A few weeks ago a soccer parent contacted me asking if her son should do a ODP or club showcase in South Carolina… My first questions were, is it national team ODP or state. In addition, what league his club plays in… She said state ODP and ECNL for club [Dallas Texans]. Last, I wanted to know what grade he’s in, which is 9th grade. Let’s dive in and see how things weigh out.
ODP or club showcase
Age and level of the system all play a role…
If you are on the ODP National team you’re playing at a pretty high level and I would do that.
Although if it’s the State team and your club is playing ECNL I would say go club in that situation.
When it comes to ODP there are 3 different levels…
What city you live in can depend on how high the level is or isn’t…
There’s a significant gap between the top and bottom players in the system.
A U15 player who had to choose in the Dallas Cup
During the Dallas Cup in April there were ODP National Teams competing against club teams and winning big [5-0 games].
Some ODP age groups won the tournament.
Most ages went far into the semi-finals.
One of my trainees [John] had to choose from his club [Fever United] or the ODP national team and he chose ODP…
The reason is because they [national ODP team] were better than most club teams, meaning there is more exposure for the players.
His particular ODP squad made it to the semi-finals…
When most kids commit to a college
Just this year I had a player [Parker] who earned All-American ECNL as a defender…
He committed to a D1 school in California [Cal Poly] as a HS senior.
On another note I have another player [Bryan] who’s now a senior [1 year younger than Parker] who has committed to a school yet.
Bryan is being recruited by Saint Louis, South Carolina and Furman [all big soccer schools].
Now let’s get back to the the kids mom who has the 9th grader is wanting to know which would be better for exposure, ODP or club showcase…
My thoughts are most coaches are not recruiting 9th graders nowadays… Unless you’re on the US U-16 national team.
There are many showcases where absolutely no college coaches show up…
So be realistic in your situation. Oftentimes being educated is the key, and that’s why you’re learning and reading this.
My passion is to help people and that’s how this blog came about.
More ECNL players than D1 college roster spots
It’s important for players to be realistic when it comes to recruiting…
If you’re on one of the best clubs in America and you start the chances are good.
Although, if your team is one of the bottom in ECNL and you are not one of the best players are the team, the chances of making D1 your Freshman year are tough.
Please know that there are D2 schools that are better than D1 programs…
The size of the school is what determines what “level”…
My 4 years in college we would play a few D1 schools each year and we never lost.
Although, my school went to the Elite 8 my junior and senior year and had 2 players get drafted into MLS.
At the end of the day soccer will end for everyone…
Do your best and be thankful for the opportunity – regardless if it’s NCAA D1, D2, D3 or NAIA.
How to build your personal brand
Your brand is not what you think about yourself, but instead is what other people think of you.
It’s important that you keep your online media profiles clean.
In addition, during games make sure you work hard and are not constantly arguing with teammates, coach or ref.
Of course the ref will make mistakes and get us upset, but don’t be consistently complaining.
Stay out of trouble!
There’s a kid in a local HS [many others too] that lose their scholarship because they got busted drinking and driving or other rift-raft things.
Remember, what do other people think about when they hear your name?
You got to make the choices to be humble, mature and professional.
Coaches are looking for people who will help build their program, not tear it down.
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