Each year Indiana ODP gives away two awards based on players on-field ability, their work as teammates and their appreciation for the game itself. Those awards come with a soccer camp experience. On the boy's side Miles Melick was able to attend IU soccer camp thanks to a donation of a free camp from Indiana Men’s Soccer. Landry Hardman on the girl's side chose to attend North Carolina Camp. Here are both players' camp thoughts and experiences.
Landri Hardman - Indiana ODP 2008
I chose to use my ODP soccer scholarship to attend the University of North Carolina Women's Soccer Camp on the campus of UNC. Some of the things that I experienced and really enjoyed were playing against high-level soccer players, getting a better understanding of how to play the game faster, the importance of always pressuring the ball, and that I need to look at moving the ball up the field more instead of playing it safe and passing back much of the time that I possess the ball.
I was also able to meet the UNC Head Women's Soccer Coach Anson Dorrance and former UNC and NWSL player and Olympic Gold Medalist Heather O'Reilly, as well as current UNC soccer players, my favorite being Ruby Grant. Thank you again for this opportunity as it was an experience I will never forget.
Miles Melick- Indiana ODP 2009
I had a wonderful time at the IU camp. My team won the division 3 World Cup, and the division 3 9v9/8v8 tournament. Our final record was 4-1 in the group stage. I also won the “Coach’s Award.”
It was fun to stay in the dorms. The rooms were nice, and I had a great roommate, a goalkeeper from Ohio I had not met before. The food was good too. There were a lot of options that were nutritious, even for a vegan like me.
There did end up being plenty of free time in between training sessions, but we always had something to do. My favorite thing to do was get a group of people and play soccer tennis which was highly encouraged by coaches and tons of fun. Even if you did not know anyone at camp, you could just head to the tennis courts,2022 and you were guaranteed to find a game you could join.
Getting the chance to play on their actual practice field was the best though. The practice field made you realize how much your mistakes were about your own ability, not the field. It was really energizing because it felt like we could do anything with the ball. Made you feel like a professional being where the Hoosiers play and just walking up to that field, especially for me being from Bloomington and going to so many games since I was little.
The organization was truly incredible, and it felt like we really got to know Todd Yeagley and his staff. Yeagley would talk to all of us individually. He talked to the group so many times. I felt like he was always around.
Todd Yeagley Indiana Soccer Men's Head Coach commented - “It is great to support Miles and all the past winners of the ODP Spirit Award. These kids have distinguished themselves as young leaders and great teammates. The winners represent their community, local club, and state of Indiana with distinction”