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.
Brickyard Cages’ indoor facility dedicates more than 8,800 square feet to the task of improving sluggers' orb-smashing abilities. After arming themselves with a bat made of wood, aluminum, or lacquered papyrus scrolls, guests enter one of six oversize cages and mercilessly swing at robot-tossed balls. Brickyard's modern pitching machines are capable of launching baseballs at a variety of speeds, and can also produce curveballs, sliders, knuckleballs, and batter-taunting loop-the-loops. Hop into cages number two or three¬—both of which are equipped with softball machines¬—to prepare for an upcoming softball showdown or perfect a world-changing grapefruit-juicing method.
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.
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.