A bit of info that the elite clubs don’t want you to know:
The coaching is pretty much the same at the top 3 levels. Many of the youth club coaches are good.
The only difference in level of play is the quality of athlete across the roster and the commitment level of the players.
Meh sure. Coaching is not the same at AA Sidewinders as it is at Hawks. heck, the coaching is a key factor in assessing top-to-bottom brackets within AAA and AA for sure. Facilities are not the same either (try playing on county turf, where the county cancels "all activities on all fields" 3x per week, all year long). Parents keeping up with their kids' workouts is not the same from AA to AAA to Elite, I can tell you that also.
To your point, none of this matters if a kid lacks sufficient talent or a work ethic. But for most kids already at these levels, these other things are very real variables.