central location in the state.
  • Referrals are solicited from all high school and club coaches throughout the state at the outset of the NH ODP season. Scouting efforts encompass all regions of the state, and strive to include all state-cup competitions and tournaments.
  • The NH ODP has a strict "no recruiting" policy - NH ODP Coaches and Staff may not recruit for clubs; and to avoid potential conflict of interest, no NH ODP Coach works with the same age group for which they coach club - see NHSA ODP Policies for additional information.
  • The NH ODP works very hard to ensure that money does not preclude participation. Financial aid is available based on need - see the "NH ODP Fees Schedule" for more information. The NH ODP also sponsors a raffle program, where players may sell tickets, with half of the money raised from the sale of tickets dedicated to defraying their ODP fees (many players have covered their entire NH ODP costs with this program).
Development Philosophy: the NH ODP will develop the level of play of New Hampshire's top soccer players, and strive to improve general soccer excellence in this state, by exposing players to the highest levels of competition, and to a broad variety of the highest levels of instruction, training methods and environments. See "Why Play ODP by Jeff Pill" for additional information.

The NH ODP is not a club, nor trying to be. NH ODP strives to supplement the good work of player development already initiated by the club and school teams in this state. The NH ODP strives to work in conjunction with clubs, to help improve both the individual development of the top players in the state, and to generally improve the overall level of play. See "NHSA ODP Policies" and specifically "ODP Versus Club Training And/Or Match Days Policy" for additional information; also see "NH ODP and Super Y" and "The ODP Debate" for other information.

The NH ODP follows the general tenants and developmental philosophies as asserted by US Soccer. Many of these ideas are re-stated in the May/June 2003 Edition of SOCCER JOURNAL in an article titled "The US Approach" and many govern the general developmental philosophies of the NH ODP, including (but not limited to):
  • "The limited time that teams are together places constraints on what players can realistically accomplish."
  • "The goal and emphasis with players… is placed on skills development and a deeper understanding of the game in a competitive, fun environment in the company of the most talented players we can find."
  • "The hope is to create originals, not clones. We follow this simple principle - the game/competition sets the demands and the player responds (i.e. here is the problem, find the solution and try to execute that solution). Players are encouraged and allowed to experiment and explore the game with the help of coaches that understand the game and work well with kids. In this environment there is plenty of room for trail and error."
  • "Putting children into straitjackets of positional play too early destroys their instincts to be involved in the game…" It is all about ideas and developing the right attitude."
  • "We work with an emphasis on speed of play and the ability to solve problems in competitive situations."
  • "The games are fast, and to keep up with the speed of play, good technical ability and good habits on and off the ball are necessary. We ask the players to stay tuned in mentally, to read the game and the demands of the game, and to make decisions that help their teams win."
  • "We are more concerned with developing better players who can figure out how to win than with telling them exactly what to do. In this sense we do not put a big emphasis on results, but rather on how they are progressing as players. At the same time we do provide players with tactical insights and feedback, and give them starting points for dealing with certain situations."
See the following articles published by US Soccer under "Coach/Player Resources" that also govern much of the NH ODP development philosophies:
Also see the US Soccer website at www.ussoccer.com.

Development Methods: the NH ODP will expose it's players to a variety of coaching styles and philosophies, and to the highest levels of competition, in several ways.

Within the state, NH ODP Head Coaches typically stay with a particular age group year-to-year, while the players move up (as opposed to one coach continuing on with a particular group year-to-year); consequently players receive a variety of tactical instruction and a broad understanding about how to play the game.

The NH ODP also brings in many outside coaches through a variety of venues to train it's players, with NH ODP Associate Staff Coaches, at Region 1 Mini Camps, at the NHSA AGM Player Clinics, at Northern New England ODP Centers of Excellence, and via US Soccer National Staff Coach NH ODP team training sessions.

The NH ODP maintains a cadre of Associate Staff Coaches - typically college coaches from around the state, including Darmouth College, the University of New Hampshire, the University of Southern New Hampshire, Keene State College, Plymouth State University, Colby Sawyer College, New England College, St. Anselm's College, Franklin Pierce College, and Daniel Webster College; other Associate Staff Coaches include former NH ODP Head Coaches, Region 1 Staff Coaches, and US Soccer National Staff Coaches that reside within the state. 

Promotion Philosophy: The NH ODP will promote New Hampshire soccer players, and prepare them for the next level of play, both in terms of Regional and National team identification, and in terms of college soccer recruitment.

Promotion Methods: The NH ODP strives to ensure that it's players have the opportunity to be successful at the next levels of the Regional and National Teams programs, and are prepared to enter collegiate soccer ranks.

The NH ODP promotes its players to the Region 1 Staff through numerous venues, most notably by participation in the Region 1 Identification Tournament in June, and via Region 1 Development and Identification Camps in July - see www.region1.com for more information. The NH ODP also gives its players additional opportunities to be seen and evaluated at numerous NH ODP sponsored events.
The NH ODP also aggressively promotes its players to collegiate programs in numerous ways. The college recruiting process now starts much earlier than many families understand, and is more involved than many appreciate. Many Division 1 Programs identify and track players for recruiting purposes as early as a player's freshman year in high school; and most top recruits are identified by a player's junior year. Participation in the Olympic Development Program is a sure way to be noted in the college recruiting process, and a sure measure to set oneself above the mass of soccer players vying for the attention of college coaches.

The NH ODP also sponsors an annual College Recruiting Fair. All NH ODP players are invited to attend as part of the NH ODP Annual General Meeting; and specific college coaches are invited to make short presentations, and to share their insights on the recruiting process. Efforts are made to have all types of collegiate programs represented, from Division 1, Division 2, Division 3, NCAA, NIAA, to NJCAA. A dozen different college coaches were present at the most recent NH ODP College Fair - topics covered include:
  • The Right Fit
  • The Recruiting Process
  • NCAA Rules
  • Expectations of a Student Athlete
See "NH ODP General Meeting and College Fair" for additional information.

The NH ODP also strives to include college soccer coaches as part of its ODP Staff. The most senior NH ODP Boys and Girls teams are coached by collegiate soccer coaches; and the NH ODP Associate Staff includes coaches from virtually every college program in the state, including Darmouth College, the University of New Hampshire, the University of Southern New Hampshire, Keene State College, Plymouth State University, Colby Sawyer College, New England College, St. Anselm's College, Franklin Pierce College, and Daniel Webster College. These Associate Coaches are often brought in to train NH ODP teams as guest coaches. 

The NH ODP also strives to facilitate the exposure of its players on the U16 and U17 Boys and Girls teams to college programs by participation in the College Showcase. At this event NH ODP players compete against college teams, and are able to showcase their abilities to numerous college coaches. See "U16/U17 College Showcase Jamboree" for additional information.

Finally, NH ODP participation in Region 1 events ensures exposure to college coaches. Region 1 Staff is comprised primarily of college coaches, and those coaches use the Region 1 events for both player identification and recruiting purposes. One only has to witness the mass of college coaches observing matches at the Region 1 Tournament and at the Region 1 Camps to appreciate the significance of this phenomenon. Many college programs collect official Region 1 rosters in order to better identify players and maintain contact; and the NH ODP helps facilitate that process by publishing it's rosters on the NH ODP website - see "NH ODP Teams" for more information. The major Region 1 events in which NH ODP teams participate include:
  

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