These kids played with my kids at different ages and were recently offered spots on top academy teams. Some common things about these players on their teams: they were the fastest, had the most endurance, had the most shots (not the most goals), they played the most minutes, had very good control and skill (top 3 on the team). I think many of their peers, and parents, were in awe of how hard these kids were able to play, and how long, without really looking tired. Another common thing was that these kids, when given the chance to pass or make someone else better, they rarely did. They were more likely to take players on and had the courage to lose the ball in critical areas whereas other players were looking to pass to them. They took free kicks and stepped up to take PKs. These kids would not get yelled at by the coaches for making mistakes, usually, or get taken out, but other players would, so they were coached differently too. I always wondered if it was their parents egging them to play that way, or if it was the kids themselves. Skills and confidence and endurance.