Olympic Development Program



From a Nick Johnson Inspirational Award Recipient:
Thank you and everyone with USA Water Polo for this award. It is truly an honor. I had to leave before the awards presentation so I could catch my flight. As I finish my senior year, I look back on my experiences in the Olympic Development Program. I have learned so much from so many people and have made many new friends. I do plan to continue playing water polo and have committed to play for California Baptist University. I believe that without the coaching and experience that I gained from the Olympic Development Program, I would not have the skills and exposure that have enabled me to participate at the collegiate level.

ODP National Championships Athlete:
We just wanted to reach out before too much time went by and tell you it was such a great opportunity for him. We could feel a new maturity about him, even after only two days! He had such a great time and he said all the players were such good guys, which was important to him because the comradery aspect of the experience is always so meaningful to him.

It was a powerful weekend; he was intimidated the first day but he remained positive and looked at it as a great beginning and next year he’ll be one of the older guys!  The size of the older players was a bit intimidating, but again a great opportunity to throw himself into the mix. When he got in the car, his first sentence started with “When I come back next year…”

Thank you again. It’s coaches like you that change a kid’s life, and you’ve certainly done that with him.

Great Lakes ODP Parent:
I wanted to take a moment to thank USA Water Polo for the great camp put on in Pittsburgh. My daughter Lexi had never been involved in anything like that and just had an AMAZING time. The professionalism of the instruction was incredible to watch even for a Dad up in the stands. We can't wait to see everyone in Saline! You should be proud of the great program you are running.

SoCal ODP Camp Parent:
My daughter, Hailey, attended the first camp but unfortunately, had a prior out of town school commitment for this one. Thank you for the opportunity you provided to Hailey and all the girls. I watched from the stands for most of the first session and must say I was very impressed with the program, the high quality coaching staff, and the commitment to create a first rate ODP Team. Well done.

From a 12 and Under Camper Parent:
I would like to echo my husband's sentiment. THANK YOU for hosting such a wonderful camp! Everyone was so kind and so encouraging.

On the drive home, Matt was talking about the coaches and which drills he enjoyed and what he learned. He also loved that he got a photo with Josh Samuels. He looks forward to future events/camps. He's very proud to be carrying his ODP backpack to polo practice today. :)

With much appreciation

ODP Holiday Camper Parent:
Armed with vitamin C, Advil, tubs of lotion (for all the chlorine exposure) and more reminders about drinking water and staying hydrated than one child could possibly benefit from, we put our child on her first plane flight, alone, to Colorado Springs, Colorado to explore the Olympic dream. I have always been a big proponent of exposing kids to their ambitions; my philosophy is that if you can’t visualize it, then you probably won’t achieve it. So we take them to watch high school, college, and professional games and matches in their sport of choice.

This trip was that concept on crack. When she was originally chosen to participate in USA Women’s Water Polo Holiday camp, part of their Olympic Development Program, we weren’t sure we would do it. It’s the top female players from around the country in her age group and they all travel to Colorado Springs where the U.S. Olympic team trains. You have to pay for the camp and for your flight. They also miss three days of school, going Thursday to Monday. It was a big deal and a big undertaking.The participants stay in the dorms like the athletes, eat at the same cafeteria, and play in the same pool. They also train like Olympians. Each day was jam packed with skill work in the water, meetings and film sessions. Needless to say, she came home exhausted. The first night, they were in the pool until 10:30pm!

I realize the chances of her being an Olympian are teeny tiny, but exposing her to a place and to people where excellence, hard work and dedication are required was worth everything!She returned home with a renewed sense of purpose for Water Polo. She was allowed to experience greatness in all aspects of its meaning and it seeped into her soul. I have seen its effect in big and small ways. She talks differently about her sport now. She is dreaming bigger and talking more about the future. In her first game after the camp, she was doing moves and defending in ways I had never ever seen her do before. She learned so much. But the growth wasn’t only in Water Polo; she grew as a person. She learned she could depend on herself and that she could navigate new situations just fine, thank you.

The Holiday camp will be one of those memories of a lifetime, and who knows, it just might end up being the start of something big for her in Water Polo.

Full blog post at https://ilovetowatchyouplay.com/2017/01/18/what-happened-when-my-child-was-exposed-to-olympic-development-training/

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