Caelen Miller wrote her CUPFC Coach about her national camp experience. Here is her letter:
Dear Coach Shrum,
The following report summarizes my recent trip to the ODP National Training Camp in Phoenix, Arizona. Simply stated, it was an amazing experience that I will never forget! Setting aside the years of hard work and commitment it took to get there, the trip itself began with me flying alone to Phoenix. I actually enjoyed that experience, however it was new and exciting and it gave me a sense of maturity. Coincidentally, one of the player traits that the National Coaches consider and value is a player's ability to cope on her own without the presents of parents or family. Once I arrived, I needed to make my way to a designated meeting location. There I met a number of other player’s participating at the camp. This gave me the opportunity to make acquaintances and to begin to develop friendships with some of the other girls. A chauffeur, who would transport us to the hotel, met us there. It was that type of experience that gave me the sense of what it might be like to be on the national team and play soccer at the highest levels. Once we arrived at the hotel we had a few hours to settle in and get comfortable with our new surroundings. The first day concluded with a late training session followed by dinner. The food was not the best, but there was a satisfactory variety that enabled a nutritious meal. The days during the week were fairly routine, with breakfast followed by training and then lunch with another training session in the afternoon. Dinner typically concluded our days (except for a few evening meetings) and we had the remainder of the evenings to ourselves. The morning training sessions consisted of various types of drills and skill training followed by full field games. The afternoon sessions consisted mostly of functional training that was position specific. In addition, some of our non-training time was used for study halls to help us keep up on the school we were missing. One of the days included a special group meeting with all the players and coaches when we discussed what the coaches were looking for when selecting players. One of the qualities identified is the ability to try your hardest at all times. Relatedly, one of the important things I noticed at camp is that the coaches were always watching the players, both on and off the field. As a result, it was important to keep that in mind and act appropriately at all times. Concerning my own performance, I played well at times and not my best at others. I felt as though I was often included in the pools of some of the best players. Regardless of the outcome, the camp was very helpful to me and an amazing experience! If I do not make the national team this year, I certainly hope to go back again.
Thanks Coach Shrum.