Hello, my name is Brandt Bronico. I have known Mike since 2013 and would join sessions throughout college offseason. I really became invested in his “train on your own” program this past winter offseason from the MLS. I am a fusion alum, attended UNC-Charlotte on a soccer scholarship, and am currently a player for the Chicago Fire. This offseason I needed to work on my technical and set piece ability. I trained on rapid skill development in 1st touch & passing and striking & ball manipulation. Training by video allowed me to breakdown the technique, train in part, recognize my mistakes, learn from them, and correct them in future attempts. It helped me make my first touch even cleaner, allowed me to become more aware of my game, and find the correct technique for striking a ball on set pieces and through the run of play. Training on your own (outside of your club training) is extremely important for player development. As a youth player, I trained on my own a lot but did not have a deliberate program to focus on the right technique. Over this past offseason I was able to decrease unsuccessful attempts and increase successful attempts by training on my own using Captain Elite RSD training. I noticed the difference. My teammates noticed the difference. My coaches noticed the difference. This way was extremely useful for my development and I believe it would be for any player willing to follow the program and do the work!
Hello everyone. My daughter, 13, has trained in the programs since she was 11. My son, 12, has joined. Both are fully entrenched in Captain Elite’s train on their own kits. I have seen major changes in their control, touch, and speed of play. This has then morphed into them having more time to get their head up and “see” the field better than their competition. The trainings that they now do on their own have separated them from the middle of the pack to the tops of their teams, respectively. Beyond the “pitch” improvement, they have gained confidence, drive and self-discipline, which will carry through to many other things in life. Interestingly, my 9 year old has seen their success and now wants to join. Love this program.
Fiorella and I have been kicking around since she could walk – around 13 months into her life. We laugh a lot. We cry some too. But we definitely laugh more. In the earliest stages of her development – between 4 and 10 years old she was somewhat of a standout. Nothing crazy, but definitely more creative than her teammates. Various coaches noticed her and continued to promote her within their programs. Together we would go to different parks around the city. Sometimes we had an agenda of Youtube skills that we would work on. Other times it would be things that I remembered from my youth or just things we would make up to mimic game situations. Eventually, I had hit a wall (at least I thought so), with training ideas. There was a lot of excitement in 2015. The USWNT had just clenched their 3rd World Cup and honestly, we were still fired up from the 2014 World Cup which we just so happened to be in Brazil for. In addition to this, Fiorella was moving on to middle school. Later that fall after a wonderful conversation with Mike Keating about the Captain Elite program I decided to approach Fiorella with the possibility of her taking some responsibility for her development. I gave her the same space Mike gave me in our conversation. We talked about what was possible in her future with no attachments. After our 20 minute conversation overlooking the Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge she simply said “I want to do it”. The 3 of us (Fiorella, myself, and Mike) knew then, and definitely know now, that this day was a landmark as it was the day in which Fiorella truly committed herself to training AND allowed herself to be held accountable for her development. As we approach the 3rd year of working with Mike and Captain Elite; I often reflect on how far my kid has come in terms of taking control of her training. What continues to bubble up for me is that through these 3 years Fiorella knows she has a responsibility to herself to work on her own with the ball. Yes, I still have to bring it up; sometimes more than once a week, and it can be frustrating at times. I wonder, “am I the one driving this thing” – because really, I don’t want to be that guy and I sure don’t want my kid to be playing just because it pleases me. We are very clear on focusing our attention toward the process and careful of getting carried away by results. I love that CE is clear about its mission for the players. I am responsible. I am extraordinary at the ordinary. I am a student of the game. I am a hard worker. I am thankful. These manifestos set the foundation for the process of achievement and actually dovetailed perfectly with our own – Have fun. Try hard. Think faster. Be courageous. I am a competitor. We have spent plenty of time in the darkness of self doubt. We have learned that this darkness cannot last. My player spends a lot of time being dominated by bigger, stronger, faster. We are very clear now thanks in part to the experience of Mike with his own daughters going through the same ordeals, and sharing with us; that everything is going to be ok. Don’t give up. Hard work pays off. All is not perfect but we are seeing some fruit from her dedication. There will come a time where the physical aspect of her game will need to manifest itself. In the meantime, we can only work on the things that we can work on. Sounds so easy but it’s even easier to get caught up in what Sally, Jane, and Kate are doing and wondering why we aren’t as fast, strong, or tall as them. It really is only a matter of time before it all evens out. “Stay the course” is a phrase that continues to resonate. It is really important to know that working with CE is fantastic for skill development, but if your player really gives themselves over to the process of the program they will achieve unforeseen results. And, as I mentioned earlier, I am quite capable of training my kid but the experience for her of committing to long-term goals with other players in various programs like SOPK, Freekicks, and beta testing for Raptor 360 has been priceless. Truly. The fact that her and her CE teammates are not only accomplishing their training goals, but are smashing the expectations of themselves, the parents, and Mike is profound. And they are doing it consistently. The last thing I will share is this. I traded financial stability for ownership of my time. I work for myself and it is far from easy in the most expensive economy in the nation. It also means that I am able to maximize my time with my daughter. The result is that we have a phenomenal relationship. Sometimes I’m just a stopwatch freezing in the fog. I try not to teach too much. If she asks; I will help. Other times I can’t keep my mouth shut. I understand this can change any day now with the impending teenage years, but I am at peace knowing that the foundation of our relationship has been laid with time well spent – a great majority of which was kicking a ball around together.
My son is currently a U16 soccer player that decided to make Captain Elite his primary training and development vehicle several years ago. He would agree with me that this decision was one of the smartest he has made regarding his soccer development, possibly the smartest. He has fully engaged the online training, CE kits (Raptor, Speed Kills & current RSD 1st touch and passing), CE sessions @ Mike’s field and Mike’s feedback and guidance. If your CE soccer player is able to make it to Mike’s sessions – do it!! You will never regret it. CE greatly helped him focus and organize his weekly training sessions (developed his time management skills not only for soccer training) and he could not be more satisfied with his current state of development as college ID camps start this year.
My daughter, Mika (12) started with Captain Elite in the fall of 2017. She started with Speed of Play Kills because we felt like she needed to play a bit faster and it looked like a good program for that. We didn’t know how good it would really be. She liked the drills and it was easy for her train on her own with her phone and the videos. We try to train 3-4 times per week and it’s really hard for me to be at every training session and Captain Elite makes it so she can train even if I can’t be there. What a wonderful concept! She has truly become responsible for her own development. Speaking of development, I have seen her grow by leaps and bounds in the last few months. We attended the January Bash and this is where things got interesting. She was able to see top level players from all over the world and it opened her eyes to a new way of training, the Rapid Skill Development plan with Anders Ericsson and Angela Duckworth. She immediately wanted to sign up and start working. Fast forward to our first tournament of 2018. Mika played very well and had a great weekend overall but it was our second game on Saturday that I want to share with you. We were playing a top team from a large city on Saturday when I saw Mika talking with the other forward. They only spent about a minute talking before the kick off of the game and it struck me as odd because I’ve never seen her do that before. After the game, I asked her what that was all about. She told me that she met the girl at the January Bash and they played on the same team on the third day. I thought it was really nice that she had made friends with other top level players and recognizing them on the field. Out of the 4 goals scored in that game, the two Captain Elite players scored 3 of the goals. That should be a testimony to the strength of the Captain Elite program. Two top level teams, two top level players dominating the field, all from Captain Elite. They got the better of us and went on to the championship but Mika was the only player to score on them that weekend. A few weeks later, it was time for ODP and the same mental toughness and skill were present for the tryouts. She scored 3 goals against some of the best players in the state. Overall, Mika has been given the confidence and skills to go out in any situation and be a force for her team. I saw her at practice the other night, (we were indoors because of rain) just playing with the ball. She was kicking it up high against the wall and juggling it without it hitting the ground. I was completely taken aback. I’ve NEVER seen her do this before. She had the biggest smile on her face! She was practicing 1 v 1 moves with her friends and just really enjoying the training. I would attribute a large majority of this to the Captain Elite program and her ability to “love the ball” and practice on her own. Captain Elite has made this so easy, and we are both thankful for the opportunity to train with you. Mike has been instrumental in providing feed back, and training opportunities for my daughter that did not exist last year. I am truly grateful. If you’re reading this and you have any doubts that the training might not work, just put them aside and register for the next event or training program. I promise you will not be disappointed.
My daughter has always loved soccer. We discovered Captain Elite when she went to a UNC summer camp at 9 years old. Listening to Coach Mike present at camp really resonated with me because I played college soccer and wish I had known all the things that he was talking about at a much younger age. My husband and I decided it would be worth the investment to at least give it a shot with my daughter. Immediately she was so excited about all the new exercises and challenges. However frustration set in as she could not get them as easily and quickly as she thought she would be able to. She went through ups and downs in training. It was really the peer connections and the bash events that propelled her the most. She would see others struggling just like her. Once she began to see drastic improvement in her skills and that success was reflected in her games, it energized her to keep going. She is now at the point where she does at a minimum a 30 min session each day and she comes away from it saying how much fun she had doing it. She tried out and made a top level team and all that hard work has paid off. She is loving the game now more than she ever has. CE helped her establish habits and grit that will be useful to her well beyond her soccer endeavors. Can’t say enough about the program and Coach Mike.
My daughter Averey will be going into her final club season with NC Fusion ECNL this fall. As she stares down the tunnel of preparing to play in college at Lynchburg there are many blessings in what she has found through Captain Elite. Averey began training with Captain Elite around the u12/13 age group. We learned about Captain Elite through the UNC summer camp. Many summers of camps through UNC and Captain Elite, in addition to club play will have been very instrumental in preparing for freshman camp 2019 at the University of Lynchburg, Virginia. Several things stand out about preparation for those who think they want to play at the collegiate level. First, many parents and players put off “training” for the collegiate level thinking they are too young yet. The training need not be hours with a private coach, it can be done on the player’s time with a ball and a wall, friends in the park, kicking around before club practice, anywhere really. Simply 25 minutes a day for a player to touch the ball and use their creativity is truly one of the best ways for them to be comfortable on the ball. Second, colleges at any division level are looking for players who are self motivated in their training. Averey will have to take on the task of a very intensive 12 week training the summer before reporting to her college freshman camp. All to be accomplished on her own and reporting progress in to a mentor from the team during the summer. It is up to her to be prepared for the day one fitness/skills test at freshman camp. If you do not pass you are cut then and there. Dose of reality! Lastly, potential collegiate players should understand basic ball handling/striking skills are expected, there is no time in team practice to get up to speed on the aspects you are missing. It is up to the player to work on these areas independently and outside of team practice. When basic ball skills are lacking players cannot enjoy the game at the level they have aspired to play, collegiate or not. Playing time is lost to others who trained on their own to “go and get it”. Captain Elite has really helped Averey to “shore up” these areas since the club practice also does not allow time for this during training where their focus needs to be tactical. It is important players not to get left behind in this way. CE continues to allow her to focus in on areas at her pace and schedule. Averey asked for her training schedule this fall from Lynchburg and what a surprise….NOT! All the fundamentals and philosophies of how the like minded kids at Captain Elite aspire to train are there in this packet she received. The most important aspect of her summer training schedule, in addition to the fitness schedule: touch the ball every single day. The coach specified this be with a ball and a wall, pick up games with friends, anything organized by the player to get touches in their own way, creatively. Also, the challenge to dare and train outside of their comfort zone with ball skills and their physical conditioning- allowing themselves to be uncomfortable. I can say as a parent, Captain Elite has and will continue to prepare Averey to be a part of a collegiate team because she understands the mantra of “if it is to be, it is up to me”. I have watched Averey continue to push outside of her comfort zone largely due to Coach Mike reassuring her that you cannot grow without failure. She struggles with the ups and downs of confidence but realizes tackling this fear head on results in greater enjoyment of the game. Averey is currently enrolled in the rapid skill development program to help her improve on her ball striking, she was recruited as a forward in Lynchburg. She has done the raptor skills and it greatly improved her confidence on the ball in 1v1 challenges- she doesn’t shy away from those challenges and actually looks to get involved in play. She shared the Captain Elite philosophy and training she’s involved with her coach at Lynchburg. His words to her: “Averey, what a great training program you are a part of. Our team will be the beneficiary of your leadership skills and we are excited you are going to be a part of our program and family”. I cannot thank you enough Coach Mike for the innovative ways you inspire these kids to take on the challenge of training and growing not only as self accountable and responsible players on the pitch but these skills will serve players well in life and careers.
My son Jordan (U17) has been involved with Captain Elite since late 2014. My son wanted to become a better player however like most youths did not know where to start and was seeking something greater than the current training environment. He was lacking direction, confidence and the work ethic required to truly take his game to the next level. Through the training on-line program and being challenged versus more experienced players at Mike ‘s training facility, his level of play in terms of quality and speed progressed at an amazing rate over a short period of time. Within a year of joining CE, Jordan jumped two levels from the 3rd team to the top team at the club. His self motivation and dedication was inspiring to me as a Dad and more importantly my son realized that his effort was NOT good enough and it was up to him to change his path. My younger son Tanner (U12) is also training at least three times a week on his own. On many occasions both Tanner and Jordan train together in our turf basement. Tanner is behind from a physical speed perspective (that will come with age) however due to the CE drills is becoming very comfortable with the ball and surpassing other players in terms of technical ability who do not train. As parents, CE has enabled us to take a step back and not worry about what team Tanner makes and instead we encourage him to train on his own which in the long run will make the difference. Just last week Tanner’s coach sent an email mentioning his high work ethic and increased level of play which is directly related to the time he spent in the off season working on his own. CE has changed our players path and outlook on the future.
My daughter has been with Captain Elite for several years. Mike is always on top of the latest research & training and really strives to help the kids with the best methods to train. He does a great job educating and nurturing the players to become responsible for their own development within his training. If you are looking for quality training that develops players on and off the field, Captain Elite is the best place to be. For those also hoping to play in college Mikes training is designed to teach the skills college coaches seek just to be considered.
We are pleased with the RSD. Lilli is slowly improving in her skills of training independently and being very intentional, which is really good. She has tried out for 3 different soccer clubs this spring, and I could see a huge difference in her touch on the ball, so the repetitious practice in RSD is working. Exciting news, she will be attending Region III ODP Camp in Alabama this summer. We are so excited that she will be able to participate in the Summer Boot Camp prior to ODP. It will be a great prep for her to be her best in July.