At 11,000 square feet, Sky Blue Soccerdome ranks among the biggest indoor soccer facilities in Mississippi. Inside, players learn to master the beautiful game on a state-of-the-art synthetic turf pitch through training, camps, and leagues. Skills come easy under the tutelage of Manchester, England–born founder Tom Cosgrave. Tom combines his honorable-mention All-American collegiate experience and his degree in sports medicine to drop knowledge on students of all abilities. The soccerdome also includes a performance gym for improving fitness, reducing injury risk, and learning that "pumping iron" doesn’t involve lifting vitamin bottles.
The USPTA-certified pros at The Club Tennis Center at The Township teach tennis trainees how to wield rackets with the finesse of Wheaties box gracers. Tennis practitioners may bring their own stringed instruments to the lessons, while newbies borrow demo rackets from the pro shop. After opting for a battlefield of clay or another hard surface, students master techniques for defending their territory against incoming neon-yellow projectiles and acing their opponents with baseline attacks.
Building on the writing tradition of William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Richard Wright, and other players in Mississippi's literary heritage, New Stage Theatre populates its stages with contemporary and classic works by American playwrights. Often comical, often challenging, each season's flock of five musicals and straight plays spreads across colorfully set stages with an aim to attract a culturally diverse audience. The artistic staff balances works by the likes of Lorraine Hansberry, Arthur Miller, and Horton Foote with new and developing productions through the Eudora Welty New Play Series, named for the writer who served on the board of directors. New Stage Theatre staff complements their theatre's strong artistic vision with educational programs for youth and adults, including touring programs. These outreach endeavors earned theater staff the 1995 Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts. While the original New Stage Theatre was founded in an old church 46 years ago, all of its performances currently fill the large and small theaters at Jane Reid Petty Theatre Center.
Clint Barr, a former A-advanced-level baseball player in the New York Yankees organization who has a Masters Degree in Exercise Science, leads a team of versatile, firm-but-not-screamy fitness experts into battle against sedentarianism. The boot camps, which are designed for all ages, fitness levels, and blood types, incorporate a hodge-podge of athletic maneuvering to keep muscles as surprised as someone opening a refrigerator to find only a bowl of marbles. After 28 days of stretching, performing push-ups, running, jumping over mini-hurdles, and more, you can expect to see a 3%–8% loss of body fat (results may vary), which dissipates through the pores and enters the atmosphere to form clouds. Check the schedule online.
Oasis Therapeutic Massage and Yoga Center welcomes students of any skill level to yoga classes that challenge or relax with gentle stretches and held poses. Meeting on either Tuesday or Thursday evenings, the four-week beginners' series prepares fledgling yogis for more advanced classes by illuminating step-by-step, fundamental yogic poses, stretches, and breathing exercises. Students who already boast foundational knowledge can expand skill sets in Vinyasa Sculpt sessions, where pupils learn to intensify Vinyasa yoga poses including sun salutations and limbo pose by adding manageable free weights. During Slow Deep Stretch sessions, instructors incorporate supportive props including blankets, blocks, and straps into a series of sustained poses that leave bodies as ache-free as a migrating bird with a jetpack.
One of ESPN's ten best baseball museums and one of Jackson's top ten attractions, the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum takes visitors through more than 21,000 square feet of exhibits and interactive displays. Travel back to the days of the Gashouse Gang with one of the best collections of Dizzy Dean memorabilia in the world, or leap forward in time at the Participatory Room, which allows fans to measure how fast they throw a baseball, kick a football, and spit a watermelon seed. Visitors can also try their hands at play-by-play broadcasting in the Cingular Wireless Broadcast Experience, and learn about the lives and achievements of such Mississippi sporting luminaries as Walter Payton, James "Cool Papa" Bell, and Archie Manning.