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  To utilize youth sport as a vehicle for imparting strong values, teaching life skills, and creating excellence beyond the game so that our young athletes leave our program with the tools to make a positive and lasting contribution in our ever changing world.


Player Development Philosophy

The primary focus of Cap City Athletic will be on player development.  We believe the development process is about learning how to express creativity while building confidence in an encouraging positive atmosphere.  All of our coaches believe that the long term process of development takes priority over short term results.  We will not make any sacrifices on behalf of this belief.

We will use our total athlete curriculum to take a holistic approach to player development.   Our organization will focus on more than just what takes place on the field as we will also focus on the development of character, transferable life skills, leadership, and the building of relationships that will positively affect our daily life.

Block Training Concepts

Cap City has a strong belief in block training.  We will group all of our training in blocks of teams in order to succeed with our multi-coach multi-team training structure.  All players will have the opportunity to train with multiple teams that are similar in development throughout their meso and micro cycles (for more on meso and micro cycles, please see below).  Block training creates opportunities for our players to develop relationships with coaches as well as players from other teams.  This will be a large component to building a family atmosphere and developing our club culture.

The other component to block training is taking a building block approach to the learning process.  Our players will follow a pyramid of development that includes a strong focus on technique and skill at the youngest ages.  As technical competency develops, training will begin to involve an emphasis on the tactical components of play. With each building block we will have age group curriculums designed to focus on the appropriate skill set that is required.  Technical achievement is important at each building block level to ensure that players are prepared for the next level in the process.  As players progress through these levels we will continually reinforce concepts and components of previous levels to make sure that these themes are retained for complete development.  As players go through our three phases of learning - learn to train, learn to compete, learn to win - introducing new concepts and principals will make sure that players are continuously being challenged and developed to the best of their abilities.

U4+      Enjoyment, Fun

U7+      Motor Skill Development – Engagement, Excitement, Learning New Movements

U9+      Individual Technical Development – Expression, Passion, Ball Mastery and Creativity

U10+    Individual Roles/Tactics – Discipline, Self Confidence, 1v1 and 2v2 Scenarios

U11+    Small Group Tactics – Combination of Players, Self-Motivation, Goal Setting

U13+    Team Tactics – Combination of Lines, Goal Achievement

U15+    Team Tactics – Build Up Play, Combination Play and Movement in 11-a-side Dictated by the Requirements of the Game Scenario, Goal Achievement

Player Development Pathway – U4-U9

The Cap City Player development model begins with programming for our youngest players.  As we further develop as a club, we have increased needs to provide programming for multiple age groups. 

Mini Kickers – *Ages 3 and 4. This program will serve as a player’s first introduction to soccer (Foundation Level 1). Mini Kickers is offered four times per playing season: Fall, Winter I, Winter II and Spring. Each session runs for six weeks. Trainings are 45 minutes in duration and are adapted to fit the cognitive and physical abilities of 3 and 4 year olds. Players will learn how to tumble and maneuver their bodies with and without a ball. Basic skills such as “toe touches”, “soccer boxing” and dribbling are learned in a fun-filled creative environment!

Cap City Kickers – *Ages 5 and 6. As players move into our Kickers program, they will find an increased emphasis on basic technical skill.  Our kickers program is also offered four times per playing season: Fall, Winter I, Winter II and Spring. Each session of Kickers will run for six weeks and trainings are 60 minutes in length. Players can expect a fun technical training environment each night followed by small sided scrimmages.

Cap City Pre Juniors – *Ages 6 and 7. 
Cap City Juniors - *Ages 7 and 8.
This will serve as the third and final program for our initial Player Development Pathway. The emphasis will remain on technical development for the individual player with additions of introducing the decision making process of dribbling vs passing vs shooting. Players this young will still cognitively struggle with a team concept.  Some buddy or teammate concepts will be introduced.  Cap City Juniors will have an eight-week Fall and an eight week Spring session as well as an optional Winter session. Each session will feature 2 trainings per week with a weekend “match day”. All sessions, as well as “match days” will take place in Lansing to remove additional travel. Our Cap City Juniors program is meant to bridge the gap from our introductory recreational soccer programming (Mini Kickers/Kickers) to the more competitive travel programming of the club at ages U10-19.

Foundation Level 1
Mini Kickers
Foundation Level
Development Level
Cap City Pre Juniors and Juniors

*Player placement can be adjusted to meet the specific developmental needs of each player.

Player Development Pathway – U9-U19+

The prime foundation of our organization is to provide the highest level of team play possible.  Our teams will start at the U9 level and increase in level of competition and commitment through the High School ages.

Development - U9-U12 - MMYSL.  Our youngest teams will participate in developmental appropriate leagues where our players are allowed to have success and failure while applying their developmental appropriate concepts.  Our players will start to express themselves on the field and allowed to play multiple positions to further their development.  Players will play roughly equal playing time allowing them to develop at their own rate wit as many opportunities as possible.

Premier - U11-U19 - DA / MSPSP / NLC.  All of our premier level teams will play in the highest competitive league they are qualified for.  It is our hope for our teams to play against the best teams possible to help them develop to their highest abilities.  All of our players and teams have to go through a learn to compete and learn to win phases to excel on the field.  We have a proven track record of developing our best teams with a focus on the process of a winning competitive mentality.

Senior - Adult.  We want all of our players and families to create a lifelong passion for the game.  We push our players to have goals of competing at the collegiate level and beyond.  We are also realistic enough to know that many of our players and parents will enjoy playing the game, becoming a coach, serving as a referee, or just being a fan of the game through out their adult life.

Development Level

Premier Level

Senior / Adult Level
College / Semi Pro
Life Long Amateur



 “The Cap City Process” is a collective method of soccer coaching and play; a system that embodies more than the soccer skills and techniques we teach on the field. It reaches beyond the ideas of winning and instead challenges players to focus on how we define success and fulfillment of achievements and goals. The Cap City Process shapes the very essence of our developmental program. It incorporates both on the field training, as well as off the field principles including player welfare, college preparation and recruiting, character, sportsmanship, and work ethic. Our focus extends beyond giving kids the opportunity to succeed in soccer—we want kids to succeed in the world around them.

The Cap City Process will be consistently implemented and followed from every age of development all the way up into our oldest teams. We want our players to be identifiable and distinguished in their playing style and characteristics. To play as a Cap City player is more than wearing a Cap City jersey: it is having professional soccer education, professional training, through a development system that has proven successful for the best teams to come out of the Lansing area.

The Cap City Age Specific Soccer Curriculum will provide each player the opportunity to play soccer in a supportive and rewarding environment that emphasizes player development in a challenging, yet enjoyable way. It is a superior alternative to recreational team programs and offers Boys and Girls age U9-U19 the opportunity for advanced player and team development in soccer through a detailed progressive curriculum.

The Curriculum is based on key developmental needs that have been identified for each age group. The program is divided into modules that follow a progressive curriculum that focuses on fundamentals, applied techniques and tactical awareness in game situations. The Cap City coaching staff will follow the coaching curriculum developing the technical, tactical, physical, and mental components of the game in an age appropriate manner. Through this curriculum, coaches are able to develop players and groups within their pool in a way that best suits their progress and developmental needs.

Cap City Athletic
Club Curriculum




Periodization – Macro/Meso/Micro Cycles

Periodization is the systematic planning of athletic training, practice and competition that is sequenced, integrated, and applied in a logical fashion.  Cap City breaks our yearly macro cycle into multiple smaller segments: off season, pre-season, in-season, and transition phases.  We know that all athletes need time to recover and rejuvenate, both physically and mentally, to maximize training, performance and overall health. 

We believe in scheduled down time.  These periods are designed to decrease the risk of overtraining, overuse injury, staleness, and boredom.  We want to increase the time to rejuvenate and build excitement for players to return to training and games motivated and driven.

Our goal in creating a yearly macro cycle, multiple week long meso cycles, and weekly micro cycles is to guide our players and make sure they understand the importance of the development or competitive phase that they are in.  Each player needs to be mentally and physically engaged, motivated, and prepared to develop, learn and perform to the best of their ability.

Example of
Macro Cycle

Example of
Meso Cycle

Example of
Micro Cycle


Player Development Programming – In Season

Preseason (July-August and February-March)

·       Optional Technical Training – 2 times per week
·       Club Preseason Camp – 6 hours of training over 4 days
·       Preseason Interclub Friendlies – Each team plays one games vs another Cap City team.
·       Concussion Education
·       Club Nutrition Education
·       Speed Training and Strength Training Introductions

Competitive Season (August-November and March-June)

·       Team Training – 2 sessions per week
·       Technical Training – For players 9-12, 1 session every week for 60 minutes
·       Functional Training – For players 13+, 1 session per week for 60 minutes
·       GK Training – 1 or 2 sessions per week for 60 minutes
·       Cross Training with other age groups – At coach recommendation or player request
·       Speed, Strength, Balance, Coordination – All workloads are managed with in training schedules.
·       Nutrition Education – 1 session for each training block.
·       Recovery Sessions – Upon request of coaching staff.
·       Club Community Service Project

Technical Training

Cap City teams, ages U10-18, will train three times per week during our competitive fall and spring seasons.  In each of these seasons, every player will have two team training nights focusing on the technical, tactical, psychological and physical aspects of the game. The third night will be a combination of technical training and functional training, as well as speed, agility and strength training provided by the Velocity team from Conquest Fitness in Dewitt.

Cap City technical training nights will focus on the individual and the ball.  Topics will include, but are not limited to the following:

Dribbling - to attack, to possess, turning, shielding and running with the ball
Passing - short, long, driven, floated, bending, weight
Receiving and Control - first touch, ground, aerial, under pressure, directional touch, body position
Finishing - placement, power, technique, decision making
Crossing - type of pass, weight, angles, timing
Heading - attacking, defensive
Defending - 1v1, pressure, contain, discipline, balance, timing, type of tackles 

Cap City functional training nights (primarily for the U13 and older age groups) will focus on position specific training.  We will carry all technical themes and apply them directly to the specific roles and positions on the field. Examples of functional training are:

Movement of Forwards – off ball runs (diagonal, bent, and straight), targeting, etc.
Flank Play in the middle and final third for wide players
Combination play for midfielders
Building out of the back for defenders

Goalkeeper Training

Our Goalkeeper Program is under the direction of Stacy DeLonge.  In the past 15 years, Stacy has worked with and trained 20+ goalkeepers who have gone on to compete at the college level – 12 alone in Division I.

Stacy and her staff are continuously looking for innovative ways to enrich the training environment of today’s goalkeeping standards. Cap City goalkeepers will be coached in small group environments with the focus and themes appropriately determined by age and ability. The emphasis will be on the QUALITY, not the QUANTITY of training. With that being said, our goalkeepers will have the opportunity for instruction 1-2x per week with Stacy and the Cap City Goalkeeping staff. With multiple credited goalkeeper coaches on Staff, our keepers will have exposure to more than just one coach trying to serve many. We have seen Cap City Goalkeepers prove themselves at the next level whether it be Youth State Teams, High School Varsity teams, and/or in the College game.

Nutrition Education

Nutrition plays a massive role in both performance and recovery. It is extremely critical that we teach our young athletes the importance of thinking about food not only as fuel, increasing our ability to perform, but also as a product that helps aids in our body’s ability to recover. Our athletes will learn about healthy eating habits as well as timing of food intake for both on the field performance and post-game recovery. Our coaches have taken part in nutrition education as well as current research projects that have allowed them to teach our players the significance of fueling our bodies. 

Sports Psychology

We teach multiple key components of Sports Psychology: Goal Setting, Visualization and Imagery, Positive Self-Talk and Confidence, Relaxation and Concentration and lastly, Coping with Poor Performance or Injury.

At Cap City, we recognize that Sports Psychology and Mental Health are growing increasingly important for today’s athlete. We take pride in having a wonderful resource in Dr. Marty Ewing, current Cap City board member. Dr. Ewing, former head of sports psychology at Michigan State University continues to provide us with coaching education and resources in her field of specialty. 

Player Development Programming – Out of Season

Post Competitive Season
·       OFF – Required down time for all Cap City teams.

·       Team Training – 1 session per week
·       Optional Technical Training – 1 session per week
·       Technical Camp – Turn to Attack (U12-U18) – Additional Cost
·       Technical Camp – Airplay (U12-U18) – Additional Cost
·       Technical Camp – Finishing and Ball Striking (U12-U18) – Additional Cost
·       Technical Camp – Fancy Footwork (U8-U12) – Additional Cost
·       GK Camp by Spartan Goalkeeper Academy – Additional Cost
·       Strength Development - All workloads are managed with training schedules. 
·       Club Community Service Project
College Soccer Guidance Meetings

January – February
·       Team Training – 2 session per week
·       Optional Technical Training – 1 session per week
·       Futsal Interclub League – 1 game per week
·       GK Training – 1 session per week
·       Cross Training with other age groups – At coach recommendation or player request
·       Strength Development  - All workloads are managed with training schedules.
·       College Soccer Guidance Meetings

June - July
·       OFF – Required down time for all Cap City teams.
·       Technical Camp – Fancy Footwork (U8-U12) – Additional Cost
·       Technical Camp – Finishing and Ball Striking (U12-U18) – Additional Cost
·       Technical Camp – ODP Prep Camp (U12-U16) – Additional Cost
·       GK Camp by Spartan Goalkeeper Academy – Additional Cost

Futsal Specific Training Period

During January and February, Cap City offers a 6-week futsal specific training period.   The game is similar to soccer, but is played on a hard court surface, with a heavier ball and smaller numbers. Some proven technical and tactical benefits include: better ball control and technical skill under pressure, creative quick individual and combination attacking play, increase speed of decision making, and speed of play in attacking and defensive transitional moments.

Cap City teams will train weekly with futsal balls.  As well as our weekly indoor trainings, our teams will also have intra-club competitions on the weekends. These games will be played on hard court surfaces and our players and teams will be mixed according to age and ability. This atmosphere, boys and girls of all ages, competing together as well as against each other, lends itself well to our player’s development and our club culture.

College Soccer Guidance Program

Cap City Athletic 1847 takes pride in our coaches reputation and ability to help our athletes continue their playing careers at the College and University level.  The Collegiate Guidance Program has been developed to help educate our players about the process of finding the best personal fit academically and athletically beyond high school. 

Players and families, please keep the following 3 helpful notes in mind when considering our program as well as a future in college soccer:
·        This is a process - similar to a job search.
·        The most important part of this process is finding the best fit academically.
·        There are many people who will have the important roles in this process, such as: the player, parents, and coach.  While everyone will have certain responsibilities, it is the player who will drive the process.

The College Soccer Guidance program will include:
·        Two Open Informational Meetings - One Fall and One Spring
·        One College Question and Answer Panel
·        Personalized and Individual Planning with the CSG Director and Team Coach


Cap City offers various camps throughout the year. All camps are offered during our periodization downtime. Three different types of camps are offered during the year: Finishing, Fancy Footwork and ODP prep camp. Cap City has also partnered with the Spartan Goalkeeper Academy to better serve our club’s goalkeepers.

Our Finishing Camps are for players ages 12 and older and are held in conjunction with the Spartan Goalkeeper Academy so our players can shoot against live goalkeepers. These camps are offered in the Winter as well as the Summer. LINK

Fancy Footwork camps are for players ages 12 and under and are held during the Summer. Creative moves and touches are the main emphasis of our Fancy Footwork camps. Comfortability with the ball is a must for our youngsters! LINK

ODP Prep camp is offered late July for those players looking to try-out for the state of Michigan’s Olympic Development program. This camp offers the opportunity to prepare for a challenge tryout that includes players from all around the state of hoping to be selected to represent Michigan. LINK

The Spartan Goalkeeper Academy is a goalkeeper specific camp designed and run by college goalkeeper coaches and players. It is offered twice per summer and winter. Goalkeepers will train in a small group environment determined by age and ability. LINK



Youth Sport is one of the most powerful tools to help young kids develop impactful life skills.  Respect for self, respect for teammates, coaches, opponents, officials, and rules of the game all become valuable skills that players will carry with them for the rest of their lives.  Learning sportsmanship, winning in a respectful manner and losing with dignity, and how those opportunities impact and mold their personal actions will start to define the behavior, attitude, and character they carry and believe in during their adult life.  


Resilience, or “mental toughness,” is a key psychological aspect of sport. The ability to bounce back from a poor performance or a detrimental mistake is crucial to an athlete’s success. As much as athletes hate to admit it, failure is a part of the game and life! Developing “mental toughness” or resilience will help an athlete perform well in the face of adversity. A resilient athlete is one who is able to overcome setbacks, remain confident, and focus on the present.

As mentioned previously, we push our players to train at the edge of their abilities where mistakes and errors are going to happen. We do not want them to accept failure and mistakes but rather seek them out as a means of development. We want players to develop the “grit” that will get them through many of the difficult moments they will encounter throughout their lives.


Leadership is a complex and evolving process that involves the effort of an individual to help identify and achieve personal and group goals. At Cap City we believe that all young people can and need to learn leadership skills.

Leadership development in youth occurs in stages, beginning with awareness and understanding of one’s individual role, group role, leadership capacity, as well as the ability to develop the basic skill set necessary to lead. Learning how to lead is multi-faceted and can be developed through experience, trial and error, mentorship and formal education. Effective youth leadership development requires experiential learning. Young people in a leadership role need supervising adults to allow them to make “meaningful” decisions and to become active agents in their own development.

Cultivating leadership in young people is difficult when adults dominate their environment. Of all the venues that may be used to develop leadership in young people, sport appears to be one of the most underutilized.  We want our players to encourage, support, communicate, listen, respond, and put in huge amounts of effort towards building their own development, but also the development of their teammates and team in which they participate.


Accountability in sport is doing what you say you are going to do and executing the task to the best of your ability. It is the ability to also put your hand up and say ‘this is what I need to do better’ upon struggle or inability to accomplish the task. Being accountable is not making excuses, not blaming others or whining and complaining.

Accountability in sport is taking ownership of a task and making sure you know your job and do your job 100% of the time. Accountability happens when you are the one critiquing your own performance. This is what successful people do. This is what tough athletes do.

One of the biggest issues we see in sport within teams is the inability to hold each other accountable. Too often, when a teammate is not doing something right, possibly hurting the team’s performance, our players struggle with the communication necessary to hold each other accountable. Being able to have an ‘accountability’ conversation with a teammate is critical if we want to reach the highest level of performance.


Without self-awareness, athletes cannot understand their strengths and weaknesses. We often challenge our players to get out of their comfort zone in training and take risks. In order to do this players must be keenly aware of their current skill level so that they can push their boundaries and train at the edge of their capabilities.

We feel this is important to develop at an early age so that players grow up being able to honestly evaluate themselves in every aspect of their life. Whether it is knowing where to focus their study time to improve academics or better develop themselves as they enter the work force and grow within their careers.

Self-Confidence and Self Esteem

Often, sports parents and kids confuse self-confidence and self-esteem in youth sports. There is a distinct difference between the two:

Self - Confidence is all about how much kids believe in their ability to execute a task or skill—it is about kids’ performance in sports.

Self-esteem, on the other hand, is about the whole person. It is based on kids’ self-concept—how they view themselves as people, not as athletes. Kids’ self-esteem is about how they define themselves (outside of sport) and relate to other people.

At Cap City we want to develop young people that are confident in their soccer abilities but more importantly we want our young players to possess high self-esteem. We do not want their self-esteem linked solely to their confidence on the soccer field. We seek to develop well rounded young people who are not only confident in who they are and what they are capable of accomplishing, but also are able to view themselves in a positive light. 


We feel that empathy is one of the most important qualities that we can help foster in all of our players. Empathy is defined as the ability to focus on what other people are thinking and understand how other people see things. This critical skill in sports has tremendous benefits to not only athletes but also to parents and coaches. Research shows that when individuals are able to show sincere empathy to others in pain or emotional stress, it produces a powerful calming effect. This effect depends on the level of empathy that an individual can demonstrate to the distressed individual.

In sport, this can make the difference in a team on the verge of giving up, to instead push through the toughest moments of the season and finish at the top. Coaches who show empathy can inspire athletes to give more effort, increase their confidence, and even their self-worth. Parents who are able to demonstrate high levels of empathy help their children to get past their problems faster; therefore, refocusing on the process of getting better, instead of results. 


Organizational Control

Cap City Athletic 1847 is uniquely structured with multiple layers of organization control, including a Board of Directors, an Executive Committee, and a Parent Advisory Council.  

Our operational goal is to be a sustainable, stable organization which allows our coaches, players, and parents to focus fully on our mission and vision statements. 

Cap City Athletic 1847 is a registered 501c3 tax exempt charitable organization under the Internal Revenue Service of the United States. Cap City Athletic 1847 is bound by all rules and regulations set forth by the IRS as a 501c3 nonprofit organization.


We partner with facilities which support our on-field demands and help us create a home field identity, while building the culture of Cap City.  We focus on long term relationships with those facilities to foster our growth and create a stable "home base" for our players. 

Our facility goal is to provide training and game fields that meet a high standard of quality, which allows our coaches, players and parents to focus on our on-field performance.  Our facilities must meet a standard of quality, safety, amenities, and space.  

We are constantly looking towards our future.  As we grow, we will continue to evaluate our needs and ensure our players are playing and practicing in the best environment possible to help them develop and perform.

SoccerZone            East Lansing Soccer Complex


We grant financial assistance to players and families who are deserving and can demonstrate need.  We want to provide as many opportunities as possible and never want finances to be a limiting factor in participation.

Scholarship Application

Fundraising / Sponsorships

Cap City has numerous sponsorship and donor opportunities which benefit our player’s development both on and off the field. We are always looking to partner with local businesses and philanthropic organizations who share similar ideals and philosophies.

Sponsorships include but are not limited to:

  • Title Sponsor (logo on jersey)
  • Goalkeeper Training 
  • Cap City Kickers
  • Training Jerseys
  • Fields
  • Goals
  • Futsal Program
  • Technical Training Night
  • Tryouts
  • Pre Tryout Training
  • Camps

Sponsorship Packages

Events / Supplemental Programs

A large component of player and character development is creating opportunities for our players to develop a greater passion for the sport they love.

Every supplementary program or event we provide is designed to offer our youth players an opportunity to watch, learn, cheer, enjoy, or participate with the game of soccer at the next level.  We focus on our relationships with current college players and teams, current national teams and players, and professional players and teams.  We want our players to become fans of the game, learn from and look up to heroes (on and off the field), and then try to mimic and celebrate those players on the field while they play. 

  • MSU Soccer Men’s and Women’s Club Days
  •  MSU Men’s and Women’s Soccer Walk Outs
  • MSU Men’s and Women’s Soccer Ball Kids
  • Lansing United Club Day
  • US Men's and Women's National Team Match Attendance
  • US Men’s and Women’s National Team Watch Parties
  • US Men's and Women's Youth National Team Watch Parties


Contact Us

Cap City Athletic 1847

PO Box 23206 
Lansing, Michigan 48909

Email Us: [email protected]
Phone : 517-230-8353
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