15-Year-Old Shea Hammond Working to Be On the U.S. Paralympic Men’s National Team
Shea Hammond of New Jersey is a promising youth soccer player with the dream of playing professional soccer one day – right now, he is helping his team win games abroad!
At just 15 years old, Hammond has made promising strides on the pitch with his sight on competing at the 2017 Cerebral Palsy Football World Championships this September.
Youth Soccer News: Shea Hammond is a rising youth soccer player who wants to be on the U.S. Paralympic Men’s National Team. He recently attended a training camp held in Chicago and is coming off his first international trip to Chile with the team — having earned the chance to go to the International Challenge matches in Santiago Chile.
At 15 years old, Hammond was the youngest player in men’s soccer training camp and hopes to earn a spot on the roster for the IFCPF 2017 Cerebral Palsy Football World Championships held in San Luis, Argentina, September 3-22, 2017.
An Arsenal fan, this youth soccer player has a deep passion for the game. He plays for Soccer Domain Football Club (SDFC) based in Montclair NJ and works hard to be the best player he can be.
What makes Hammond unique is not necessarily that he is a young boy with the same thoughts as all teenagers — wanting to fit in and not be different — but that he has shown the determination to reach his goals and inspire other kids to do the same.
Shea Hammond’s tremendous attitude motivates him to reach his highest potential.
Hammond suffered a stroke, but it wasn’t discovered until he was nursery school.
And, his family did not discover there was a soccer team of stroke, CP and traumatic brain injury survivors until two years ago.
At four years old, Shea started playing soccer in clinics and training sessions. He then participated in recreational soccer between five and six and started playing club soccer at age seven for Soccer Domain Football Club.
At 13 years old, Shea was the youngest invitee at the U.S. Men’s Paralympic National Team training camp in Carson, California. The experience changed his life.
Hammond continues his development with the goal of competing in the 2017 World Championships in Argentina.
He is coming off his first international trip with the USPNT, which concluded with a pair of dominant victories over Chile.
“My reaction was to take it all in and try to learn from all of the older players and coaches,” said Hammond.
“I knew I would be the youngest one going. I was anticipating that I would use this experience to gain knowledge and a better understanding of the game.”
Hammond remains focused on progressing his talents on the field as he takes ownership of the hard work to be put in.
“The team spirit has been amazing,” said Hammond who has been training with the team coached by Stuart Sharp.
“You can’t beat it,” said Hammond who was impressed by how welcoming everyone was. “Considering the age difference and the fact that it was my first international trip with the team — as well as the level of ability being so high, it was amazing. I feel I did well to compete with the older and more experienced players.”
After Hammond made his international debut, he could not wipe the smile off his face.
“The intrasquad competition was one of the toughest I’ve ever experienced,” said Hammond. “All of the players were at the elite level and had far more experience than myself. The opposition — Chile — seemed to be pretty easy for the older players once the games were played.”
Hammond is grateful of his bothers and sisters who are extremely supportive of his dreams along with his mom and dad.
He also thanks Kevin Duffus and Parabolic for helping with physical therapy during his development.
“The next step is to come home, keep improving and use what I’ve learned,” said Hammond who dreams of the opportunity to represent the USA on the pitch. “Then hopefully, through my work at home, I can get called back to another camp in the near future.”
Hammond and his parents are also dedicated to providing individuals in similar situations with opportunities to excel on the pitch.
“I hope to not to be seen as different,” said Hammond. “I worked very hard and would tell other kids to do the same thing and go for it.”
Hammond and his parents are dedicated to raising awareness and Eli Halliwell and Ashley Hammond are establishing Cerebral Palsy Soccer Inc, to identify young players.
The new 501 C3 non-profit effort is designed to afford young players who have suffered stroke/CP or traumatic brain injury with an opportunity to play and train with kids like themselves and give them a chance to filter them up to the National Team.
Throughout the years, Hammond’s parents have provided extra training to create a pathway for his success. They have set no limits for their 15-year-old as he holds on to their guidance as a key part of his success.
“Shea has dealt with this unbelievably,” said Hammond’s dad. “It is never been an issue for him.” Perhaps this youth player has been inspired by his favorite player — David Beckham — who always believes that hard work pays off.
New Jersey Youth Soccer is proud of his accomplishments and we thank them for bringing this highly talented young player to our attention.