Chicago Indoor Sports' full-size field has enough turf to make a cow's spots turn green with envy. But that same animal would be disappointed if it took a bite. The surface is actually a carefully designed, imitation grass made of millions of tiny rubber pallets and a crushed stone base, which helps absorb shock. That last feature is key, since the indoor play area supports crowds of running athletes during competitive or casual games of soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, and ultimate frisbee. The field is also home its own youth and adult soccer leagues, such as Liga Latino Americana.
Throughout many of their services, Chicago Indoor Sports places special emphasis on children. During their SoccerTots and SoccerTouch programs, instructors use soccer as a way to build motor skills and encourage mental development. Meanwhile, an arcade and three giant inflatables give kids a break from sports.
The Windy City Sports Academy takes budding Larry Birds and future Mia Hamms and gives them the teammates, equipment, and cozy domed space necessary to develop athletic skills while having active fun. A diverse array of courses are available, so b-ball devotees can perfect the arts of shooting free throws and shrugging off technicals in a nine-week basketball academy (ages 6–12), and younger players can get a taste of the fundamentals of T-ball and other group games in tiny tots sports (ages 2–6). A six-week soccer preseason training clinic (ages 6–12) introduces worldly football fundamentals to kids used to traditional American sports such as baseball and eating bugs on television for money. Finally, the nine-week baseball academy teaches batters how to call homers Babe Ruth–style and how to deal with fans wearing headsets who blow their team’s chance at a World Series.
$10 will afford you around 83-91 balls so you don’t have to use all $50 in one visit, just hold on to your card and come back whenever you feel like transferring stress into the abyss of dimpled cosmonauts. Although not part of this deal, Golf Center Des Plaines also has a lighted, par-three golf course, GolfTEC training programs, a pro shop, restaurant, and banquet room.
When Director Tony Youhanna and George Solomos founded Little Legends Soccer Academy in 2009, they found themselves filling a niche. At the time, the North Shore offered no quality soccer coaching for youngsters interested in the game. Their first session was a success, drawing thirty eager players, but it didn't prepare them for the popularity that was to come. Since that day, the academy has ballooned: more than 300 children ages 24 months to 8 years old are currently enrolled in its various programs.
Each clinic helps kids build soccer fundamentals such as foot skills, passing, and receiving in an environment that encourages fun and teamwork. Very young players—24 to 36 months—start off in the Born to Kick program, which couples soccer skills with mind-nurturing topics such as shapes, colors, and vocabulary. As children get older and their skills progress, they move into clinics aimed at more advanced techniques, eventually putting them to work in games. The academy's Space program—standing for speed, agility, core, and endurance—does away with the soccer ball altogether, focusing instead on exercises to improve footwork, speed, and balance.
Each of TCBOOST's coaches trained as athletes at the collegiate or professional level. It is from these experiences that they call upon when creating dynamic workouts for pupils of all ages. Though they count NFL football players, MLB players, and Olympic athletes as some of their clients, they follow a methodology that customizes workouts for all ability levels. In doing so, they make use of their expansive facilities, which include a 60-yard sprint track, a 33-yard acceleration area on premium turf, and a 1,000-square-foot agility area.
Like a massive white bubble hovering over the earth, the domed roof of the Highland Park Field House covers 52,000 square feet of field turf that hosts soccer games, lacrosse drills, and golf strokes. The facility is a privately funded not-for-profit aimed at serving local high schools and other organizations who can use the space for recreational leagues and practice.
Open soccer pickup games occur five nights a week, and the field transforms into an indoor golf range on weekdays. Whether it’s used for instructional lessons or invisible boomerang throwing practice, the range gives a place for sports enthusiasts to practice year-round regardless of the weather outside.
The Slaughter’s roots are planted firmly in Chicago soil. Since its founding in 2006, the franchise has consistently opened roles for the city’s gridiron stars, both on the field and in the front office. This Windy City loyalty has been apparent before the team even played its first snap; Slaughter is a nod to the city’s working class and to the old Chicago stockyards.
In 2009, the Slaughter rewarded the Second City with a championship during an undefeated season as part of the Continental Indoor Football League. A year later, the team joined the Indoor Football League, where it remains today, playing all of its home games at Sears Centre Arena. There, frequent promotions help create a party-like atmosphere, and spacious concourses let fans spread out and play their own pickup games using wadded-up slices of deep-dish pizza as the ball.