With a baseball training academy led by MLB player Jack Cust and a softball training center led by Olympian Jennie Finch, Diamond Nation hosts a staff of professional players and coaches who cull their collective NCAA, MLB, and Olympic experience to refine the hitting, pitching, and fielding skills of burgeoning legends. The Jack Cust Baseball Academy and Jennie Finch Softball Academy share a well-equipped space and employ staffers who personalize player instruction.
Adrenaline-pumping fitness and thrilling combat come together in Rising Star Fencing Academy's classes. The United States Fencing Association-member studio's lessons are suited to children as young as 6, and every level teaches creative strategy as it hones stamina, agility, and mental discipline. On a long, rectangular dueling area, coaches and students practice the complex foot- and hand-work for all three fencing styles?foil, sabre, and epee?all using the traditional scoring system. This intensive training is possible, in part, because of the academy's rigorous adherence to safety standards: all students are outfitted with a steel mesh mask and clothed in standard-issue force fields.
Brooklyn Golf Center invites players to swing at a buffet of practice areas, a newly renovated 18-hole executive course, or an 18-hole mini-golf course. The center?s driving range boasts 75 stalls, 25 of which are covered and heated, keeping the sun from burning fair-complected golf balls. After working on their long game, players can move to the putting green or chipping area to warm up before hitting the 18-hole executive course or putting through the mini-golf course. Those seeking educational guidance can take lessons with PGA Director of Golf Anthony Rodriquez or Joel Garyn, who harnesses more than 35 years of competitive golf experience.
Before visiting the links, players can drop into a 900-square-foot pro shop stocked with gear from brands such as Mizuno, Nike, and Wilson. The center?s golf experts can match players with clubs from these brands during custom club fittings that determine ideal pairings. In addition to serving its own customers, Brooklyn Golf Center also supports community efforts as part of The First Tee program, which brings golf to young people who would never otherwise get the chance to grip a club.
S3 Leagues scoops up locals and arranges them into kickball, softball, and bowling teams according to their age and neighborhood, giving them the opportunity to enjoy team sports while meeting new people. In the summer 2010 season alone, more than 4,000 players took to the fields at McCarren Park for competitive kickball and softball competition followed by friendly postgame carousing at a nearby bar. After each game, teams receive two complimentary pitchers of beer to facilitate boisterous discussions about how many ounces are in a liter. This postgame partying perpetuates team solidarity, as does wearing matching team shirts, cashing in on food and drink specials together, and mingling at the end-of-season party.
The Cage’s practice facility helps players hone their game with eight turfed batting cages suitable for individual or team training. Other amenities include remote-control ball feeders and adjustable practice tees.
The Baseball Center’s arsenal of pitching machines ranges from the simplistic to the intricate. Three cages are set aside for baseball pitches of varying speeds, two for softball practice, and one for a ProBatter Simulator as well.