Over the past several years, our ODP families have told us repeatedly that 1) ODP costs too much, 2) ODP poses too many conflicts with club soccer commitments and 3) ODP fails to attract the best players in the state.
Louisiana ODP is a self-funding program. LSA does not realize a profit at all from the program. The costs of running the program are simply passed on to its participants. In fact, the cost to participate in ODP has not increased in over 5 years. The conflicts ODP events have with club soccer are unavoidable. As long as clubs and our soccer families emphasize competition over training, these conflicts will occur. Finally, although LSA has made great strides in attracting our best players from across the state, we still see some of our elite players pass on ODP. LSA also sees lack of club support as a major roadblock to operating a successful Olympic Development Program.
To address all of these concerns and conditions, LSA has restructured much of it's Olympic Development Program beginning in the 2017-18 seasonal year.
2005 and 2006 Programs
The youngest ODP age groups will operate much as they have in the past. Tryouts will be in December and training will run from December until Region III Camps in July. The coaching staff will be chosen by LSA. The events will remain consistent with past years as will the cost of participating in the program.
2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004 Programs
The main restructuring of ODP will take place at the older ODP age groups. These changes will reduce costs, avoid conflicts and will be structured to bring the best players to the program. Tryouts will be in April and training will be concentrated 2-day camps in May and June. As the LPDL will see its players coached by some of the best coaches in the state and training 3-4 days a week, it is logical that the LPDL will be ODP's first stop to attract elite players. LPDL Coaches will evaluate players during the entire seasonal year and recommend the best of the best to play for ODP. Open Tryouts and DOC recommendations will round out our tryout pool. Most importantly, as clubs will have greater input and greater involvement in ODP, their support for the program is assured.
LSA has analyzed and restructured ODP over the past few years with the goal of helping our elite players reach their full potential as players. In order for Louisiana to compete at a regional and even national level of competition, we must all, LSA, clubs, coaches, players and soccer families work toward elevating Louisiana ODP. To raise the bar for all players, our best must get better.