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Frequently Asked Questions

Questions And Answers


What is the purpose of ODP?

The ODP was created by US Youth Soccer around 30 years ago for two purposes: 

1. To identify national team players early, at the youth level. 

2. To provide development opportunities for these potential national team players. 

To this day, these two core purposes, namely, IDENTIFY and DEVELOP for the national team, have not changed. However, many players have also come to associate ODP with improved opportunities for playing college soccer and getting college scholarships. This is because many college coaches work on ODP staff at the state, regional, and national levels and also most college coaches scout players at ODP events. College coaches consider a player’s participation in ODP as an indicator of talent and soccer ambition.


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What are the Benefits of Participating in US Youth Soccer ODP?


1. Development as a player. The opportunity to train and play with the best player's in one's age group.

2. Quality instruction from nationally licensed coaches.

3. Quality competition. Games against other state association ODP teams.

4. Exposure to regional and national team coaches.

5. The opportunity to represent one's state, region, or country in competition.

6. Exposure to college coaches.

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Which age groups are eligible for ODP?

The ODP age group refers to the year in which a player was born. For example, players born between January 1, 2001 to December 31,2001 are classified as 01’s. See the chart below for the upcoming seasons.

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What is the player selection process at the State Level?

Kansas offers open tryouts to all players.  The open tryouts are held in the fall and District Pools are selected. The District Pool in each age group trains throughout year. The District Pools may also attend 1 or 2 inter-state events, usually in the winter and/or spring. In March, State Teams are selected from the pools and these State Teams will participate in additional events.  Select players from the State Team can be invited to the Regional ID Camp in July. 

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What player qualities is the Kansas Staff looking for?

Players are evaluated on the four components that make up a soccer player:

1. Technique

2. Tactics

3. Fitness and Athletic Ability

4. Psych and Social Factors


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Can player be cut from the District Pool after tryouts are over?

In all the age groups, once a player is selected in the fall to the District Pool, he/she is eligible to participate in all the training and events until March of the following year. 

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Can players be added to the District Pool after tryouts are over?

Yes, players can be added after tryouts.  Typical scenarios that might warrant a player added to the pool are: 

- Quality player moving into KS after the tryouts. 

- Quality player missing the tryouts due to injury. 

- Quality player identified by State, Regional, or National staff coach after the tryouts through the scouting network. 


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What is the tryout process at the State Level?

The tryout process in Kansas begins Preliminary Tryouts in late July or early August. The Preliminary Tryouts are open for all age-eligible players. Those who do well in the Preliminary Tryouts are invited to the State Tryouts and are joined there by the players who were in the District Pools in the previous year. 

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What is the tryout fee?

The 2015 Preliminary Tryouts fee is $55. (fees subject to change each year)

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How long are tryouts?

The usual time allocation for ODP tryouts are 2-3 hours. Depending on the numbers involved, the actual length of the tryout could be less than 3 hours. It is up to the Lead Evaluator to decide how long is needed to accomplish the task. Tryouts are physically demanding and if small numbers are involved, there is no need to keep the players going for 3 hours since fatigue will start affecting performance. 

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Who evaluates the tryouts?

The Evaluators are a mix of ODP Staff coaches and club coaches who have experience at the highest club levels.

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When is Regional Camp usually held?

Regional Camp is usually held in early July each year. The two genders have their own separate camps, each at a different location. Since there are 4-5 age groups to evaluate, the camp is organized into 5-day-long sessions, with each session accommodating one or two age groups. At the end of the 5 day camp, a region pool is selected. 


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What player qualities are the Region Staff looking for?

Just as at the state tryouts, quality first touch is the most important technical indicator of skill. Can the player control the ball with one touch or does he/she need multiple touches to bring the ball under control? Does the player get away from pressure with first touch or does he/she get into trouble because of a poor touch? This is closely related to the ‘speed of play’ at the elite level. The better the players, the higher the speed of play. In order for players to survive at the higher level’s speed of play, they have to have a good first touch. 

The speed of play at the region pool level is much higher than at the state level and requires players to think quicker and control the ball quicker. Since players at this level are physically and mentally sharper, they anticipate and close down on the ball quickly, which means players have to execute their moves in tight areas, often surrounded by multiple opponents who pounce on every poor touch. 

Another important attribute is what we call ‘quick feet’, i.e. the ability to change direction on a dime and shift weight from one foot to the other and evade challenges with quick foot movements. This is, in the long run, an indicator of soccer specific athleticism which is more important than sheer size. As players mature at varying rates, size eventually evens out. But someone with ‘quick feet’ will always have an advantage and is more likely to develop into an ‘explosive’ player, which is so vital at the elite level. 

Athleticism becomes very important at the highest level once players mature physically. It is no longer possible to just rely on superior skill without speed, strength and power, since all the players are highly skilled. The better athletes ally their physical attributes to their skill to rise to the top. 

Lastly, ‘soccer smarts’ is also evaluated at the region level. Decisions on the ball and off the ball are scrutinized. Being able to ‘read the game’ and understand what kind of pass is needed, how to keep the ball under pressure, where to position oneself, how to help the team maintain a good team shape in attack and in defense, when to support the ball from behind and when to make runs ahead of the ball. All of these problem solving abilities separate the state level player from the region level player.


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What are the costs associated with ODP?

The costs of the ODP program can vary slightly year over year but this provides a good baseline of what costs to expect. 


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Are there scholarships available?

Kansas Youth Soccer tries to minimize fees for all events.  We do not want a players financial status to determine their participation in any events.  If you are in need of financial assistance, please contact our Director of Coaching.  All applicants will need to complete a scholarship application and provide W-2 / Tax Returns for the past 2 years.

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Camp FAQ's

Why do a camp with Kansas Youth Soccer?

Years of experience...Kansas Youth Soccer is heavily involved in player development at ALL levels; from development to recreational to select.  In addition, Kansas Youth Soccer oversees and teaches the coaches the licensing program through the U.S. Soccer Federation.

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Who are the instructors?

All of our lead instructors are some of the most qualified coaches in the state.  Most teach within our coaches' education program or coach with our Olympic Development Program and have numerous years of experience working specifically with each camp age group.


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How are the players grouped during training?

The players are grouped according to age and level of play. We aim for the groups to be no bigger than 12 players and one staff coach.


When the players first arrive at training they will be placed into a group consisting of other players of the same age and level of play which is required upon registering. From there the staff will evaluate the talent of each individual player over the first 2 training sessions and adjust the groups according to ability.


For example, if there is a player within a group who demonstrates ability above the rest of the group, then he/she will be moved into a higher ability/older age group ONLY IF the child desires. This is at the discretion of the Lead Instructor and not from those of a parent.


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What equipment does my child need to wear/bring to camp?

All players will be required to wear the necessary equipment required to play in a real soccer game.

  • Soccer Cleats, unless indoor shoes are requested for specific camps
  • Sneakers
  • Shin-Guards
  • T-Shirt, Shorts & Socks
  • A warm-up suit and/or rain gear
  • Plenty of water or sports drinks (No Soda)
  • Bug Spray and Sun Block
  • Snacks
  • An appropriate size soccer ball will be required for specific camps

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What happens if it rains at camp?

If it rains we will still train, however if the weather becomes dangerous (lightning, high winds, extreme heat, etc.) then each facility has options to take appropriate shelter or some may have alternate training facilities. Our staff will always be present at the venue before the camp is scheduled to commence to provide any updates on the weather policy.


If a day is missed due to inclement weather, Kansas Youth Soccer Association will try to add extra time on other days/nights; the camp will never exceed the set dates.


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Can parents watch during camp?

Parents are welcome to watch their children at camp but must allow the coaching staff to run the sessions and allow your child to interact with the group. 


On the final day of the camp, parents are welcome to attend to watch the games and presentations.

Parents are asked to cheer and support their child, BUT DO NOT "COACH" FROM THE SIDELINES.


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Do the players receive an evaluation?

No written evaluations are provided, but players are encouraged to approach their coaches for feedback on their performance throughout the camp.


Camp instructors and coaches will send recommendations to the state office for players that should be invited in for a try-out with the Olympic Development Program.

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Can players leave during camp or leave camp early?

Players cannot leave camp until a parent or guardian has signed their child out with the child’s staff coach. If a child is to be picked up by another adult, written permission must be provided to the camp director allowing that person to sign the child out of camp.


Parents are required to be at the field at least 15 minutes prior to the end of each session (excluding Residential Camps).


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What discounts are available?

Team & Sibling Discounts are available for the Residential Camps - $25 discount for team members when 8 or more attend; 10% family discount for each family member.


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Does Kansas Youth Soccer Association have a refund policy?

Fees for events are non-refundable unless the player is unable to compete due to sickness or injury. Please click on to review the Camp Refund Policy.


KSYSA Camp Refund Policy


If a child is unable to attend for other unforeseen circumstances we attempt to transfer their registration to another camp at a later date.  Each case is reviewed individually by the Director of Coaching & Player Development at Kansas Youth Soccer Association.

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