Line drives sizzle and skid across the facilities at Staton Sports, where ballplayers polish their skills and veteran coaches prep athletes to compete in a variety of sports. Backed by stints with three MLB organizations, the center's president and CEO, T.J. Staton, heads a staff of coaches who bring a combined 20-plus years of professional playing experience to each practice, game, and training session. The center's field also plays host to traveling teams, and inside two party rooms, visitors gather to celebrate birthdays or exalt an adolescent bat's aversion to the peer pressures of cork.
The City of Massillon Parks & Recreation Department takes great pride in ensuring that the Western Stark County community has safe and enjoyable leisure spaces and programs that improve the lives of all their residents. Their programs range from preschool age to seniors, and include indoor recreation spaces such as a 69,000-square-foot rec center, fitness area, and aquatics center. Outdoors, the department maintains 30 parks and open spaces, highlighted by the award-winning, 27-hole golf course, The Legends of Massillon.
Founded by sports enthusiast and former adolescent Rick Hart, Jump Start Sports works to enrich pupils' childhoods by developing useful life skills through athletics. Qualified counselors employ their wealth of experience working with children to help campers learn teamwork and fair play as well as the fundamentals of fielding baseballs, scoring soccer goals, or synchronizing pom-pom work. A course structure built around age-appropriate activities, group play, and free electives ensures that students never get bored, and an 8:1 pupil-teacher ratio enables one-on-one assistance to young champions as they practice the graceful art of pitching or the scheming intrigue of free-agent contract negotiation.
Bat-A-Rama's seven batting cages, which spit out softballs or baseballs, are designed to let the hitter pick the speed and height of the pitches based on skill level. Each $1 token forces the machines to throw 15 pitches, providing ample opportunity to practice swinging for the fences, hitting behind a runner, or catching moving balls in plastic grocery bags. Three of the seven cages spew both hardball and slow softball pitches, and one speedily whips out softballs sans arc. Though not included in this Groupon, Bat-A-Rama makes old-fashioned ice cream on-site.
Westerville Golf Center's lush driving range coddles golfers with first-rate facilities that landed it on Golf Range Magazine's 2011 Top 100 Ranges list. With the Birdie Frequent Hitter card in tow, golfers can whack, juggle, and comically trip over $36 worth of driving range balls while traversing 80 verdant grass slug-stations. A fleet of 40 covered tees, heated in winter, shelter stick swingers from summer sun and unseasonable chills, and loaner clubs are on hand for those still slicing the air with old mannequin legs. Ideal for sharing with a close friend or one of the staff's PGA instructors, orbs come in small ($5/40 balls), large ($7.50/75 balls), and jumbo ($13/175 balls) buckets.
Baseballs and softballs pinging off bat barrels or popping into the webs of leather gloves echo across the training facilities at New Albany Baseball Academy, where aspiring sandlot stars flock to improve all aspects of their game. Using the same drills and techniques of Major League stars, the academy helps players of all ages and abilities improve their swing, perfect their throwing motion, and field grounders and fly balls with confidence. The academy also encompasses fitness facilities and training programs that focus on improving players' strength, speed, and agility.