Sunday, September 12, 2004

Welcome to The Academy, sponsored by the New York State West Youth Soccer Association.  I am very plaesed to announce that registrations are now being accepted for the second year of The Academy, beginning in September of 2004.   There is no question that the State ODP program has now reached levels of professionalism never before witnessed.  The practice environment we have created is second to no other program not only in this State but in the surrounding ones also.  Our number of players in Regional pools is increasing steadily each year.  In the past two years five players have gone on to National Pools.  Three of our state staff, and I are now on the regional staff.  Since I took up the State Director of Coaching position, many players, coaches and parents have asked the question why cant ODP spend more time with the players.  They can clearly see the professionalism, the level of play and the quality of the coaching can not be equaled.

The Academy is our attempt to extend the ODP environment by a period of 10 weeks.  During this period we will not only continue the players individual development, but also create an educational opportunity for parents as well.  We will try to expand the knowledge of the game of both player and parent alike.  Practicing away from the organized environment, going to watch games live or on TV, eating to enhance performance, taking care of your body through rest and sleep are just a few of the major areas that our players need to develop.  

There are no certainties or guarantees in Soccer, or in life for that matter.  Being in The Academy does not guarantee you will remain in the ODP pool, make a Premier team, make your high school varsity team or get a college scholarship!  It will however, give you the opportunity to expand your learning capabilities in a disciplined environment.  It is our goal to provide you with the tools in the correct environment to help you realize your potential.  Remember, simply being here is a start, but it isnt enough.  An old coach of mine used to say, You only get out of Soccer, what you put in.  It took me a long time to understand what he meant.  Only now, years later do I know that the harder you work at anything the more rewarding will the end result be.  Practice makes permanent, is another great saying that hopefully highlights what we are trying to achieve with The Academy.

Beyond all else I hope that you are able to keep an open and inquiring mind during your time with us which will certainly help with achieving the best ingredient of any learning environment FUN.