Yet another ODP screw-up

USA Water Polo Olympic Development Program
Waterpolofan28
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Re: Yet another ODP screw-up

Postby Waterpolofan28 » Fri Jun 03, 2011 8:48 pm

The idea of ODP being a money grab is not totally correct. It is a source of income for USAWP that is funded by the players that the coaches do not specifically want on their team. If you are a player who the coach does not want to go to their high school, or has no connections to the inner circle, you are out. There are some great players who are chosen for the team, as it should be. But we must also remember the famous email that was leaked. It listed several players that had direct connections to the ODP coach and never paid their fees.

Several of the people listed on the email were players or future players at a very successful catholic high school in Santa Ana. The players continued to practice and participate in the program and never paid the fees. There were also reports of players not wanting to play for a certain coach and the "higher ups" personally visited the player at his house trying to get him to change his mind.

We need to face the facts and see the ODP program for what it is. It's a program to get the top players trained, while others fund the practices, games, travel and other expenses. It's also an opportunity for the coaches to get the best players to commit to their high school. Can anyone think of a better situation that having all the best players in Orange County coming to you and auditioning for a spot on your high school team? Parents might even be inclined to have their children transfer and drive may miles to a new high school just to insure their kids spot an a ODP team.

p.s. You want your 8th grade son to make the ODP team? On the application where it asks about high school, just list Mater Dei and you are in!

kecoosmom
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Re: Yet another ODP screw-up

Postby kecoosmom » Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:47 pm

wow, this is full of some interesting messages. I'm not sure what ODP is but it must have the best interest of polo players in mind. My son has not had any games yet because he is new but the coach sure is very nice and he sure has fun splashing around and hitting the ball. Maybe next year my son can try out for ODP but maybe the year after. Mostly nice people here so Im looking forward to seeing everyone at tryouts and meeting all the ODP people next year or the year after.

Chernenko
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Re: Yet another ODP screw-up

Postby Chernenko » Sat Jun 04, 2011 12:51 pm

Kirk, Kim or any of the ODP folks...Do you think this has a chance of happening at the very outset of the process - zone tryouts? My comments from earlier...

"Thanks for your comments Kim and Kirk! I think Kirk's post is heading in the exact direction that the ODP "customers" want. I think that a detailed outline of the fees and EXACTLY where they are going is what folks are curious and often times frustrated about. The ODP customers will probably spend $5,000 in a given year per kid on HS, Club and ODP dues/expenses. Especially in today's economy, it can be a lot of $$ for families. I think if they feel any hint of being "strung along" to help a cause outside of their kid and his/her direct relationship with ODP, then it becomes very frustrating. If some of the proceeds from their ODP fees are being used for the Senior National Teams, then just disclose that fact at the very outset when the zone tryouts occur. Simply give each participant a line-item sheet that shows exactly what their eventual $800 fee payment covers - dollar by dollar on an individual participant basis. If the athlete ends up making the National Training Team and more fees are needed, then the same should be done again at that point and so on...Thanks again Kirk and Kim for all of your efforts and your correspondence."

stats
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Re: Yet another ODP screw-up

Postby stats » Sat Jun 04, 2011 3:03 pm

I'd like to add an opinion that goes against most of those here. My son comes from a lousy high school program. His club chooses from among those with pre-existing reputations; my son isn't one of them, so he has never even really been allowed to even compete to be an "A" team player. As you can imagine, in ODP he was one of the "fodder" to get $$ for those who were pre-ordained to make the JNT. However, ODP has been the one place where he has been allowed to compete, where he has not been completely discounted just because he wasn't from one of the "premier" high school programs. In ODP, he found out not only that he could compete, but that he could outcompete many of the "chosen-ones". As a result, he has gained tremendous confidence. Moreover, the coaching was excellent... they paid far more attention to him as an individual player than his club or his high school (at least in the latter case they don't know any better). So, he won't make the JNT, but it was a great great experience for him. Well worth the money for our son.

No, ODP is not perfect. Sometimes it is not very well organized. But it was great experience for our son, and I (for one) would like to say 'thanks" to the coaches and organizers who dedicate so much time to the game.

worm
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Re: Yet another ODP screw-up

Postby worm » Sat Jun 04, 2011 4:33 pm

1) again, if money is an issue there is a grant process and it works from what i have seen.

2) athletes that are not selected are not funding the kids that are; the kids that are selected are required to do more fundraising--which again, works if the athlete wants/needs it too. many companies are looking to "sponsor" an athlete that is in a National Team pipeline (this is true in hoops and soccer too)

3) its almost as fair as it gets (however, i don't have a better option to offer up so to me it's as good as it gets) and the current ODP model is outperforming "larger" sports such as soccer who's ODP model is failing from what i have been told--i have actually heard through the grapevine that some in US Soccer coaches are starting to look at polo...believe it or not!--to be honest, i heard one coach say it in passing but hey, it was said.

4) "the chosen" truly are not chosen. just this past weekend at the NTSC i witnessed coaches watching the lesser skilled/experienced segregated pools and pulling up kids that were "unchosen" to see how they faired. they were watching for use of proper skill, etc and some of those "unchosen" were selected...even over, as stated in these very message boards, some highly touted "chosen" athletes. the coaches also gathered the kids and made sure that they were aware that they should be showing they belonged in the more skilled/more experienced segregated course if they truly felt they belonged there. it was interesting to watch which kids took that to heart and which kids cried "unfair"...my guess is some of those "unfair" parents have posted many of the negative remarks in this forum.

**i think those heading the ODP program are listening and making adjustments as the program progresses. they want it to be done right for the sake of our kids and our national teams and i truly believe that if you take the time to view the entire process an athlete goes through (and even the coaches too) you would see that the kids are gaining some valuable exposure to very high levels of water polo (and colleges b/c of the level of learning), regardless if selected or not.

Chernenko2
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Re: Yet another ODP screw-up

Postby Chernenko2 » Sun Jun 05, 2011 3:24 am

I had to re-register under Chernenko2...for some reason I'm not able to login anymore under Chernenko...Thanks so much "Worm" for your very close watch on the way the conversation is being shaped on this thread. I appreciate your close eye-witness view, as you have stated, of the ODP training sessions, etc...You have reiterated the fact that there is a "Grant Program" and I appreciate that reminder. However, when I have suggested that there be a detailed accounting of where the fees are being spent, I do so because many times it isn't that families "can't" afford it, but rather that the fees are substantial and can be "tough" on families, so they may feel that they deserve to know what the fees are being used for. In today's economic conditions, I would think that families are more discerning than ever about the way they spend their hard earned dollars...I will wait and hope for an ODP representative to answer the following...


Will ODP create a detailing of where the fees are being spent on an individual participant basis and hand this invoice/fee sheet out to each paying "customer" at the zone tryouts and then at every other juncture where more fees are requested...or no?


I think if ODP did this, it would alleviate much of the resentment and frustration from the families that feel "used" by the current system. This way everybody knows from day one what they're paying for and whether what is advertised on the invoice/fee sheet is actually carried out and delivered to the "customers" in the end.

worm
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Re: Yet another ODP screw-up

Postby worm » Sun Jun 05, 2011 4:31 am

just keeping the argument as balanced as possible as i have watched this program truly develop into something i feel is going to benefit our national teams, college teams (numerous college coaches agree--they are watching), club teams, high school teams and even this coming year our age group teams. i am proud of what this program is actually accomplishing and i feel they are very transparent in what they are doing...it's not like it once was.

i do not know of one for-porfit or non-profit organization of this size that sends out individual statements (not saying they don't exist but I just don't know them...I have donated to numerous non-profits and have never had an individual accounting of where every penny I have spent has gone)...however, this organization (ODP) has detailed where almost every dollar is going toward for those that take time to read it. and yes, i believe those involved should get paid and if people take the time to read and follow how much they are getting paid for the hours and time they have committed you will see that they are vastly underpaid.

more on player selection: are there mistakes? absolutely. can a coaches involvement in a certain team persuade them to select an athlete they are familiar with over someone they are less familiar with? of course. the same way many complaining about roster selections feel player x should have been selected of y...they base it on who they know, in the heat of battle that's the way 99% of us would lean.

ODP has made huge strides in trying to be as open about their selection process as possible. hand written evaluations from the zone/region coaches for up to 50 athletes sometimes, evals for everyone involved in the training camps (yes, some better than others)...these are huge steps forward. Guy, James and Kim are putting in a lot of time to make sure this is a process which serves not only our athletes but our nation and I witnessed some fabulous overall coaching this past weekend (not all but the majority, others are still learning). i know they take pride in their jobs and if people would truly look into the program they would find it is a great developmental tool...yes, for the kids that did not make the final selection team too! just the process is such a great tool.

Chernenko2
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Re: Yet another ODP screw-up

Postby Chernenko2 » Sun Jun 05, 2011 1:44 pm

"Worm"...Just to clarify...the "individual participant invoices/fee statements" would be created one time and then hundreds of copies of it would be handed out at each zone tryout. In the spirit of what Kirk did earlier on this thread, but more detailed for a more precise level of accuracy. So a one-time one sheet detailing of where to customers $800 is being spent and then make copies of it made for all of the participants at the zone tryout is what I'm suggesting. They don't have to, but I wonder if it would help with perception problems that some have had and obviously from some of the posts on this thread...continue to have.

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Bar-Out
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Re: Yet another ODP screw-up

Postby Bar-Out » Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:54 pm

I have followed this thread for a while and thought I would add another perspective. My son has been in the ODP for 9 years. I recently stopped by a tryout (for one of our senior level teams) and realized what ODP has provided. All of the players knew each other on a first name basis and were pulling for each other. They were having fun, marveling in each others skills. There were numerous coaches on deck--too many to count. The coaches were all there to make sure that the boys were getting the training that they have come to expect at these tryouts. Although it was important for them to make the team, it was almost as important that they were there ---competing with and against each other as they have been doing for years. They have grown up together. They came from different high schools, they played for different college teams---but through it all, they were connected by the time they spent together training and playing. What were they looking for at this training camp? Very simply---respect among their peers.

Looking back, what did I pay for? The friends my son has met during these experiences -a wonderful mix of bright talented kids who have devoted many hours to the sport. The self esteem that he has gained. The self discipline of getting up early mornings and jumping into a cold pool before the sun comes up. The coaches who motivated him to work beyond what he thought he was capable of. The coaches who helped him mature. The list goes on and on.

Yes, as a parent there were late phone calls cancelling trips at the last moment. There were phone calls telling us we needed to get him to a pool 200 miles away---tomorrow. There were requests for more money, scheduling problems, and just an overall lack of communication.
There were never any calls from USAWP thanking us for what we contributed, no phone calls from USAWP apologizing for last minute screw-ups. Yes, some coaches or tryout camps were better than others. There were times when he was dissapointed by decisions, times when he was ecstatic, and times when he was proud of what he had accomplished. Through it all---we just went with the flow --recognizing that all of these frustrations were minor compared to what he was getting out of ODP.

Age group parents take note--believe me when I tell you that your kids are getting more out of this than you think. Years from now they will look back at the experience of being able to train and play against some of the best athletes in the sport, learn from some of the best coaches in the sport, as a very positive experience---even if they are not selected. In the big picture, this is money well spent.

H2Opolo1961
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Re: Yet another ODP screw-up

Postby H2Opolo1961 » Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:38 am

Bar-Out, as a parent I agree with your assessment that, despite some inherent flaws, the ODP does indeed provide some real value to the kids, not to mention memories that may last a lifetime. This because of the dedicated coaches, athletes and parents. But as a former athlete, I have a somewhat different perspective. The few who make the NT (whether by talent or politics, or both) and play in the OG or Worlds, may indeed look back with a warm glow in their hearts someday. The many, who sacrificed years pursuing a dream only to be frustrated by circumstances beyond their control, do not always share your nostalgic view. Often they have to bear both their own and their parent's disappointment, and when the parent's expectations exceed the kids' abilities it ends up being a heavy burden. That's not to say those parents aren't well intended also; most often their fault lies only in the fact they insert too much of themselves in their kids' pursuits. There also is a small minority who live vicariously through their kids, often causing the opposite effect: talented kids under-performing to rebel against their parents. But overall, despite or in spite of it's "anomalies", the ODP seems to accomplish at least part of its stated goals.

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Bar-Out
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Re: Yet another ODP screw-up

Postby Bar-Out » Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:55 pm

H2Opolo1961 wrote:Bar-Out, as a parent I agree with your assessment that, despite some inherent flaws, the ODP does indeed provide some real value to the kids, not to mention memories that may last a lifetime. This because of the dedicated coaches, athletes and parents. But as a former athlete, I have a somewhat different perspective. The few who make the NT (whether by talent or politics, or both) and play in the OG or Worlds, may indeed look back with a warm glow in their hearts someday. The many, who sacrificed years pursuing a dream only to be frustrated by circumstances beyond their control, do not always share your nostalgic view. Often they have to bear both their own and their parent's disappointment, and when the parent's expectations exceed the kids' abilities it ends up being a heavy burden. That's not to say those parents aren't well intended also; most often their fault lies only in the fact they insert too much of themselves in their kids' pursuits. There also is a small minority who live vicariously through their kids, often causing the opposite effect: talented kids under-performing to rebel against their parents. But overall, despite or in spite of it's "anomalies", the ODP seems to accomplish at least part of its stated goals.


1961-You make some valid points and I understand your point of view regarding "circumstances beyond their control". There is no place for personal agendas or politics in the ODP process.That being said, my experience is that these things are now effectively kept to a minimum in the ODP. The big picture that I was trying to make is that this is all about the kids, and parents should stay out of this process. Yes it can be both frustrating and expensive from a perental point of view---but if you keep the bigger picture in mind, there are many positives. What I was trying to impart is an endpoint perspective. No one really cares if your child is the best 16 and under player on the planet. The sport is littered with kids that are successful at an early age, but never make it when age no longer matters. Alot of this could result from the fact that they were in it for the wrong reasons---like parental pressure.

Outside of motivating your kids to love their sport, explaining to them what the benefits are of competition--- they need to experience failure or success on their own. To me, just the fact that you have been asked to participate in the ODP process is success, and not being selected does not represent failure. Actually, not being selected can be a huge positive, if your child sees this as a message to work harder to achieve their goal. No parent should put pressure on their child to excel. The pressure to succeed in their sport of interest should be internal, and if this is the case, it is enough for them to deal with this alone. If parents could learn some of these lessons early on and relay some of this to their kids instead of living vicariously through them---more kids would benefit from this process.

ChuckZOT
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Re: Yet another ODP screw-up

Postby ChuckZOT » Thu Jul 07, 2011 2:07 pm

Bar-Out wrote: 1961-You make some valid points and I understand your point of view regarding "circumstances beyond their control". There is no place for personal agendas or politics in the ODP process.That being said, my experience is that these things are now effectively kept to a minimum in the ODP. The big picture that I was trying to make is that this is all about the kids, and parents should stay out of this process.


If I only could list specifics on this board. Bar Out, You may be a cheerleader for ODP and Cal but you certainly are not being honest or you are blind when it comes to certain things. Whose a** are you trying to kiss?

By the way, ODP hasn't been around for 9 years. This is Guy Baker's Organized Deep Pockets scheme.
Maybe you work or have connections with a financial institution and can assist in getting a real loan for Guy Baker.
I never knew USA Water Polo was in this line of business until Baker's loan was mentioned on this board.
Maybe you can share where those loan application forms are on the USA Water Polo website.

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Bar-Out
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Re: Yet another ODP screw-up

Postby Bar-Out » Thu Jul 07, 2011 2:21 pm

ChuckZOT wrote:
Bar-Out wrote: 1961-You make some valid points and I understand your point of view regarding "circumstances beyond their control". There is no place for personal agendas or politics in the ODP process.That being said, my experience is that these things are now effectively kept to a minimum in the ODP. The big picture that I was trying to make is that this is all about the kids, and parents should stay out of this process.


If I only could list specifics on this board. Bar Out, You may be a cheerleader for ODP and Cal but you certainly are not being honest or you are blind when it comes to certain things. Whose a** are you trying to kiss?

By the way, ODP hasn't been around for 9 years. This is Guy Baker's Organized Deep Pockets scheme.


Sorry chuck--not trying to kiss anyones whatever. Just giving my opinion which does not hold any more or less weight than yours. I do know that the ODP is just another name for a process that was in place more than 10 years ago---call it whatever you want--but the same try-out camps and selection process was ongoing many years ago. Through the years I have seen it get better. Does it still have flaws---yes it does. Is the glass half empty or half full. Clearly -- only you know for sure.

EMJ
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Re: Yet another ODP screw-up

Postby EMJ » Wed Aug 03, 2011 1:01 am

I caught lots of great JO finals today. Great to see Stanford 18u's come out on top and the great 16u battle between LAWP and Lamo. Being curious and still mystified by the ODP selection process, I cross-checked that team of 16u Lamo underdogs, who seemed to have won every national level tournament over the past 6 months (For another blog - I'm not sure why the officials still consider them underdogs). ....but, I can't seem to find anyone from the 16u Lamo team on the national ODP squads. What am I missing? ...or could it be that the ODP really is an unsolved mystery only known to the ODP mastererrerrs??

EMJ

pietro michele
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Re: Yet another ODP screw-up

Postby pietro michele » Wed Aug 03, 2011 8:47 am

Speaks to the coaching that group gets and the team chemistry they enjoy...16u championship was very nice game to watch. I believe that team is undefeated for several straight seasons. Most impressive

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