January Newsletter 2023

Welcome to the Kings Hammer January Newsletter! This edition features the COE Spring Training Program, KHA High School All-Americans Recognized, United Soccer Coaches Convention, Volta Cup Cincinnati, and more! If you have a player, coach, or team to be highlighted in future newsletters, please send photos and stories to Each newsletter will be posted on our website as well as our social pages.

COE Spring Training Program

Registration is now open for the Center of Excellence (COE) Spring Training Program for U8-U12 players that are not currently on a Kings Hammer roster for the Spring 2023 Season. Players that are currently rostered on a Kings Hammer team for the Spring season do not need to register. The COE Spring Training Program is included in your team fees. Spring COE dates will be added to your PlayMetrics calendar.

The COE Spring Training Program is a 6-week program that will take place at 2 convenient locations: Voice of America in West Chester Township, OH and at Town & Country in Wilder, KY.

The program will focus on individual player development (technically and tactically) in the four phases of the game: attacking, transition to attack, defending and transition to defending. The program will be available to all U8- U12 players. Please see below for more details on the COE Spring training program.

South COE (Town & Country Turf: 1018 Town Dr. Wilder, KY 41076)

  • Dates: 3/10, 3/17, 3/24, 3/31, 4/7, 4/14
  • Location: T&C Outdoor Turf Field #2
  • Times:
    • U8/U9: 5:30-6:30pm
    • U10: 6:30-7:30pm
    • U11/U12: 7:30-8:30pm

North COE (Voice of America: 7850 VOA Park Dr. West Chester, OH 45069)

  • Dates: 3/10, 3/17, 3/24, 3/31, 4/7, 4/14
  • Location: Voice of America Park Turf Fields
  • Times:
    • U8/U9/U10: 5:30-6:30pm
    • U11/U12: 6:30-7:30pm

KHA High School All Americans Recognized at United Soccer Coaches Convention

Amanda Schlueter (KH G04/05 ECNL) and CJ DeBra (KH G04/05 ECRL) were recognized as High School All-Americans at the All-America Ceremony & Reception on Friday, January 13th, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. The ceremony took place in conjunction with the United Soccer Coaches Convention and recognized 143 High School All-Americans in total.

Congrats again, Amanda and CJ!!

Kings Hammer Directors & Staff Attend United Soccer Coaches Convention

On January 11th-13th, Kings Hammer Directors and Staff traveled to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to attend the 2023 United Soccer Coaches Convention. The United Soccer Coaches Convention is the world’s leading soccer coaching event that features extensive education opportunities for its attendees. Each year, the Convention showcases a vast collection of in-person education, including 200+ education sessions led by top-end coach educators, Ph.D. holders, high-level coaches, and more.

Click here to view the the recap video.


Volta Cup Cincinnati

Thank you to all the families that participated in Volta Cup Cincinnati that took place this past weekend, January 27th-29th, at the Town & Country Athletic Center. We appreciate you and your families joining us for some great Futsal action this weekend. This year we hosted over 94 teams and 158 games over the 3 day event with teams participating from Illinois, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio. This was the largest Volta Cup event to date and we look forward to expanding the event next year with additional facilities. Whether you are on a full time futsal team or simply put a team together for the event, we hope you enjoyed the tournament!  Thank you to all participating teams, coaches, referees, volunteers, event staff, the Town & Country Athletic Center and facility staff for making the weekend such a success!  We hope you enjoyed the weekend and we look forward to seeing everyone at future events!

We are excited to kick off our 2023 Spring Events Series & look forward to seeing all of our families out at the fields!

Boys Turf Classic– March 10-12, 2023 (Cincinnati, OH)
Nike Elite Spring Thaw– March 17-19, 2023 (Cincinnati, OH)
Girls Turf Classic– March 24-26, 2023 (Cincinnati, OH)
Triple Crown Cup– April 14-16, 2023 (Lexington, KY)
Women’s Nike Blue Chip Showcase– April 21-23, 2023 (Cincinnati, OH)
Men’s Nike Blue Chip Showcase– April 28-30, 2023 (Cincinnati, OH)
Crown Challenge– May 12-14, 2023 (Cincinnati, OH)

January Education: Youth Sports & Mental Health

In last month’s Club Newsletter, we looked at the final of 5 components of R.O.O.T.S.-SELF.  It was mentioned that mental health was a critical piece in SELF…

  • Mental Health-often a forgotten part of a player’s development. Self-talk, self-esteem, confidence and other emotional and social influences play a major role in each player’s success. 

Over the last five years there has been an increased focus on athlete mental health, including the impacts seen in youth participants. Increased exposure to social media, isolation due to Covid 19, and this trend was evident at the recent United Soccer Coaches annual conference which hosts numerous clinics, workshops, seminars, and courses covering a variety of topics in the sport.  An increased number of these sessions were focused on topics related to the psychology, wellness, and mental health/performance of athletes, especially youth athletes under the age of nineteen.

Benefits of Youth Sports

Most parents and coaches are fairly fluent in the benefits of participating in youth sports:

  • Increased physical activity- coordination, balance, agility, overall fitness
  • Improved social skills- making friends, communication, collaboration, teamwork
  • Character building- determination, discipline, confidence, self-esteem
  • Finding mentors- coaches, older players, and teammates

Potential Pitfalls of Youth Sports

Here are some of the potential issues that may arise:

  • Over-scheduled athlete- diminished time for school, friends, relaxation, sleep, etc.
  • Performance/results emphasis- can be self-inflicted by athlete or by parent/coach
  • Skewed Identity- sense of self overly/only linked to sport
  • Loss of autonomy- athlete not able to deal with challenges independently

Click here to read the full story.

Free Shipping Through Tomorrow at the Kings Hammer Shop!

Stay warm this winter with a new Kings Hammer hoodie, hat or scarf! Check out all the great options we have online and have it shipped directly to your door. Use code VOLTA now through tomorrow, January 31st, and receive free shipping on your purchase. No minimum! Check out what we have in stock here: Shop Kings Hammer


GK Union Save of the Month

Congratulations to Tim P from KHA North B07 Red & Kate J from KHA Bluegrass E64 G08 for being named the December GK Union Saves of the Month!

Did you make an incredible save or a game-saving block? We want to see them!

Post your best saves in the Kings Hammer GK Union Facebook group or share on Twitter using the hashtag #KingsHammer. Be sure to share throughout the spring season and YOU could be selected for our Kings Hammer Save of the Month! GK Save of the Month winners will be announced the Friday of the first full week of the following month.

Monthly winners will be posted on the Kings Hammer social pages and on the GK Union page.

Content Feedback Survey

We want to hear from you! Please take a minute to complete a quick Content Feedback Survey with 9 questions. Your answers will help as we start creating content for the 2023 Season!

Click here to take the survey now



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 |