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Mike Keating: CEO, Founder and Head Soccer Coach

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Mike Keating Biography

Mike Keating is the founder of Captain Elite® and a top researcher in youth soccer development techniques. He has adapted work by world renowned thought leaders like Anders Ericsson’s (deliberate practice) and Angela Duckworth (grit) to provide the best online training courses for your players. He is also the company's lead soccer coach at all in-person training events that happen once per soccer season.

Coach Mike Keating shares his insights on youth soccer development from over 40 years as a soccer coach, trainer, and researcher, 30 years in global consulting, and 20 years as a parent of student-athletes to audiences from 50 to over 1000 soccer players, parents, & coaches.

His areas of expertise in soccer and personal development include:

  1. Teaching high performance soccer training techniques

  2. Helping soccer players form habits and schedule their time so they can master the ball on their own in-season and out-of-season

  3. Increasing confidence, grit, creativity, and enjoyment in soccer players

  4. Preparing soccer players and families for college recruiting

If you would like to schedule a call or meeting with Mike Keating and his team at Captain Elite to learn more about how our training can help your players and/or your team, please contact us


Background as a Soccer Coach

Mike Keating has had his national coaching license since 1989, and has experience coaching soccer players at every level, from recreational to college to professional.

Today, Coach Mike Keating spends his time developing the best training strategies to help players and teams see huge improvements in their technical abilities and character every single season. Here is what he has discovered after coaching thousands of youth and college soccer players:

  1. Quality youth soccer development must focus on technique first and foremost

  2. Club and school teams often expect players to develop their technical skills on their own, so there is a need for online training programs such as Captain Elite for players to reach their potential

  3. A good soccer coach encourages players and teams to set goals, schedule their time, and train on their own in-season and in the off-season, all of which Captain Elite does for players

Research in Youth Soccer

Mike Keating has also been involved in multiple high-performance research projects for soccer coach, player, and team development for youth and college programs. 

Topics of research interest include:

  1. Setting goals and creating training schedules

  2. Guiding soccer players in building proper training habits

  3. Helping teams improve their grit, skills, and performance in games

  4. The importance of grit in youth and college soccer

If you want to schedule a time for Mike Keating share his research and stories with your organization for free, please contact us


Comparing Coaching Methods and Styles 

Soccer coaching can take on many forms, but research has shown that authoritative coaching, or a combination of support and discipline, is the most effective for helping individuals and teams develop the fastest.

The best coaches:

  1. Care about their team and each of their players

  2. Establish goals to push their team every season

  3. Schedule and design practices in a way to aid both individual and team development

  4. Support and help players in their college soccer program search

Besides quality of coaching, another factor in families' decisions on choosing a coach for their player or team is price. Some may wonder, "How much is a private soccer coach?" and "Is the price worth it?" Captain Elite's online courses could be the best alternative for your player or team if you want to (a) minimize cost while (b) encouraging personal responsibility and creativity in your players and (c) seeing huge improvements in skill.

Comparing Captain Elite's online training courses to private, in-person trainers:

  1. Cost

    • Personal trainers: $50-75 per hour (or $2000-3000 over a 10-week season)

    • Captain Elite's online training: $3.75 per hour (or $150 over a 10-week season)

  2. Effectiveness

    • After completing one season of our training, players with high grit scores jump 1 or more levels, from fundamental to elite youth to college-level skills.

  3. Character Development

    • Players schedule their own time to train with our online courses which teaches them important character traits like personal responsibility, creativity, and time management. 

Players can enroll in our training as individuals or a team. If you are interested in having your player or your player's team join us, you can learn more on our Online Training page

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