James Walker, ASSA Director
Region III ODP Website
AAA Compliance Form
The Mission of Arkansas ODP
The mission of the US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program ("ODP") is to identify and develop players of the highest caliber on a continuing and consistent basis at the state, regional, and national levels. ODP provides motivated players with pathways to higher levels of competition, and also provides high-quality training to benefit and enhance the development of players at all levels. In addition, by bringing together a group of carefully selected coaches with advanced licensing and experience, ODP provides a mechanism for the exchange of ideas and curriculum to improve all levels of coaching.
ODP is designed to benefit the advanced and highly-motivated player. It does not replace a player's involvement on a team with an ASSA member association, but rather supplements that experience.
We encourage coaches of competitive players to assist in this process of identification of our truly elite Arkansas players. Competitive coaches may be contacted by the ASSA Director of Coaching and asked to give their recommendations of talented players on their team. Coaches also are encouraged to make their players aware of ODP and the benefits it can provide to them as they work to attain higher levels of achievement in the game.
Classic-level players are encouraged to "nominate themselves" by registering for the ODP Winter Training Segment. During a series of training sessions and events in November through March, players will be evaluated on their physical, technical, and tactical abilities. In April, the coaching staff will make selections to represent Arkansas in Subregional and Regional ODP camps and competitions during the Summer Segment.
On average, training will take place once or twice a month between November and March. If scheduling permits, other events may be arranged during this time. To the extent possible, inclement weather make-up dates will be announced in advance to make it easier for players, coaches, and families to plan. Please check the ASSA web site throughout the year for the latest scheduling details, including field locations and times.
Regional and Subregional Camps
US Youth Soccer is divided into four regions. Each region offers a variety of Subregional and Regional Camps for Youth State Teams in each eligible age group. At these camps in June and July, Arkansas ODP State Teams will compete against State Teams from the other southern states. The camps are designed to provide high-level competition. Players who distinguish themselves through exceptional performances at the Region Camps are identified and selected for participation as part of their Regional Team, and may also advance into the National Team player pool.
National Camp and International Events
National Camps and Interregional events are held throughout the year at various locations in the United States. The National Team Coach or National Staff Coach is present at these events to observe, train, and identify players for placement in the National Pool or on the National Team. In addition, most Region Teams will participate in one international event each year, in countries such as Argentina, Costa Rica, Germany, Mexico, and Sweden.
Benefits of ODP
For the truly gifted and committed soccer player, ODP provides greater exposure to college, regional, and national staff coaches. Throughout the year, players receive training that will reinforce the demands of the game at the higher levels of competition.
Players are challenged by working with the top players from across the state while competing against the best-of-the-best from the other states spanning the southern US. ODP pushes players to reach another standard beyond the local level, ranging from state competition, to regional pool, to regional team, to national pool, and ultimately to international competition as part of the US National Team.
Moreover, the experience of playing with new players who compete against you from other club teams is socially rewarding. The increased responsibility and self-discipline required to be successful at this level teaches life lessons that are invaluable for many years.