ODP Zone team selections

USA Water Polo Olympic Development Program
Alan Cima
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Re: ODP Zone team selections

Postby Alan Cima » Tue Aug 25, 2015 1:21 pm

5858 wrote: [coaches] only hope is to drive more kids to their cubs or get promoted to a collage coach


One would additonally hope that the coach might improve from working with different athletes and coaches than they normally do.

tepcanman
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Re: ODP Zone team selections

Postby tepcanman » Tue Aug 25, 2015 1:49 pm

Gotta disagree. I coached the CCA Zone 2000-2003 and what we did was quite different from what my son went through in more recent years.

oldtimer
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Re: ODP Zone team selections

Postby oldtimer » Tue Aug 25, 2015 2:07 pm

I wrote a long reply, but ended up losing it - probably to the relief of everyone else here. I'll try to summarize...

As with the WP Analytics thread, I personally believe that the question of whether ODP is a fundraiser or not cannot be determined without any verifiable data. The USAWP financial report for 2014 indicates revenues and expenses of about $1.5M, showing it as essentially break even. However, running some numbers raises questions about where certain revenue expenses are categorized.

There are 13 zones that hold tryouts. Each zone attempts to field 3 age groups. Each age group has a boys and girls team. There are two tryout camps. If we presume that on average, there are 25 participants in each camp for each age group in each zone for each gender (some zones will have many more than 25, others may have less) - we end up with 3900 paid fees for the tryout camps @ $160 (no financial aid given). That is roughly $600K. To be on the zone team, the cost last year was $450 (plus attire). There were 1182 zone team players (based on the published rosters), which is another $500K. There was also Holiday camp, and at least one special training camp for young kids. I'm sure there are some other revenues generated (USAWP probably gets some percentage of the attire purchases). This seems to come somewhere close to the $1.5M. I also know that those selected to the National Team this year were required to raise $1250 to be on the roster, and another $1250 for the annual golf tournament. There is no way to know if that revenue is recorded as ODP revenue, event revenue or something else. Entry fees are also charged for the ODP championship tournament, and there are sales of merchandise - but we don't know if that is recorded as ODP revenue, event revenue or something else. In other words - we don't have the raw data so we don't really know if the financial report reports what is *truly* ODP revenue, or assigns it to another category in order to make ODP not look like a revenue generator.

There is no way to calculate expenses, as that data is also not available. My point here, as is usual, without the actual data one cannot actually verify what one is being told - one either has faith, or one is cynical and asks questions.

As for the value that ODP provides, I suggest that for those who do not already participate in very high level training/competition on a regular basis it has some benefit. However, I also suggest that it really only serves to identify those who have the talent and can play at that high level rather than *train* them to play at that level. It does provide a relatively cheap way for players to get exposure to high level competition if they don't have it locally (particularly those who would otherwise have to pay for flights/lodging/entry fees to come across country). But for those who already have that experience all year long - it seems to primarily be for what we might call bragging rights. I have no problem with that at all - as long as it isn't presented as being something else.

And yes, ODP changed last year. The focus went from 'training' (7 camps/year) to 'selection' (2 camps/year).

Alan Cima
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Re: ODP Zone team selections

Postby Alan Cima » Tue Aug 25, 2015 2:50 pm

tepcanman wrote:Gotta disagree. I coached the CCA Zone 2000-2003 and what we did was quite different from what my son went through in more recent years.



As I said, " The central direction is enforced more now in what zone teams are taught and how they are evaluated for the men than they were with Project Gold.".

However, in 2003 the only male zone team that I personally observed was the PAC zone. So other than some reports I was able to read later about the 2003/2004 male zone camps, I am speculating about the other zones. We may also differ on the subjective meaning of what "significant" differences are, which is fine. I am glad to take your observation and hope that you thought it was a change for the better.
Last edited by Alan Cima on Tue Aug 25, 2015 3:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Alan Cima
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Re: ODP Zone team selections

Postby Alan Cima » Tue Aug 25, 2015 2:55 pm

oldtimer wrote: I also know that those selected to the National Team this year were required to raise $1250 to be on the roster, and another $1250 for the annual golf tournament. There is no way to know if that revenue is recorded as ODP revenue, event revenue or something else.


Perhaps they have sneakily hidden it in that item labeled "Junior/youth fundraising".

oldtimer wrote:without the actual data one cannot actually verify what one is being told - one either has faith, or one is cynical and asks questions.


Or perhaps society could license certain organizations to have access to the actual data and investigate whether there are fraud or error in them - we could call them "auditors".

oldtimer
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Re: ODP Zone team selections

Postby oldtimer » Tue Aug 25, 2015 3:56 pm

Alan Cima wrote:
oldtimer wrote: I also know that those selected to the National Team this year were required to raise $1250 to be on the roster, and another $1250 for the annual golf tournament. There is no way to know if that revenue is recorded as ODP revenue, event revenue or something else.


Perhaps they have sneakily hidden it in that item labeled "Junior/youth fundraising".


That might be - but that would validate ramman's statement that it is used for fundraising (which you tried to refute) - wouldn't it?

Alan Cima wrote:
oldtimer wrote:without the actual data one cannot actually verify what one is being told - one either has faith, or one is cynical and asks questions.


Or perhaps society could license certain organizations to have access to the actual data and investigate whether there are fraud or error in them - we could call them "auditors".


Auditors are used to determine if there is financial fraud. I am not suggesting that anyone is committing fraud. On the other hand, if you have ever been involved in any financial accounting - whether for a for profit or non-profit business - you would know that it is possible to assign various revenue and expenses to different categories for purposes of determining budgets that have nothing at all to do with the legal requirements of filing a financial report. In this case, the claim of whether ODP generated revenues fall into 'events', 'fundraising' or any other bucket isn't going to be a concern of an auditor - as long as all revenues and expenses are recorded in accordance with tax code.

The issue that was being discussed - and you were part of it if you can remember - is whether ODP is, at least in part, a fundraising mechanism or if it is just a break-even member benefit.

I really wish people knew how to stick to the issue and discuss that instead of throwing out red herrings and fallacious arguments in order to 'win'.

And, as I stated - if you have better information please provide it. Otherwise, its just more noise...

Alan Cima
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Re: ODP Zone team selections

Postby Alan Cima » Tue Aug 25, 2015 4:57 pm

oldtimer wrote:That might be - but that would validate ramman's statement that it is used for fundraising (which you tried to refute) - wouldn't it?


No, that would NOT be ODP doing fundraising for the National Team, that would be the National Team doing fundraising for the National Team.

Alan Cima wrote: if you have ever been involved in any financial accounting - whether for a for profit or non-profit business - you would know that it is possible to assign various revenue and expenses to different categories for purposes of determining budgets that have nothing at all to do with the legal requirements of filing a financial report.


Well actually I have been involved in responding to Audits for both a National Governing Body and a Fortune 50 DOD supplier. In both of them the auditors investigated, in a very detailed way, that the revenues and expenses are properly assigned, perhaps your experience with Auditors has been in different situations.

oldtimer wrote:The issue that was being discussed - and you were part of it if you can remember - is whether ODP is, at least in part, a fundraising mechanism or if it is just a break-even member benefit.


Well we're down to ramman believes that the fact that you pay a fixed amount to try out for a team and however many training sessions you are selected for is "funding the national team" and you believe that ODP is some kind of scheme to get revenue from T-Shirt sales at Holiday Camps.

I can live with both of those.

ramman
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Re: ODP Zone team selections

Postby ramman » Tue Aug 25, 2015 5:12 pm

Instead of getting your feathers ruffled for me having the same understanding that MANY parents, coaches and players have, post a link to the USA water polo audit. End the confusion.

oldtimer
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Re: ODP Zone team selections

Postby oldtimer » Wed Aug 26, 2015 12:00 am

So, let me recap the conversation.

1) Ramman states that ODP is a fundraiser for USAWP
2) Alan Cima states that ODP is break even.
3) I state that without actual details, there is no way to actually know for sure if ODP is break even, or if some revenues/expenses are assigned to different projects.
4) Alan Cima makes a snarky comment about hiding revenues in a fundraising category (?) - which would simply prove the point being made.

Then Alan makes several comments about auditors verifying that revenues are 'properly assigned'. According to what? Tax laws do not stipulate what category revenues should be assigned to when it comes to projects (unless there are tax implications). Sure, they will ensure that revenues/expenses for administrative activities is properly assigned, because there are potential legal implications (depending upon what is specified in the bylaws). But as someone who has been involved with assigning revenues and expenses in a corporation, I can assure you that there is plenty of leeway in deciding what bucket to assign various revenues/expenses to if it is not subject to specific tax or legal limitations. Claiming otherwise is ludicrous, because those categories are not defined by the auditors. They are internal projects, and the board/officers determine what goes into those buckets. Non-profits have more discretion than for profits, because there aren't as many tax implications... and yes, I too have operated a non-profit and have been involved in limited ways with corporate accounting.

Finally, Alan makes another snarky comment about T-shirt sales. Again, not in an effort to actually provide DATA - but as a way to 'win' the argument in a snarky manner.

The point I was making, of course (since Alan seems to have such a difficult time with reading comprehension), is that without the actual data all we are left to do is trust what has been given - or to ask cynical questions (please refer to my earlier post if you wish verification of this).

Nice job, Alan. If your intent was to actually provide a cogent argument, perhaps you should take some classes - because it appears you aren't very good at it.

Now - that said, I really don't care at all whether ODP is or is not a fundraiser. I only entered the fray because the argument, as it stands, is unwinnable by either side - because there is no actual data to look at other than a financial report that simply shows total revenue and total expenses in some broad categories, without any further details of how those numbers were determined. I have also *not* said that USAWP has any obligation to provide those numbers - but without them, then (as ramman states) it runs the risk of people making presumptions about it. And, to reiterate (since Alan seems to have such a difficult time focusing on the point) - that is exactly what I was saying. Without the actual data, nobody can know and therefore it is simply one person's belief vs. another person's. And no amount of snarky replies will change anyone else's mind if you don't have any references to provide - though you might feel self-satisfied that you were being so 'clever'.

ramman
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Re: ODP Zone team selections

Postby ramman » Wed Aug 26, 2015 10:22 am

As always... Well put Oldtimer!

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2plyBathingSuit
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Re: ODP Zone team selections

Postby 2plyBathingSuit » Thu Aug 27, 2015 1:23 am

My crystal ball says…the future of ODP looks bleak…for it's overall lack of "transparency".

oldtimer
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Re: ODP Zone team selections

Postby oldtimer » Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:56 am

There will always be parents willing to 'invest' in their children's dreams (or their own), and parents in every sport have their unrealistic expectations. My boys have been involved in several different sports, and I've seen the Olympic Development process in 3 of them. I'm quite sure USAWP ODP will be able to find plenty of parents willing to spend their money.

But, I'll compare water polo's with archery (which my boys all participated in). The archery ODP program included a weekly 2-hour session, with an archery expert helping every participant. There was no pressure to make a team, no big up front cost, no hype about it being a 'pipeline to the national team'. It was just a very well run training program - and those who had the desire were encouraged to participate in various tournaments and join a local archery club. It was relatively low key, and not very expensive. Since my boys were not all that interested in competing, we didn't see that aspect - which is generally where all of the money is spent - but in that sport, ODP was definitely about development.

Figure skating, on the other hand, is a sport full of insane parents who are absolutely convinced their kid is going to be the next Michelle Kwan (or, for the younger crowd, Yuna Kim). Kids are measured against unrealistic milestones as early as 7 or 8 years old and those who follow the sport know all the names of all the potential contenders at every level - agonizing over injuries, denigrating judges that are 'clearly' biased, and predicting eventual world domination by kids who are 10 and 12 years old. It is not unusual for some parents to spend between $20K and $40K per year for their kids' 'development'. I attended a keynote speech at a competition by a club president who opened up with the statement that "Your kid will not go to the Olympics", and saw several dozen parents roll their eyes, gather their items and leave the speech. Note that USFSA takes 3 skaters in each category every 4 years.

The problem I see with USAWP ODP is not the transparency, or the fees. I see the problem as the perception that kids who participate will get a real opportunity to be trained to play on the Men's/Women's Senior National Team. That this truly is 'the pipeline', and that ODP has a significant role in developing these players. I have no issue with the idea that participating provides a great opportunity to get high level playing experience that would otherwise be much more costly - but as I mentioned, two evaluation sessions and one 3 day tournament is not going to provide much more than 'exposure'. Those who are selected did not get there because of ODP - they got there because of all their previous training and experience. I've seen the claims that "most who are on the NT have gone through the program", and it is a fallacious argument. Those players who are on the NT had all the skills for making the team even if they didn't participate in ODP - the only thing it seems they may have lacked was the experience of playing in international contests. In addition ODP gave them exposure to the National Team coaches, if they already didn't have that exposure.

I don't see a lot of evidence that the ODP program is what 'trained them up' to that level. If someone has some evidence that 'raw talent' was developed through ODP, rather than in a private club, I'd love to hear about it. Someone mentioned Thomas Dunstan, but the evidence seems to show that Greenwich Aquatics, run by the YMCA in that area, has a very good program that competes well against even the best teams in California, and has a significant number of players that get selected for their zone team - which would indicate that the club is developing those players, not ODP.

Since there are those who like to quickly take offense, this is not intended to be a slam against ODP as a program to identify top level players. It is simply intended to point out that Ramman is voicing a sentiment that many parents do after falling for the hype (even if it is just hype from other parents) and then finding out that the program is not what they were led to believe. I've seen that with figure skating as well. It ends up being viewed as simply a way for someone to make money off of parents' idealism. But as I stated - there are plenty of new parents who are willing to buy into the dream... and that isn't necessarily a bad thing unless (as I stated earlier) the program is misrepresented in the official marketing materials.

NorCal>Socal
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Re: ODP Zone team selections

Postby NorCal>Socal » Thu Aug 27, 2015 1:09 pm

oldtimer wrote:The problem I see with USAWP ODP is not the transparency, or the fees. I see the problem as the perception that kids who participate will get a real opportunity to be trained to play on the Men's/Women's Senior National Team. That this truly is 'the pipeline', and that ODP has a significant role in developing these players. I have no issue with the idea that participating provides a great opportunity to get high level playing experience that would otherwise be much more costly - but as I mentioned, two evaluation sessions and one 3 day tournament is not going to provide much more than 'exposure'. Those who are selected did not get there because of ODP - they got there because of all their previous training and experience. I've seen the claims that "most who are on the NT have gone through the program", and it is a fallacious argument. Those players who are on the NT had all the skills for making the team even if they didn't participate in ODP - the only thing it seems they may have lacked was the experience of playing in international contests. In addition ODP gave them exposure to the National Team coaches, if they already didn't have that exposure.


I'm a bit confused, how do the athletes NOT get a "real" opportunity when they sign up and participate in the ODP process? Where are they cheated out of this opportunity?

Athletes sign up and participate in the program, get repeated instruction on the preferred tactics, skills, formations of the National teams. Coaches get hours and hours of exposure to these athletes and after all the camps and national tournaments conclude they make their selections as a staff. ODP does not immediately cut to the travel teams but then begins several trainings for a smaller group, 30-40 athletes, who then go through the same trainings but in a more skilled/competitive group. Again, where in this process are athletes (mainly parents) lead astray?

ODP makes no claims to significantly develop these players or say that the reason these players made the teams was because of ODP. They were given their basis of skills and competitions by the Clubs they play for. Where in the ODP documentation does it say that they are the significant reason for the athletes success?

You mention that two evaluations and a 3 day tournament is not going to provide much more than exposure which I agree with but i disagree with the dismissive nature you use for 'exposure'. Athletes who might play for a club with an inexperienced coach or surrounded by inexperienced players might highly value the 'exposure' to high level coaching and high level talent which ODP does advertise. If you are not from one of the super clubs with high level coaches or even if you are, being coached by someone else and being involved in the trainings is very very very valuable. The players that are cut after the national tournament can complain all they want about being fooled etc but in reality the coaches take 30-40 athletes on from there and if you were on the bubble then thats the breaks but you can't indict an entire program for marginal athletes who weren't selected to move on.

Furthermore, coaches are continually meeting about the athletes and sharing notes and forming teams to get the best look at the athletes they want to choose to move on. There is always going to be politics or incorrect choices in hindsight but I would guess that these instances are few and far between.

"Most who are on the NT have gone through the program" is not a fallacious argument its a fact. What would a national team coach, who is attending the national tournament, think of an athlete who is "too good" to attend the only national team training process we have? Should that coach just select that athlete because they are "that good" but couldn't come prove it in the system? How would you like them to select their national team pipeline? Water polo is a sport where you get good by grinding, spending hours in the pool, should the best athletes forgo this training because they simply have NT skills but don't need to attend these trainings?

The players on the NT had all the skills they needed to make those teams even if they didn't participate in ODP but how else would they make the team? By giving coaches long term exposure to the best athletes, through ODP, they can make educated decisions on who to select. If someone is so amazing they they are identified early and immediately moved to Sr Team consideration/training then those decisions are made in the early stages of their ODP involvement. How else would they get seen but ODP?

I just don't understand the argument that ODP is anything other than a national team pipeline that is open to the whole country for consideration. Any athlete can sign up and try to earn their way into consideration. If parents think that they werent given that opportunity then I would imagine that the fault lies far more in the athlete than the coaches who are selecting the teams.

oldtimer
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Re: ODP Zone team selections

Postby oldtimer » Thu Aug 27, 2015 2:14 pm

NorCal>Socal wrote:
oldtimer wrote:The problem I see with USAWP ODP is not the transparency, or the fees. I see the problem as the perception that kids who participate will get a real opportunity to be trained to play on the Men's/Women's Senior National Team. That this truly is 'the pipeline', and that ODP has a significant role in developing these players. I have no issue with the idea that participating provides a great opportunity to get high level playing experience that would otherwise be much more costly - but as I mentioned, two evaluation sessions and one 3 day tournament is not going to provide much more than 'exposure'. Those who are selected did not get there because of ODP - they got there because of all their previous training and experience. I've seen the claims that "most who are on the NT have gone through the program", and it is a fallacious argument. Those players who are on the NT had all the skills for making the team even if they didn't participate in ODP - the only thing it seems they may have lacked was the experience of playing in international contests. In addition ODP gave them exposure to the National Team coaches, if they already didn't have that exposure.


I'm a bit confused, how do the athletes NOT get a "real" opportunity when they sign up and participate in the ODP process? Where are they cheated out of this opportunity?


Note that I said "be TRAINED to play on the...National Team". They aren't being trained to play on the National Team - they are being evaluated to see if they already have the skills to make it to the National Team. And why to people have to insert arguments that were never made - I did not say anyone was 'cheated'. I said that the problem is the *PERCEPTION* that kids who participate will get the opportunity to be trained.

NorCal>Socal wrote:Athletes sign up and participate in the program, get repeated instruction on the preferred tactics, skills, formations of the National teams. Coaches get hours and hours of exposure to these athletes and after all the camps and national tournaments conclude they make their selections as a staff. ODP does not immediately cut to the travel teams but then begins several trainings for a smaller group, 30-40 athletes, who then go through the same trainings but in a more skilled/competitive group. Again, where in this process are athletes (mainly parents) lead astray?


- Again with the creation of an argument I did not make. I did not say anyone was 'led astray' in the process. If anything, they are 'led astray' by the hype (which, as I said, may simply be other parents) before they even sign up. But, once again - it is about PERCEPTION. Let's take your specific statement here "Coaches get hours and hours of exposure to all these athletes and after all the camps and national tournaments...". The hours and hours may be accurate if you mean about 8-10 hours. Otherwise, that seems to be a bit of an overstatement. There are two camps and there is one championship tournament.

In addition, I pointed out in an earlier post (perhaps not on this thread) that this year I observed one camp (for SoPac) where two age groups were combined. One of the sets of coaches was not there, due to a 'previous committment' - so both age groups were being 'evaluated' by the same handful of coaches. I don't know what your experience is, but mine is that one coach has a very difficult time evaluating any more than about 15 players at a time. If I recall correctly, there were only three coaches to start the day, and sometime later in the day another two showed up. I believe there were about 150 kids at this clinic, but I didn't count.

NorCal>Socal wrote:ODP makes no claims to significantly develop these players or say that the reason these players made the teams was because of ODP. They were given their basis of skills and competitions by the Clubs they play for. Where in the ODP documentation does it say that they are the significant reason for the athletes success?


Again - you keep making an argument up. Please stick to what I actually SAID, not what you think I meant or whatever argument you think you can successfully rebut.

I agree - ODP changed their process this year, and in their press release specifically stated that USAWP recognizes that players are developed via their club, and the camps are an evaluation. However, there is a PERCEPTION that ODP is about actual training. The previous process included one 'tryout' and 6 'training' camps - with the stated purpose of training the players. Most parents/players do not read the fine print (which I agree is their own fault), so whatever rumor/chatter/gossip spreads among players and parents is going to be what is in their heads - and that was the PERCEPTION of the previous ODP process, which is still the PERCEPTION today, for whatever reason. Except, of course, for those who have become cynical and claim it is just a fundraiser...

NorCal>Socal wrote:You mention that two evaluations and a 3 day tournament is not going to provide much more than exposure which I agree with but i disagree with the dismissive nature you use for 'exposure'. Athletes who might play for a club with an inexperienced coach or surrounded by inexperienced players might highly value the 'exposure' to high level coaching and high level talent which ODP does advertise. If you are not from one of the super clubs with high level coaches or even if you are, being coached by someone else and being involved in the trainings is very very very valuable. The players that are cut after the national tournament can complain all they want about being fooled etc but in reality the coaches take 30-40 athletes on from there and if you were on the bubble then thats the breaks but you can't indict an entire program for marginal athletes who weren't selected to move on.


You appear to have not read my previous comments on this subject where I stated that ODP has value for players who have not been exposed to a high level of competition. That's OK, in fact that is exactly the point I make about PERCEPTION. People don't read the fine print, and make assumptions. Thank you for proving my point.

As for the argument that it is great for kids who have little exposure - that is very decidedly a different argument than "It is the pipeline to the National Team". Giving kids about 10 hours of training, and 5 games where they get blown out by highly experienced players is *not* giving them a "real opportunity to be trained to play on the National Team". It may be an eye opener. It may provide motivation. It may do many good things - but it does not train them.

NorCal>Socal wrote:Furthermore, coaches are continually meeting about the athletes and sharing notes and forming teams to get the best look at the athletes they want to choose to move on. There is always going to be politics or incorrect choices in hindsight but I would guess that these instances are few and far between.


That may be true, but what does that have to do with anything I've stated?

NorCal>Socal wrote:"Most who are on the NT have gone through the program" is not a fallacious argument its a fact. What would a national team coach, who is attending the national tournament, think of an athlete who is "too good" to attend the only national team training process we have? Should that coach just select that athlete because they are "that good" but couldn't come prove it in the system? How would you like them to select their national team pipeline? Water polo is a sport where you get good by grinding, spending hours in the pool, should the best athletes forgo this training because they simply have NT skills but don't need to attend these trainings?


No, it is a fallacious argument about the *value* of the program. It may be a fact in that the vast majority of National Team players participated in ODP at least once - but to use that as an argument for how useful it is to make the National Team is fallacious. I asked specifically on this board whether it is a requirement of the Men's (or Women's) National Team to have been involved with ODP. The answer was 'No'. So to answer your specific question - I would expect a National Team coach to give consideration to any athlete that has references from his/her coach, and who wants to try out for the Men's or Women's National Team to give them a look.

It appears that you are trying to make the argument that the only way a National Team coach can evaluate a player is by watching them play in the National Tournament. As to why a player isn't there, I would consider any coach to makes assumptions about the motives or personal circumstances of a player that does not attend to be a pretty lousy coach and role model.

And I am quite certain that a player who has spent 10 years playing for Socal, Vanguard, Northwood, OC, Newport, Huntington Beach, etc., etc., etc. have had more than their share of grinding, hours in the pool and training. I have no idea what argument you believe you are making about the value of the evaluation camps and the national championship.... except it sounds an awful lot like what I said was the problem with ODP - the PERCEPTION that this exposure will train kids to play at the level they need to in order to play on the National Team.

NorCal>Socal wrote:The players on the NT had all the skills they needed to make those teams even if they didn't participate in ODP but how else would they make the team? By giving coaches long term exposure to the best athletes, through ODP, they can make educated decisions on who to select. If someone is so amazing they they are identified early and immediately moved to Sr Team consideration/training then those decisions are made in the early stages of their ODP involvement. How else would they get seen but ODP?


How, indeed? There is no other officially defined method. This is specifically claimed to be 'the pipeline'. Yet, I'm going to suggest that most of the players who are on the Junior and Senior National Teams were chosen because of their college playing performance, not because of what they did previously in ODP. In fact, I would suggest that the NCAA could be considered a pipeline to the NT, because my guess is that virtually every player on the NT played in the NCAA at some point.

But now all you are doing is justifying why ODP is so important to the SELECTION process, and it does not address my statement that the problem I see is the PERCEPTION, by players and parents, that ODP will provide a real opportunity for training.

NorCal>Socal wrote:I just don't understand the argument that ODP is anything other than a national team pipeline that is open to the whole country for consideration. Any athlete can sign up and try to earn their way into consideration. If parents think that they werent given that opportunity then I would imagine that the fault lies far more in the athlete than the coaches who are selecting the teams.


Where did I make that statement? Why is it that people have this incredible urge to make up arguments that were never presented?

I think ODP has its place. I think that if it generates revenue for USAWP, that is perfectly fine - after all, every non-profit has to figure out how to generate revenue. I think that for some, ODP will be the greatest experience in their water polo life.

However, there is a PERCEPTION, whether justified or not, that ODP is a training process. As I pointed out - it is in some other sports, so perhaps that is where parents and athletes get this idea. To its credit, USAWP did put out a press release last year that ODP had changed, and that it was not a training process, but an evaluation process. So, in that sense, it is the fault of parents and athletes if they are not aware of that.

But, AGAIN, my argument was not a complaint about what ODP actually IS, and I never stated that it is the fault of USAWP. I stated that the problem ODP has is the PERCEPTION that it is something that it is not - and this IS a problem for ODP (and USAWP) - though perhaps not one significant enough for them to address it.

The problem this causes is that people, when they discover it, become irritated/angry - and you will then see people make comments like "It's just a fundraiser for USAWP". Simply waving that aside and claiming that it is "stupid parents" or anything else is ignoring the PROBLEM. As I said, there will certainly be plenty of parents willing to sign their kids up, and many of them may have a great experience and have nothing but praise for the program. However - some will not, and in my opinion, that is caused by an incorrect PERCEPTION, and the way to combat that is to make sure coaches are educated on what the process is, and is not, and encourage them to relay that to the players on their team who want to participate. I'm not talking about discouraging participation - just make sure the parents and players know what to expect *before* they lay down their money.

FWIW, I have had a number of discussions with parents about ODP - many who think that their kid is going to get noticed by college and national team coaches, and participating is going to provide them with all sorts of wonderful training opportunities and benefits. Most end up being very discouraged in the end, and eventually are very dismissive of the program. The one's who's kids were selected? Well, some of them have reservations about the value as well - but their kid is happy, and that's what matters That is why I say it is a problem.

And I don't mind counter arguments. I just prefer arguments that are rational and stick to the actual issue/points being made. Despite what people might think, I don't argue simply to argue, so I don't enjoy having to address things I did not say or ideas I did not express...

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2plyBathingSuit
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Re: ODP Zone team selections

Postby 2plyBathingSuit » Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:30 pm

If you're not already 6'4 or 6'5" by the time you turn 16 (or don't think you'll ever reach such heights)…best hold on to your money. If giving money is your thing then it's probably better to simply give money to USAWP in the form of a charitable contribution than continue to participate in ODP…that is unless you meet the criteria previously stated.

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