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The 5 Stages of Soccer Skills Development - Stage III Tips of Elite Soccer Players

Updated: Apr 19, 2022

Welcome to this discussion on the 5 stages of soccer skill development. In our previous post, we discussed Stage II soccer players who are intermediate-skilled players and are most often ages u12-u15. To read that post now, go HERE.

Today we are going to share a video of how Elite Stage III soccer players train as well as some of the tricks these soccer players have mastered with the ball. Make sure and stay with us to the end of this post to learn another critical soccer tip from other elite players on how to take your soccer game to the next level even as a younger player.

Now, on to Stage III... Stage III soccer players are usually older high school or collegiate players who have done significant ball work by training on their own at home and have become very technically sound players. You may have seen these elite soccer players from time to time in a travel club game, high school, or collegiate soccer game. You will immediately recognize this type of elite player when you watch them. Elite soccer players are often distinguished by their clean passes, their ability to expertly settle a ball out of the air when received from a teammate, and their ability to strike the ball with speed, precision, and power. Elite Stage III soccer players are constantly looking up to see what their next play will be. You will never see these players staring at the ball as they dribble down the field. Calm, cool, and collected, they are often ranked among the top players on their teams.

What exactly are elite soccer players working on perfecting at this level? Players at this level know that they can never stop perfecting their soccer game. They also realize that mistakes are necessary to improving technique. Mistakes are still frustrating but are simply a vehicle to improvement and ultimate success over their opponents.

At Captain Elite we often say, "Mistakes are not an option. They are a biological necessity." Elite Stage III soccer players know and internalize this mantra to help vault their game to the next level.

Elite soccer players, just like other elite athletes, often work on their own when they have a certain aspect of their game that needs improvement. Stage III players continue to hone the skills they've already developed including dribbling, passing, and striking but add in more complicated techniques including HIIT speed of touch, precise control on the ground, receiving the ball out of the air, as well as three key striking techniques. Many parents and players are surprised to learn that all of these techniques can readily be mastered by soccer training on your own at home alone or with a partner.

Now watch the video below of two extraordinary high school players who went on to play soccer collegiately at the University of Virginia and the University of North Carolina, respectively. Both of these players have exemplary technical skills from their hours of time spent with the ball outside of their teams in our online soccer training courses.

Then continue reading after the video to get your tip from extraordinary players like these collegiate players who were once just like you in their development stage!


All of the players you've seen in these videos and in our photos have learned these elite skills through our training at home soccer training courses. Learn more and join us for one of our High-Performance courses by clicking HERE. If you have any questions, please feel free to use our chat box to contact us or send us an email. We love meeting new players and families and helping you in your journey to becoming the kind of player you want to become.

As now as promised, here's an Elite Soccer Training Tip from Coach Cam who is one of our coaches at Captain Elite.

"If you have ever been told that you need to play faster, try planning what you're going to do with the ball before you get it, or at least know your options. So, before you receive a pass, look around the field: find your open teammates, know how far you are from goal, and what your best options are. Then you can receive the ball and play in 1 or 2 touches if you need to, or you can dribble. Regardless of what decision you make, to make it faster (and better), you have to plan what to do with the ball before you get it." Coach Cam

See one of our extraordinary most technical collegiate players from Belmont Abbey Men's Soccer in the photo below. Caelan has trained with us for years and you can see he's looking ahead to see what he's going to do next before he plays the ball. He's not staring at the ball because he's already a master dribbler, having spent hours training on his own using our online dribbling courses.

Thank you for listening in today. Please remember to like, comment on, and share our blog posts. We love getting your feedback on our content so we can keep sharing what you are most interested in! Parents and players also have their own experiences to share and this really helps others who are listening!

Don't miss our next blog post when we discuss Stage IV Advanced Collegiate players and how they got to this level.

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