The numbers used to describe the Power Alley OC facility are impressive?20,000 square feet in total; 4,200 square feet of multipurpose training area; 8 automated batting cages?but none of it amounts to much without the coaches who put it to good use. The staff counts a former Atlanta Brave, a former San Diego Padre, and former college ballplayers among its ranks, adding up to a depth of experience that trumps any training aid. They pass on the knowledge and skills that took them to the highest level to their baseball- or softball-playing pupils through lessons on hitting, fielding, and pitching for teams and individuals. Hitters can also make use of the batting cages and ATEC pitching machines at their own leisure, enabling them to simultaneously work toward twin dreams of becoming both a big league slugger and rapping umpire.
Established: Before 1950
Staff Size: 25?50 people
Average Duration of Services: 30?60 minutes
Pro Tip: Bring your own mitt.
Parking: Parking lot
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Pools and batting cages
Recommended Age Group: All Ages
The sight of a medieval castle surrounded by tall cacti may seem anachronistic at first, but it's hard to question the image when one is trying to putt a mini golf ball into a grassy hole off the circulating paddles of a windmill. It's whimsical moments like this that make Golf N? Stuff's name feel understated. Beyond the two lush 18-hole mini golf courses that draw year-round visitors, the entertainment center boasts go-karts, bumper boats, and more than 100 arcade games. Batting cages let both kids and adults perfect their swings. Visitors can refuel on hot dogs, Dippin' Dots ice cream, and soda at the snack bar.
Batting is an essential skill that baseball and softball players alike hone at On Deck Batting Cages. The 17,000-square-foot training facility?s coaches, however, aren?t interested in players who can only showcase one skill. So beyond aiming for the rafters in one of 14 cages, pupils also refine their knuckleballs on a 72-foot pitching lane whose portable mound accommodates pitches from any distance. During private lessons, meanwhile, baseball and softball instructors focus on everything from throwing to fielding, the art of catching a fly ball while simultaneously mowing the outfield. Once players are ready for the diamond, On Deck's resident uniform guru, Laura Simon of J&L Designs, can outfit them with her comfortable, eye-catching uniforms and apparel.
Within the 8,000-square-foot Redline Athletics Lake Forest facility, instructors lead athletes of all levels through sport-specific training. Redline Athletics coaches have a lot of experience in a variety of sports—some were professional baseball players, some were standout college athletes, and one was a strength and conditioning coach for the New York Mets. The Lake Forest location has Erin and Cory Yoder, who played college volleyball at USC and UC Irvine. In addition to training athletes, they offer generalized classes in strength, agility, and endurance.
At Goals Soccer Centers, athletes of all ages try their hand—or rather foot—at the world’s most popular sport during league and open play. Eleven artificial-turf fields accommodate five-a-side teams for fast-paced outdoor games. Rebound walls enclose pitches, inviting players to bang balls off them for tricky passing, and netting keeps all spherical objects from flying out of bounds. In between matches, teammates refuel at the onsite restaurant or relax in a lounge equipped with TV and free WiFi. Complete with showers, tidy locker rooms also give footballers ample space to dress and clean up before and after contests.