Kings Hammer Healthy Habits: Episode 2

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Kings Hammer is thrilled to bring you the second episode of Kings Hammer Healthy Habits presented by OrthoCincy. In this episode, OrthoCincy experts discuss the topic of injury prevention as it relates to athletes. 

For more information on the topic of injury prevention, check out the following provided by the experts at OrthoCincy:


Q1: Can you explain the most common types of injuries that soccer players are prone to, and how these injuries can be prevented or minimized through physical therapy? 

A: Some of the most common injuries we see in our clinics are strains and sprains (hamstring, quad, ankle), ACL tears, muscle imbalances and overuse injuries. The best way to prevent several of these injuries is implementing strength & flexibility programs. Doing this we focus on a variety of areas such as improving hip/groin flexibility, assess player biomechanics as well as possible shoe modifications or ankle/knee stability braces. 

Q2: How do you assess the individual needs of soccer players when it comes to injury prevention? Are there specific assessments or tests you use? 

A: We can assess individual needs through a variety of tests. These could include strength/endurance tests, balance/proprioception assessments, biomechanic assessments, history & symptom evaluation and more 

Q3: Can you describe the importance of proper warm-up routines in soccer injury prevention? What dynamic stretching exercises do you recommend for soccer players? 

A: Warm-up routines are essential as they prepare the body for the physical demands of the sport. They help increase blood flow, improve muscle elasticity, enhance joint lubrication as well as mental preparation. Dynamic stretching is a crucial component of a soccer warm-up as it involves controlled movements that actively stretch muscles and increase range of motion (leg swings, hip circles, high knees, butt kicks, lateral lunges, inchworms, ankle circles, quad & calf stretches) 

Q4: Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) stretching is often used by physical therapists. Can you explain how PNF stretching works and its benefits for soccer players? 

A: PNF stretching involves a combination of stretching and contracting specific muscle groups to increase flexibility and range of motion. The technique is typically performed with a partner. Below is a general order of how to best use PNF stretching 

  • Passive stretch – isometric contraction – relaxation & increased stretch – repeat…  
  • By increasing flexibility and range of motion, PNF stretching can reduce the risk of muscle strains and tears. It also helps maintain balanced muscle lengths, which can prevent imbalances that lead to injuries. 

Q5: Could you share some examples of how you work with soccer players to improve their technique and body mechanics to reduce the risk of injury? 

A: Some examples of how soccer players can work with a PT to reduce the risk of injury include 

  • Assessing gait analysis, running technique, kicking technique, change of direction & agility training, functional training and/or RTP protocols.  

Q6: How do you address core stability and its role in preventing soccer-related injuries? Are there specific exercises or drills that you find particularly effective? 

A:  Core stability provides a solid foundation for dynamic movements and helps maintain proper body alignment during soccer activities while enhancing a player’s performance, balance, and their ability to withstand the physical demands of the game. 

Q7: After a game or intense training session, what specific cooldown activities and stretches do you recommend for soccer players to prevent muscle tightness and soreness? 

A: After a game or training session you can use several techniques to prevent muscle tightness and soreness. Examples of this might include static stretching, foam rolling, ice baths, self-massage, dynamic mobility exercises and stretch bands. 

Tryout FAQ’s

How do I register for tryouts?
ALL soccer-athletes MUST COMPLETE the tryout registration online before participating in the tryout process. Click here to register now!

*Please make sure that you register online at least 24 hours in advance to ensure that the soccer athlete is in the system and we have your information to notify you after the tryout process.  There is a Registration Steps document on the Tryouts page that will walk you through the process. Each soccer athlete should attend both tryout days if possible. If you are unable to attend both days please reach out to the Program Director listed below.

Birth Years for the 2022/2023 Season
For the 2022/2023 season, Kings Hammer will follow U.S Youth Soccer’s guidelines and will organize its teams by birth year:

*Interested players must register to try out for their birth year.

Can my child play up an age group?
Any player playing up will be at the discretion of their respective director. All players need to register and attend the tryout for their correct age group.

What should I wear/bring to tryouts?
Please come prepared with a fully inflated soccer ball, proper footwear, shin guards, and water. Each prospective soccer-athlete will receive one free Kings Hammer Soccer Club tryout t-shirt with a tryout identification number on the back of the t-shirt.  Each prospective player will be identified by the identification number throughout the process and MUST wear this t-shirt at each tryout session for the 2022/2023 soccer year.

We will not be able to attend tryouts or are new to the area and missed tryouts. Is there a process in place to allow for an alternate tryout?
Yes! If you are not able to attend tryouts or missed the tryout dates, please register and then contact the Director for the Program/Age Group you wish to tryout for so that arrangements can be made. We also hold supplemental tryouts throughout the year. Roster openings may be limited after the initial tryout period.

What are the differences between Academy and Premier?
Our Academy provides a highly competitive environment for higher-level soccer athletes. This program provides those athletes with the best local training offered by our qualified and professional staff. Our Academy teams play at the highest possible level providing showcase opportunities to College, Professional, and National level programs.

The Premier Program is a community-based program. The Premier Program provides the opportunity for players to play other sports or have other interests outside of soccer. This program is designed to be flexible, convenient, and affordable.

Can I try out for multiple programs?
We encourage anyone who wants to tryout for all levels to do so. Current KHSC players can ask their coach/director for guidance if they are unsure about which program to tryout for. You will need to register for each tryout separately.

If I tryout for a program and don’t make it, can I try out for another program?
Yes. If you don’t make an Academy team, we strongly encourage you to tryout for a Premier team, attending tryouts for at least one day.

If you don’t make a Premier team, the Classic Program may be an option. Contact Michelle Okumura ( if you’d like to pursue this option.

Will there be more than one team in each age group?
Yes, when possible, there will be more than one team per age group, per program. It all depends on the number of players at tryouts and their skill level.

If my child doesn’t make the top team, can they move up during the year?
Yes, there may be opportunities to move up throughout the year as long as the coach/director feels it is in the best interest of the player’s development. There may also be opportunities to guest play across all levels.

What can I expect after tryouts?
After tryouts you can expect communication from the club in the form of an email.  (Please double-check that your email is correct in the PlayMetrics system, this is the email we use) This will either be an acceptance email, offering your child a position on a team, or an email letting you know that they should tryout for a different program. Players who are offered positions on a team may also receive a phone call from their coach. All communication will come within 24-48 hours of the end of the last tryout. You will then have 24 hours to either accept or decline your email before your spot is offered to another child.

What are the next steps if my child makes a team?

  1. If you are new to the club, you will receive more information regarding your uniform ordering in your confirmation email.
  2. If you are part of the Academy or Premier Programs, you will receive the link to Demosphere to register your child in the state system in your confirmation email as well.

How long is the season?

  • Academy
    • U11-U14: August-November, January-May (possible post-season in June)
    • U15-U19: November-May
  • Premier
    • U7-U14: August-October, March-May
    • U15-U19: November-December, March-May

My child is in middle school but plays on a U15 team. Will there be a fall U15 program for trapped players?
Yes, we will offer a program for trapped 8th graders for the fall season depending on interest. The program will run from August to October and is open to players that are currently in the 8th grade that will be playing on a U15 team starting in November 2022. Questions please contact:

Academy North: Ryan Handbury |
Academy South Boys: James Thomas |
Academy South Girls: Chris Black |
Academy Bluegrass Boys: Dan Ensley  |
Academy Bluegrass Girls: Megan Adkins |

Can a team come to the club and join as a team?
Yes! The team can join the Classic Program. For more information please reach out to Michelle Okumura at

Who is in charge of hiring coaches?
If you are interested in a coaching opportunity, please fill out the following coaching form –

Program Directors:

Academy North: Ryan Handbury |
Academy South Girls: Chris Black |
Academy South Boys: James Thomas |
Academy Bluegrass Boys: Dan Ensley |
Academy Bluegrass Girls: Megan Adkins |
Premier Xenia: Brent Lewis |
Premier North: Wil Cagle |
Premier Sycamore: Ryan Handbury |
Premier Central: Michael Ratliff |
Premier South: David Shemilt |
Premier Versailles: Brandon Cummons |
Premier Lexington: Fonyam Atanga |