Is This the Right Development Approach?

Discussion in 'Youth & HS Soccer' started by JohnR, Jul 10, 2005.

  1. phishnchipz

    phishnchipz Member

    Jul 22, 2004
    Hm i disagree with the freddy adu example. He's great at feints and body swerves - those are his bread and butter when he's on the run...not the useless stepovers that c.ronaldo does, he only moves his legs. However, with a player like robben or ronaldinho, who feints with his body even as he's doing a stepover, it is much more effective. I think freddy is more similar to them as the kid definitely knows how to use body feints and changes of direction together to great effect.
  2. SandiG

    SandiG New Member

    Jul 11, 2005
    Louisville, KY

    I'm talking about kids who are already U14, U15, U16 -if they're not dominating games now when are they going to start?
  3. kennie

    kennie Member

    Mar 4, 2005
    My son has gone through the ODP process, what you will find is that it appears that they are picking technical players in the beginning. But in the beginning there are alot of kids that don't belong out there. ALso alot of the kids that do get picked don't even return the next year because many kids don't like going to ODP or its camps. By the time 2 or 3 summers have passed, the amatuers have left the process. What they are left with are 40 - 50 skilled players. At that point size comes into play. I believe everyone is shopping for size with technique these days. Look at the Magic u-14 team that will be at nationals....Several boys over 6ft tall ! ODP will pick size and tecnique over technique everytime once the ODP age group hits the "ODP tourney" age group. All I am saying is look at the ODP group of U12s, and in 3-4 years look at it again. Maybe 8 kids will be the same...but you will have gone through many changes.
  4. fashion

    fashion New Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    I would have to disagree with the ODP picking size over technique. The IL 89 group that won the National Championship probably has only 2 field players over 6 ft tall (Duran and Aikenhead). Both the goalies are huge but most of the players are 5'8"-5'9".
  5. kennie

    kennie Member

    Mar 4, 2005
    I am not saying they are picking size over technique what I am saying is that "small and technical" vs "tall and technical" the tall kids will win. By the time they have been doing ODP for 3-4 years the pool is pretty darn technical. But the smaller kids are at a disadvantage. I can't blame ODP for doing that, it is a smart move. I'm just putting my 2 cents in that teams are looking for size these days whether it is at the ODP level or the club level. Sometimes you need a big kid to clog things up a bit...we have a boy on our club team that lacks technical ability yet he is very good at moving agressively toward the ball. The smaller boys fall off of him and the defenders are drawn to him, and he can pass the ball to someone who can make the goal. He rarely shoots the ball, but is he valuable yes...size can make a difference
  6. the Next Level

    Mar 18, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    John starting the thread regarding 92/93s - all 11 and 12 years old right now.
  7. the Next Level

    Mar 18, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Not really. Size makes more of a difference with children. But with adults, it is more a matter of the specific players and roles you need them to fill.

    Physically speaking, there is no general advantage in being a good big athlete vs. being a good smaller athlete. As far as physical traits go quickness/strength/balance/agility/height etc. tend to balance each other. The better player then is determined by other factors entirely.
  8. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

    Jun 23, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Well said.

    I guess my point was, I saw less preference for the attributes of the good big athlete (speed, strength), and more for the attributes of the good small athlete (agility, first-step quickness).

    I imagine that this is strongly affected for the trend toward small-soccer games, when so much of the evaluation is done with 4 vs. 4 matches. If you wanted to win at 4 vs. 4, you'd never take Marvel Wynne or Frankie Hedjuk or Gooch or Carlos Bocanegra or Brian Ching or Brian McBride or Eddie Pope or Eddie Lewis (there is no crossing in small-field soccer) ... instead, you'd take Donovan or Beasley or Adu or Kyle Martino or John O'Brien or Claudio Reyna.

    I would think that this trend would greatly benefit the Hispanic players. My son couldn't be sure, because he only heard through the rumor mill about the '92 national camp selections from his state, but he was under the impression that several of them were Hispanic players, which historically have been very underreprented in Illinois ODP.
  9. pokerjoe

    pokerjoe BigSoccer Yellow Card

    Mar 24, 2001
    I agree with your point about small sided games leading to bad evaluations. Small sided games are for DEVELOPING skills, NOT revealing them. Unless you're playing indoor, the small sided dominators get left behind. As do the slick guys. The slicksters, here they're almost all Latino, THEY get left behind. That stuff just doesn't hold up by the time you get to Premier level play. The same move that used to work 90% of the time for a 3 yard gain on a defender (I mean, you're 3 yards past him by the time he's back up to speed chasing you), now works 50% of the time for a 3 foot gain, that the defender makes up for in about 5 yards. IOW, tricks can still help you get a shot off, but the old, U12 days of leaving a defender in the dust are over by the time you're U15. I've seen it for the last years. I've seen first hand, on my team and on long-time opponents, how the tricky Latino guys who seem so amazing at U12 now hurt their team more than help, because they don't pass enough, they turn the ball over too much, they can't out run anyone, and they don't have the temperament (maybe from having been so sought after as youngers) to get up and down the field.

    The Mexican guy (I'm half-Mexican myself, btw, though I clearly don't fit Mexican cultural soccer style) I used to sub for, now subs for me. I still don't have great moves, but that means I shoot or pass, for the most part, only carrying the ball into real space, whereas Latinos still DRIBBLE, shoot or pass, and that dribble-first mentality means they really struggle with the idea of one-touch passing (I'm talking about Mexican Americans, who have a different soccer culture than Mexicans themselves).

    And here's another thing: here, anyway, the top teams are almost all big teams. There is a real size difference between Premier teams and lower divisions, especially among the youngers. Now, that's good and bad. Good because I think you need to get past the idea of just winning early with bigger kids, and bad because you need to have size to win in modern soccer.

    And I should add that here anyway, the Mexican American kids have a different soccer culture than Mexicans in Mexico because the Mexican American kids play against white kids, who, early anyway, fall for moves, so the Mexican kids here kind of get seduced into emphasizing moves, which is bad for them in the long run. I've played against Mexican teams, and they do have great team passing skills.
  10. SandiG

    SandiG New Member

    Jul 11, 2005
    Louisville, KY
    Agree totally with your point, however I'm not sure it's a cultural difference. Around here at least, with not many hispanic players, the kids who dominate at U9-U11 because of slick moves do tend to get left behind as the field gets bigger and the other players catch up to them. And after years of being the star, they often don't have the attitude necessary to learn to play a different way (ie, pass, move without the ball, etc...).
    Unfortunately, I don't think many coaches share the view that small sided is for developing, not evaluating skill. How many tryouts do you see with full sided matches -from club to ODP? A real detriment to ODP in truly identifying game players.
  11. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

    Jun 23, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    In hindsight, I think that I overintellectualized the matter. At State Camp, with a manageable number of kids, the process is fairly rational ... at Regional Camp, with several hundred kids, that's another story.

    A quick comment from a veteran coach -

    "They once picked the worst player on my team because she happened to have a great 15 minute stretch when they wandered by."

    Yeah, that would cover it. My kid swears that he saw one kid get eliminated on a single play. Says the kid tried to dribble and got stripped, you could see the coach make a note in his book, and from what my son could tell nobody ever looked at him again.

    Sadly, I don't have a better idea for whittling down a huge pool of kids from 15 states into one group, all in 3 days. My guess is, if the end up selecting 50% of truly the top players (as seen by God), they're doing pretty well.

    Then you factor in the state-connection stuff, meaning that the big states receive priority, and that affects things too. For example a recent note - "From KS 91 Boys ODP so far this week, Kansas beat Illinois 4-2, but only 3 Kansas boys were selected for "A" pool the next day, versus around 10 Illinois boys."

    You can see why people get so frustrated with ODP. How'd you like to be one of the Kansas kids? A small state, this is your shot, you bust your ass off to win the game and the next day ... same old, same old. Those Illinois guys are the stars who will end up playing on the Regional team and traveling to Costa Rica; you'll just go back to Kansas, boy.
  12. Karl K

    Karl K Member

    Oct 25, 1999
    Suburban Chicago
    I have a better idea:

    Let's not even do it. Especially at these young ages.
  13. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

    Jun 23, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Having seen the process in action, I'm beginning to come around to your line of thinking. :)

    Copied this from another board -

    "This just in: Just got a call from my daughter at regional camp. The pools are set at 60 players. Kansas has one player, a daughter of a former administater.ALL other spots are for Mich, Ill, and ohio. They have been seen in two games. I dont get the format for selection."

    Does that say ODP all over it, or what?

    Great sig, by the way!
  14. HiFi

    HiFi New Member

    Nov 2, 2004
    Having just watched my kid go through the Region 1 camp, I can tell you it wasn't like I am reading about your experiences.

    In the 92's, the players were all shapes and sizes, and from everywhere. Small sided games and 11 v 11 games were played, and evaluations were done on the performances of both.

    I will say that it appeared that much advanced scouting was done at a Region 1 tournament at the same venue as the camp in June. So while it may have appeared that evaluations and decisions were made over the course of a couple of days, it was actually done over two weekends worth of play. Once the best players were culled onto two adjoining fields where the coaches could get a good look at them, it became a lot easier to see them in action and make the choices.
  15. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

    Jun 23, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Yeah, that's what Region 2 does too.

    But no advance scouting -- rather, some kind of bizarre combo of recommendations from the state office + 1 1/2 hour evaluation session. (Boy, you learn a lot in 1 1/2 hours of watching 7 vs. 7 games.)

    Plus, I don't know how big your camps are but these things are huge - maybe 250, 300 kids per age group.

    All I can say is, if you're choosing 25 of the top Younger 92s in the region, and the 1st, 2nd, & 3rd top goalscorers from the single toughest 92/93 league in the entire region show up, and you immediately throw those 3 kids into the discard pool, never to be seen again .,. what the heck kind of talent identification camp are you running? Not to be impolite, but in other countries they tend to at least look at kids who score a ton of goals. I mean, at least consider the fact that it might not be a pure coincidence.

    And no my kid is not a '92. :)
  16. HiFi

    HiFi New Member

    Nov 2, 2004
    There were close to 400 kids at the camp. And advanced scouting must have played a huge part as it seems many of the obviously better players started out on the better fields, which is where the most important coaches were. The ODP tourmnent a few weeks prior at the same venue really seemed to count for a lot. That at least gave evaluators two seperate occasions in differing environments to watch the players.

    How do you know the goalscorers were in the discard pool? In Region!, players were chosen from among two different fields.
  17. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

    Jun 23, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Because they weren't placed on either of the top two fields. One of 'em at least made the 3rd field, which received a modest bit of attention, while the other two were in the 4th field, along with a bench player from a team that they beat by a combined score of 12-3 in 3 games of club play. :)

    As I wrote earlier, they appeared to make a clear developmental choice to select players with shifty, crafty 1 vs. 1 moves. Did it matter to them that at the club level some of these players use those moves almost exclusively in the midfield, where they really don't matter, and are nearly uselessly near goal, when they do matter? Maybe, maybe not. It could be that the logic was that well they don't know how to harness this talent now, but they could learn to do so in the future. Or it could be, that the coaching staff didn't have the time to progress to that level of analysis -- that it was seeking primarily a particular technical attribute.
  18. HiFi

    HiFi New Member

    Nov 2, 2004
    Fascinating. We may have to get some of these coaches drunk before we get them to explain exactly what the hell they are looking for.
  19. DoctorD

    DoctorD Member+

    Sep 29, 2002
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Report from Region 1 90's

    Most evaluations were in 11v11 situations. Not many small sided games. All Regional selectees and National pool players in attendance were super fast. If you didn't have speed, forget about a spot. National pool players in attendance were not required to participate in many of the games.

    So it does look like different ages get different evaluation techniques and I withdraw my previous comments on this thread. :)

    Regional selectees were - what's the best way to say this - overwhelmingly diverse. Size was "average".

    The low point of the camp for my son was in one of the lectures when somebody said "If you want to succeed in soccer you've got to suck up to the people in charge". While this is true in most fields of life, 15-year-olds are (and should be) still innocent, so it came as a shock to hear those exact words.
  20. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

    Jun 23, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    As do I. Plain & simple, I overanalyzed the matter. For '93s, the prime evaluation technique was "cash their check," along with "let's take a look at a guy or two who catches our eye." Hell, one player who was pushed up into the '92 regional pool and evaluated as forward ... was the 4th highest scoring '93 on his club team during the spring season.
  21. HiFi

    HiFi New Member

    Nov 2, 2004
    Aren't the ID Camp costs included in your state ODP fees? How would check cashing become an evaluation technique?
  22. whip

    whip Member

    Aug 5, 2000
    Better than Adu... :eek: .Do not expect any foreign national to admit that USA have soccer ...I hear that every weekend when I visit my friends from different countries (central, and south america) even the portugese where saying the same right after USA WHOOP them in Korea 2002

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