Summer “Off-Season?” Best practices for supporting your child’s development this Summer

By the time most of you are reading this article your son or daughter’s spring season will have concluded.  So, what is next?  Whether your child had their best season ever or found themselves still searching for their ‘best self”, what can families being doing to support their growth and development and prepare them for the next season.  Here are some quick tips to help guide these efforts.

  1. Mental and Physical Rest and Recovery – after a long season and the stress of tryouts, every player deserves a little R&R! Be sure your athlete has a chance to disconnect for a week or two (longer if possible) from the rigors of the sport. This includes high-level competition and formal coaching. It does not mean kids have to be laying on the couch for weeks.  See #2
  2. Engage in Alternative Activities – athletes of all ages benefit from cross-sport performance, doing something that stimulates different muscles, utilizes different movement patterns, and requires different decision making. Swimming, tennis, pickleball, basketball, and biking are all great ways to provide foundation fitness and reduce sport burnout (mental and physical.) Balance activities that can provide aerobic benefits with those that highlight agility and quickness.
  3. Creative Individual Technical Improvements – the season focus is on the team, the summer focus is on the player. Spend time (3-4x per week, 20-30 minutes per session) working on ball control and manipulation…dribbling, passing, receiving, shooting.  Can be done on your own or with some friends. Be creative in how this is accomplished.  Here are some suggestions:
    1. TECHNE – each KHSC player will have access to their account ALL summer. There are great, daily programs for players to follow.
    2. Soccer Horseshoes – easy activity to work on passing and receiving. Horseshoe-YouTube
    3. Soccer Marbles – another passing and shooting activity for 2-3 players that can be done anywhere- USYS Soccer Marbles-YouTube
    4. Total Soccer Show Podcast-10 Best Backyard Soccer Games
  4. Participate in a CAMP– these can provide a new and unique experience, offering structured training and playing opportunities, as well as potentially providing opportunities to meet new players as well! Kings Hammer offers a variety of camp opportunities throughout the Summer.  For details and to register click on the link-Kings Hammer SC Camps
  5. Watch SoccerMLS and NWSL seasons continue throughout the summer. In addition, Kings Hammer FC’s USL men’s and women’s will be playing.  Whether live or on tv, players should find time to watch 3-5 games this summer.  Analyze formations, determine styles (short/long passing, building out short v long, combining centrally or wide, pick the players in your position and take notes on things you can/should do.

Ohio University Online Master of Athletic Administration: Why is Off-Season Athletic Training Important?

I Love to Watch You Play-What Should Your Athlete Be Doing This Summer?

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 |