Baseball and softball players who want to make the jump to the next level often need coaches who know exactly what it takes. At Pastime Sports Academy, the experience offered by the coaching staff reaches to the very top of the talent heap, with a roster of high school varsity coaches, college pitching coaches, and former minor leaguers such as ex-Yankees draft pick Dietrich Enns. For the past 17 years, athletes have taken advantage of this diamond expertise through private and group instruction, which focus on skills ranging from shagging fly balls to fielding grounders to hitting a curveball. Pitchers can develop their velocity and control from a dirt pitching mound, while hitters can perfect their swings and double-pump-fake bunts inside five batting cages outfitted with Iron Mike pitching machines.
At CrossFit Lemont, certified CrossFit trainers and fitness classes build the kind of strength that makes everyday tasks easier?not bulky muscle that's just for show. Their high-octane, functional workout classes accommodate different levels of experience, and span 10 fitness domains, from power and strength to balance and flexibility to speed and stamina. Each of these sessions takes place in the gym's 10,000-square-foot facility, which also features 5,000 square feet of field turf that keeps feet firmly planted during power-lawnmowing workouts.
Founded by former professional baseball player Chris Beacom, Illinois Baseball Academy trains young ballplayers in the ways of America's pastime. Its expansive Rosemont facility, The Dome, fits two regulation diamonds and five full batting cages into 140,000 square feet, and The Yard in Northfield encompasses batting cages and a pitching tunnel, plus room for fielding. In summer, Illinois Baseball Academy offers summer camps run both independently and in partnership with area park districts.