The 2013/14 Olympic Development Program (ODP) finished with a bang with a total of 120 Georgia boys and girls selected to the Region Pools at the Region Trials in July. This represents close to 50% of the total Georgia players who attended the Region Trials and is a new record for Georgia.
The ODP identifies the best players in Georgia and prepares them to try out for the Regional and National teams. Through this process of identification and development, the ODP provides the top players in Georgia advanced training and growth opportunities unique and different from that found at the club level.
Regardless of players’ ultimate aspirations, whether it is to play college soccer, professional soccer, or play for the national team, the ODP can help players reach their goal. This is done through a combination of a high level training curriculum and methodology, teaching a possession playing style that follows the US Soccer recommendations, and exposing our players to international competition.
This approach allows our top players to advance up the ladder from club level to the regional, the national and the professional levels through a fully integrated national system. The ODP is the only program that provides players the opportunities to adapt to each step in the ladder and effectively bridge the gap between the club level and the national level.
Both the boys and the girls follow the same methodology and curriculum. Game results are not important and the focus is on developing players by putting them in challenging environments and asking them to find soccer solutions to soccer problems. The game at the club level over-emphasizes the physical contest. The ODP is focused on the game as a cerebral and technical contest. That is the only way players can adapt and survive at the highest levels of the game. As a result, the quality of play at the Region Trials and Region Team events is very high.
Each year, the process starts with the ODP tryouts in September and finishes with the Region Trials the following July. For the 2014/15 season, players eligible to participate are those born in 2003 through 1998 calendar years. For more information on the tryouts, the process and registration, please visit the Georgia Soccer ODP website.