ODP Youth Championships

USA Water Polo Olympic Development Program
h20polomamma
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Re: ODP Youth Championships

Postby h20polomamma » Mon Jun 01, 2009 5:34 pm

I see that my comments need clarification. Of course, we were given the ODP handbook and told to learn it. It was also worked on in practices; therefore, each player now knows what they must learn for the ODP process (not all teams use the same tactics but at least, they can work on some stuff between try-outs).
I definitely was referring to the fact that there was no feed back on what they did well and what they didn't do well. In some cases, watching the competition was helpful just to see high level of play. Once the team was announced, if they knew the players and had seen them play, they now know what to aspire to.
I was not necessarily bashing the system since it was head and shoulders above past evaluations in its transparency of expectations. I was just trying to coax improvement in the system.

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LABertocci
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Re: ODP Youth Championships

Postby LABertocci » Mon Jun 01, 2009 5:51 pm

I don't know about all of you, but I think this exchange is GREAT! There is passion and the vast majority of it is positive.

My relationship to the ODP program is little different to any of you, I am informed when there is need for information. But I can say that my experience with Guy Baker is that his only goal is the greater good. ALL of these suggestions, if offered as suggestions, are sure to be seriously considered as a component of the greater good going forwards. And if not incorporated, it is surely that there is a greater GREATER good being considered.

And, isn't it neat (generational wording) that we all CARE so much?

:D
Loren A. Bertocci
Director, Water Polo Academy

norcalparent
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Re: ODP Youth Championships

Postby norcalparent » Mon Jun 01, 2009 7:06 pm

polo-fan-9 wrote:I agree wholeheartedly, that would be great to see and I hope that USA polo will be progressive-thinking enough to implement these ideas (whether or not evaluating players uniformly is actually progressive thinking at all is a whole different ballgame...). I wasn't disagreeing with that position whatsoever. I was disagreeing with the ideas that these kids have left with NOTHING learned and NO idea what they need to be working on. The positions and goals of the ODP program were clearly stated at the beginning of the session, repeated throughout the session, and evaluated at the end of the session; these are the things the athletes need to be working on, because in all honesty, no one has mastered them all, especially not at age 15. Keep working on these skills/tactics, learn how to play the game the way the ODP process has stated that it wants the game to be played, and you will improve your chances of making the ODP team. If a kid left the process without any idea of what to work on, to me that seems like they weren't paying attention throughout.

That being said, it would be great to see a breakdown of a player's strengths/weaknesses on paper for each athlete to take home. However, I think it's a little unrealistic to ask the National Team coaches to figure out each of 100+ players strengths/weaknesses from watching 3 days worth of play. maybe this should be added to the tasks of the Zone coaches, a player-by-player evaluation based on the requirements sent down from the national team? Just a thought.


O.K. I am not always dipolmatic, But I see couple of themes.

1) coaches at the zone level are the intermediaries. it is there job to define why their players were or were selected to the travel team,... and communicate it to their athletes. The national team coaches need to communicate with the Zone coaches,.. the National team coaches can't communicate to the 12x15 (180 players) players individually.

2) once at the zone championships... I really hate this term... FOR the Sake of argurement... what is the importance of a Zone Championship title? not much..

I think if you really want to evaluate players, they need some sort of round robin... won / loss results should not matter... if the important criteria is seeing kids play... Then you need to see kids play. yes I understand you want kid's playing under pressure to win a championship, but is that really any different, from we want to win each game... FLIP side.. if you are evaluating players... does it matter if a team wins or losses? it's how the kids play. HOW many of the national coaches watch the 11th place game..unless they are there to watch a specific player. Having a round robin of sorts might help have coaches see more kids. ...

at the womens top 40... they bring them in, split them up,play to win and regardless of which team wins, the coaches are selecting players from across the board to the national team.. yes this is much smaller than the zone format.. but should the philosophy be much different?.. looking for the best players across the board? I am not in any way applying that this should be a top 40 event... I think with the number of kids and teams..a filter down process from national coach to team coach is important, which means the national team coaches need to be at each of the games and review on the next game, did the coach try to impliment the comments they made... I have this feeling, as teams move down the ranking list, games get looked at less and less. (now I don't know that happened this year... but I don't think a national selection coach could be coaching a fisher cup team and also trying to watch his age group/youth/junior tryouts when he was at another pool, its hard to be in 2 places at once, even if they are close by)

The importance of WINNING means coaches self-select kids they think will help their team win (or lose by less)... this may be just 7 kids, but they selected a roster of 15... why do the other kids sit on the bench? a zone coach selected 15 players to participate at this try out level... all 15 should have an opportunity to play and be seen TRYING OUT> Now we get back to... one coaches Idea of an ideal player, is not necessarily another coaches idea of an IDEAL player. Without having been at this years zones I don't know all kids didn't play, in past zone championships I have seen kids sit on the bench.

I too did not have a dog in this race. But from being a parent, a coach , a referee. I just don't understand the justification for kids( their parents) to spend the money to train/travel, if they don't get a chance to PLAY.. another person talked about the experience gained and what they need to do to improve... A) if you don't play you don't get the physical experience to understand what skills you need to improve (especially against a strong opponent).. B) if you don't get in the water, what can a coach say to you about your play to help you improve, and finally C) while a player in his own area may not shine on a team or in that coach's mind, move that same player to a new area of play, players, thinking and referees and that player may indeed SHINE.. if played. I know this from personal experience, i was not a dominate player in USA but in Europe I was allowed a different degree of latitude in play and it suited my playing style. So I believe while they call this zone championships and they are selecting the national training squads from these weekend, I believe there needs to be a review of the process which allows all teams to play each other... and using a "premier" perspectice... all players need to play a designated "minimum" number of minutes.. In my mind that means at least 14 minutes for each player. that justifies all the time spent to make the team, go to practices, pay to participate on the said team and then get a chance to actually show what you can do.

Lastly... if the national coaches are watching games and giving feedback to the Zone coaches, if a player doesn't play or and reasonable playing time, how to they get feedback from both sources...

While I think the zone championships are a great tool to involve more players and encourage more players to participate, I think too, the kids that participate need more playing time and more information feedback to help them, NO, excite them to come back again and again.

In terms of transparency, does anyone else have the same trouble looking at USWP website and finding the list of coaches for each group... both on a National level, and on the Zone level... I just don't understand why this information is so difficult to locate and acknowledge the national coachs and the "ZONE" coaches who give up so much of their time to help.

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deepwater
Posts: 348
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Re: ODP Youth Championships

Postby deepwater » Mon Jun 01, 2009 8:27 pm

norcalparent wrote:
polo-fan-9 wrote:I agree wholeheartedly, that would be great to see and I hope that USA polo will be progressive-thinking enough to implement these ideas (whether or not evaluating players uniformly is actually progressive thinking at all is a whole different ballgame...). I wasn't disagreeing with that position whatsoever. I was disagreeing with the ideas that these kids have left with NOTHING learned and NO idea what they need to be working on. The positions and goals of the ODP program were clearly stated at the beginning of the session, repeated throughout the session, and evaluated at the end of the session; these are the things the athletes need to be working on, because in all honesty, no one has mastered them all, especially not at age 15. Keep working on these skills/tactics, learn how to play the game the way the ODP process has stated that it wants the game to be played, and you will improve your chances of making the ODP team. If a kid left the process without any idea of what to work on, to me that seems like they weren't paying attention throughout.

That being said, it would be great to see a breakdown of a player's strengths/weaknesses on paper for each athlete to take home. However, I think it's a little unrealistic to ask the National Team coaches to figure out each of 100+ players strengths/weaknesses from watching 3 days worth of play. maybe this should be added to the tasks of the Zone coaches, a player-by-player evaluation based on the requirements sent down from the national team? Just a thought.


O.K. I am not always dipolmatic, But I see couple of themes.

1) coaches at the zone level are the intermediaries. it is there job to define why their players were or were selected to the travel team,... and communicate it to their athletes. The national team coaches need to communicate with the Zone coaches,.. the National team coaches can't communicate to the 12x15 (180 players) players individually.

2) once at the zone championships... I really hate this term... FOR the Sake of argurement... what is the importance of a Zone Championship title? not much..

I think if you really want to evaluate players, they need some sort of round robin... won / loss results should not matter... if the important criteria is seeing kids play... Then you need to see kids play. yes I understand you want kid's playing under pressure to win a championship, but is that really any different, from we want to win each game... FLIP side.. if you are evaluating players... does it matter if a team wins or losses? it's how the kids play. HOW many of the national coaches watch the 11th place game..unless they are there to watch a specific player. Having a round robin of sorts might help have coaches see more kids. ...

at the womens top 40... they bring them in, split them up,play to win and regardless of which team wins, the coaches are selecting players from across the board to the national team.. yes this is much smaller than the zone format.. but should the philosophy be much different?.. looking for the best players across the board? I am not in any way applying that this should be a top 40 event... I think with the number of kids and teams..a filter down process from national coach to team coach is important, which means the national team coaches need to be at each of the games and review on the next game, did the coach try to impliment the comments they made... I have this feeling, as teams move down the ranking list, games get looked at less and less. (now I don't know that happened this year... but I don't think a national selection coach could be coaching a fisher cup team and also trying to watch his age group/youth/junior tryouts when he was at another pool, its hard to be in 2 places at once, even if they are close by)

The importance of WINNING means coaches self-select kids they think will help their team win (or lose by less)... this may be just 7 kids, but they selected a roster of 15... why do the other kids sit on the bench? a zone coach selected 15 players to participate at this try out level... all 15 should have an opportunity to play and be seen TRYING OUT> Now we get back to... one coaches Idea of an ideal player, is not necessarily another coaches idea of an IDEAL player. Without having been at this years zones I don't know all kids didn't play, in past zone championships I have seen kids sit on the bench.

I too did not have a dog in this race. But from being a parent, a coach , a referee. I just don't understand the justification for kids( their parents) to spend the money to train/travel, if they don't get a chance to PLAY.. another person talked about the experience gained and what they need to do to improve... A) if you don't play you don't get the physical experience to understand what skills you need to improve (especially against a strong opponent).. B) if you don't get in the water, what can a coach say to you about your play to help you improve, and finally C) while a player in his own area may not shine on a team or in that coach's mind, move that same player to a new area of play, players, thinking and referees and that player may indeed SHINE.. if played. I know this from personal experience, i was not a dominate player in USA but in Europe I was allowed a different degree of latitude in play and it suited my playing style. So I believe while they call this zone championships and they are selecting the national training squads from these weekend, I believe there needs to be a review of the process which allows all teams to play each other... and using a "premier" perspectice... all players need to play a designated "minimum" number of minutes.. In my mind that means at least 14 minutes for each player. that justifies all the time spent to make the team, go to practices, pay to participate on the said team and then get a chance to actually show what you can do.

Lastly... if the national coaches are watching games and giving feedback to the Zone coaches, if a player doesn't play or and reasonable playing time, how to they get feedback from both sources...

While I think the zone championships are a great tool to involve more players and encourage more players to participate, I think too, the kids that participate need more playing time and more information feedback to help them, NO, excite them to come back again and again.

In terms of transparency, does anyone else have the same trouble looking at USWP website and finding the list of coaches for each group... both on a National level, and on the Zone level... I just don't understand why this information is so difficult to locate and acknowledge the national coachs and the "ZONE" coaches who give up so much of their time to help.


And someone had said I hit the nail on the head - Nicely put norcalparent!

axehero
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Re: ODP Youth Championships

Postby axehero » Mon Jun 01, 2009 10:11 pm

To the NORCALPARENT--excellent post! I hope that those at USA Water Polo who can influence and change the selection system are reading this thread. I think the points made should be read by Chris Ramsey, Guy Baker, Terry Schroeder, Doug Peabody, Dan Klatt, Jason Lynch and all of the coaches involved in the Youth and Junior National teams. I really think this is a very positive discussion and has the best interest of USA water polo in mind.

sidelineview
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Re: ODP Youth Championships

Postby sidelineview » Mon Jun 01, 2009 10:47 pm

This is probably one area where the old "national training camps" worked better than the new ODP format. All the kids traveled to one site and trained together for a few days, scrimmaged and participated in a round-robin tournament. Plenty of opportunity to observe players (and referees) in game situations, as well as running drills --- allowing the coaching staff to evaluate work ethic, sportsmanship, leadership, team work, etc.

Hopefully the ODP management team will do an evaluation of what worked well, what didn't work well, what needs improvement and what should be eliminated. In other words, the ol' SWOT analysis. (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats).

The1nPlyr
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Re: ODP Youth Championships

Postby The1nPlyr » Fri Jun 12, 2009 5:40 pm

This is the 4th year I attended zones and I can tell you what I liked and what needs to be done.

Last year in Annapolis was one of the best overall years we had. This is supposed to be a camp where we learn things. Doug Peabody provided small group instruction for every player. Each one of us got a mini traning national team training camp. I liked changing to the color teams so we got different coaches and we were ability grouped. Every coach has different things to teach you so getting exposure to a new coach is good. You got to be with a new group of players so if your's didn't know how to pass for example you got to be with someone who did for a few games.

Dan Klatt gave a player talk that was really good. This year's speech before the Fisher cup was good but it would have been nice to have more interaction with the Fisher Cup players. Couldn't they have done some tutorials? We had all of those players there but they were not put to use.

One night we were told we had to watch the Fisher Cup as directed by the National folks. We had no dinner until 10 at night. It's hard to enjoy watching a game when you're cold, wet and hungry not to mention learning something from it. Please don't make attendance at another tournament mandatory when this is our one chance to show you our best.

There need to be rules about playing time. I heard the one kid from Hawaii didn't play much and instead the CA kids did even though it wasn't their zone. I played a lot but I felt bad for the kids who didn't get to play much.

There need to be rules about training before going to zones and mandatory traning sessions. It doesn't quite seem right that the kid picked from our zone for the National team showed up at 1 practice with our zone. It's not surprising he couldn't throw a leading pass to save his life.

Four years ago I actually got a paper from Coach Lynch with written feed back on it. That was a good idea and someone else has mentioned the feedback part. Our local zone coaches aren't always objective so it would be nice to get that from the national coaches. I was trying out for them - I would like to know from them why I was not selected. Not from our local zone coach who happened to pick the goalie, he was a goalie, and the son of our zone chair. As they say it's not what you know but who you know. If there was some way of providing cut swimming times, and other measurable ways of evauating us then there wouldn't be this suspician.

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