With 8,800 square feet of dedicated baseball- and softball-practice space, Brickyard Cages gives ballplayers room to improve bat speed and train their eyes. Sluggers choose from six batting cage tunnels outfitted with Iron Mike pitching machines, which can be adjusted by speed and any pitch type that doesn't require human saliva. A staff of experienced players and instructors presides over every crack of the bat and slap of the catcher's mitt, offering year-round lessons to groups and individuals.
Named after the legendary team from Argentina where soccer star Diego Maradona got his start, the San Diego Boca Futbol Club follows in the fleet footsteps of its titular inspiration by promoting professional and youth soccer through its involvement in the National Premier Soccer League. Herds of brightly bedecked athletes rampage across an enormous plain to earn the confidence of a whirling, chiaroscuro globe by wooing it with feats of balance and head butting. Intersperse zigs, zags, and zips with soda sips, hot-dog bites, and vuvuzela renditions of Gary Glitter B-sides. This year’s team of cleated kickers booted their way to a fourth-place ranking in the league’s western division, leaving trembling blades of glass in their wake. With recently acquired Brazilian midfielder Zé Roberto and goal-scoring leader Justin Picou leading the charge toward postseason play, fans may redeem today's Groupon for home playoff games.
The leaders of the National Premier Soccer League's Flight Southwest division, the San Diego Flash wield fleet feet to kick, tackle, and slide their way to soccer supremacy. Comanaged by World Cup veteran Eric Wynalda and coached by former England national team member Warren Barton, the team receives world-class instruction in the art of bending free kicks and scrapbooking red and yellow cards. Carrying 24 points, the club will rely on their talent and waves of encouragement from the crowd to defend its home turf and take out fellow NPSL powerhouse Hollywood United on July 3. As the final match of the regular season, the game promises a hotly contested showdown, with final standings, playoff seeding, and a year's supply of orange slices on the line.
At Victory Gymnastics Academy, the gymnastics instructors don't just train kids to do the splits and flip effortlessly into handstands. In boys' freestyle gymnastics classes, they also train kids to overcome any physical obstacle?including a solid wall?through a mix of jumping, crawling, and climbing. A direct descendant of parkour, the sport only differs in one major way: it takes place inside, and the practice obstacles are padded, a setup that puts safety first.
The instructor's emphasize safety in their other courses, too. Sessions for preschoolers, for instance, unfold on scaled-down, age-appropriate equipment. During tumbling classes, kids try out handsprings and backtucks, finishing their new moves in an in-ground foam pit that minimizes the risk of injuries. Regardless of whether they're leading a recreation class or a competitive team practice, coaches supervise and correct kids' form, too, as when beginning gymnasts perform handstands by just standing upright and gazing at their hands.