Olympic Development Program to Provide Expanded Opportunities for Athletes of All Ages
By USRowing Staff • February 15, 2019
Building upon the successful rollout of the Under 19 Olympic Development Program at the 2018 Youth Regional Challenge, USRowing is expanding Olympic development opportunities to new groups of athletes this year in the U19 and U23 age categories.
USRowing’s ODP is evolving into a multi-phased approach, identifying talented, age-based athletes with the potential to grow within the system and providing them with challenging, developmentally-appropriate opportunities across the country. Over the next few years, the program will expand to all levels of national team development from U17 through the senior national team, creating an overall connection for the athletes.
In 2019, the nation’s top U17 athletes will be invited to take part in the newly formed USOC U17 ODP camps. These three-week, curriculum driven camps will be hosted in each of USRowing’s six regions and will focus on developing the mindset needed for success within the Olympic system. The camps will conclude with the inaugural U17 ODP Summer Cup to be held the week of July 7-14 in Sarasota, Fla.
Participants in the USRowing U17 ODP program will have the opportunity to develop as athletes, receive quality instruction, be exposed to regional, collegiate and national team coaches, race against top-level competition, and represent their region in competition.
In addition to technical development, the curriculum will include valuable education in nutrition, strength training, sports psychology, positive social media and SafeSport principles, just to name a few.
At the U23 level, the Olympic Development Program will track athletes identified at the junior level, while also identifying emerging talent in the collegiate ranks. Athletes from the U19 ODP system will be tracked by the U23 ODP, with the goal of developing athletes to successfully compete at the World Rowing Under 23 Championships and at the senior national team/Olympic level. The U23 ODP will work with collegiate programs to provide supplemental training tools and opportunities to accelerate athlete development at the elite level.
In the summer of 2019, USRowing plans to launch the U23 Olympic Development Program with an elite-level talent identification camp. The camp is tentatively scheduled for mid-August at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. This coed camp will target athletes who display the physical potential to compete at the senior/Olympic level but who are one to two years away from making USRowing’s Under 23 National Team. The goal will be to give athletes a clear picture of the pathways to the senior national team, as well as training tools to assist them as they develop in the collegiate system.