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An Inside Look at Region IV ODP Camp

Recently, several Washington Youth Soccer Elite Player Development (EPD) players were selected to join the top players from other Region IV states at Region IV ODP Camp, where players would have the opportunity to learn from top coaches throughout the region, train against the best players in the West, and showcase their skills for Region IV Staff Coaches.

Each of the players, and the staff who accompanied them, reported a fun and challenging experience at the camp, and pledged to work hard to earn selection again next year. Below are some of their thoughts:

Sarah Carter, Girls 1995 Player

"Regional Camp is one of my favorite soccer experiences. It takes hard work to get there, since you're competing against the top soccer players in your state, but it is so worth it when you make it. The camp is a week-long experience where you get to play soccer with the best soccer players in the western region. You have to work hard, follow a whole different set of rules, and be so disciplined every single day. Each day is another challenge of training, classroom activity, and competition. Each day, every move you make is being evaluated, talked about and measured against other players there. You have to work very hard at all times to show well. There are expectations on the field and off the field, all of which are very important. To me, it's just like school. I know the amount of work and effort I have to put into classes to get an ‘A.’ That's the same here. If I want to excel, I know what I have to do each day. I have to work hard, take care of my body, rest, pay attention and leave it all on the field. I would never want to leave with regrets. It's like anything — the good things in life are those that you have to work hard for. This soccer camp is hard, but the reward is so well worth it. This year, for the first time, I made the Regional Holdover camp. I can't tell you how excited I was for my teammates that made it, and for me. I'm so glad our State supports us and makes it possible for us to participate in this adventure. It's something you have to experience at least once. Thank you, Washington Youth Soccer!"

Trish Carter, Girls 1995 Manager

"Regional camp is one of the soccer highlights for young players of all ages. The camp allows players who are seriously pursuing collegiate soccer to experience a mini-version of what that might look like. The 18 players selected to attend camp have to leave their families behind and live with players, a single parent chaperone and coaches whom they might have previously only met for a very short amount of time. The kids arrive at camp, and are put into dorm rooms again, with possibly new friends, faces, and no home comforts. They have to follow different rules, eat in a dining facility, take care of themselves to a degree and learn to communicate with a new adult and coaches. They are expected to work at a rate of 110 percent each and every day, and have new sets of expectations from all the staff there. It is amazing to see the amount of trust, dedication, hard work and support that these kids build up for each other. They quickly become each other’s advocates, shoulders to cry on, hugs to celebrate, and simply each other’s trusted friends. I think any player that has had the benefit of experiencing this camp is truly very lucky. As an administrator, I love traveling with the players and experiencing their success, personal growth, and maturity. It's a true treat, and I get to know so many fantastic kids during this week. Thanks also to our state for the great support we are given to facilitate a successful experience for all."

Lisa Sandlian, Boys 1997 Manager

"I attended Regional Camp in July with the boys '97 Washington team as their team manager. It was a great opportunity to witness the top-notch coaching and training for our boys. Watching the boys bond and support each other to succeed was encouraging, and they all had a great time. They were honored to be selected to attend and were determined to play their best! I was proud to attend as their manager!"

Jake Johnston, Boys 1997 Player

"My time at camp was an extremely great experience! The coaching was excellent and I believe it really helped me develop as a player. The training and games every day were a great way to practice and further develop my goalkeeping skills. Also, I feel that going to Regional Camp was a great way to be seen by coaches that are at the highest level. The dorms and fields were great. On top of all of this, the camp was one of the best opportunities that a player can get to open up doors in your near and distant future as a player. This camp can lead to a lot of great things in your soccer career! I am glad that I had the opportunity to attend Regional Camp, and if you get the opportunity to go, I would strongly recommend attending."

James Charette, Boys 1998 Coach

"Region IV B’98 ODP Camp was a great opportunity for our players to compete, train, learn and develop team camaraderie. The Coaching Staff was proud to see how this group of players progressed throughout the year."

Tami Udovich, Girls 1997 Manager

"I love watching all the players who normally battle against each other all year come together to make one great team. EPD/ODP players come together from opposing teams and work together to play some great soccer, and along the way they gain great experiences and new friendships."

Jessica Udovich, Girls 1997 Player

"I enjoyed meeting players from other states, [and] love playing new and good competition. It’s pretty cool staying in the dorms."

Madison Schultz, Girls 1998 Player

"It was a great week! What could be better than playing for outstanding coaches against and with the greatest talent in the area."

Kelley Schultz, Girls 1998 Manager

"I really enjoyed myself. It was tiring and emotional caring for 18 girls, but they did a great job competing day in and day out, and that is what impressed me the most. These girls are not only fabulous soccer players but great young women. I was proud of how they represented Washington state."


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