Oh, I didn't know he was still in club or DA. It seems many kids chose either HS or club/academy. It seems the path I envision for my kid is not that different that your kid's path. Select at 7. That sounds about right. My plan is to let him try a few more sports for a season or two, then he will have to pick one or two and dedicate more focus to them. Right now I want him to continue developing his overall physicality - his balance, coordination, etc by just playing various sports or whatever (climbing, riding bike, etc). He has a build like Messi and plays like him so I will try to mold him like that, encouraging much aggressive dribbling and getting very comfortable with how the ball and foot interplay and getting precise with shooting. I think that is more important than learning all these "tricks" which are cool too, but at the end of the day it is ability to beat 1v1 via very quick change of pace and direction, and hit accurate shots that will maximize goal scoring; that is what Messi does, he doesn't really do anything super fancy usually. I am just thinking ahead a little. He is 5 but will be 6 next year and then will he be on a U8 team with 7 year olds? If so, then in order to shine he will need to already be acclimated to playing with that type of pressure, so now my job is to mimic a 7 year old when I play w/ my kid so that he starts getting used to it and learns how to face them with confidence. I just want him to be the best that he can be and shine at each age group, it seems the top kids get all the attention and it's becomes like a snow ball; the more attention they get the better they become; kinda like the study by Malcom Gladwell in Outliers where he looked at birth months of pro hockey players; the kids born in early months were more likely to make it pro because they started with an age advantage, one advantage leads to another and the cumulative advantages are material enough to affect one's chances of going pro. Looking ahead to college I think my kid (any kid) is more likely to go to a good school if they are recruited for sports vs just for academics. In CA even 4.0 students get rejected from the top schools, so to stand out they need to excel in a sport or some other skill (music, etc).