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.
Perhaps it’s their diverse backgrounds—a former D1 college assistant baseball coach with a master's in physical education, a sports-psychology counselor and fitness trainer, and an amateur baseball leaguer—that make the coaches at Pitch by Pitch All Sports Camps open to such a wide variety of athletics. Their weeklong camps embody everything from baseball, soccer, and tennis to less regimented sports such as floor hockey and Capture the Flag. Through drills, games, and relays, coaches teach young campers how to command the field with confidence, while still displaying good sportsmanship. And since it all happens at Congers Lake Memorial Park, full-day campers can spend their lunch breaks swimming in the community pool, playing in the game room, or fishing for their lunch in the lake itself.
Rooted in the belief that anyone should be able to achieve peak fitness levels without having to break the bank, the staff at New Jersey Sports Advantage guides clients in elite-level training at affordable costs. Though they emphasize baseball and softball skill building, the licensed instructors also dedicate space in the 5,000-square-foot facility to boot camps, speed training, and sports performance programs for both individuals and teams. After a session on the Pilates reformers or relieving stress with a certified fascial stretch therapist, visitors can stop by the onsite café for a healthy snack or smoothie.
BT Dance Company has a state-of-the-art facility—their two large dance rooms are underlaid with sprung injury-prevention flooring, and there's a professional sound system that pumps out the music. But they know that it's the people that make the studio, and they have an accomplished faculty of trained, patient instructors from diverse backgrounds. These instructors lead a range of classes, teaching the finer points of ballet, tap, hip-hop, acrobatics, and the chicken dance.
ProPlayer Baseball Academy has a Hall of Fame dedicated to former standout students and instructors, many of whom have gone on to have big-league careers. It's a testament to the academy's clout, both as a year-round training facility and as a launching pad to the next level. Inside the 6,000-square-foot, fully turfed facility, coaches lead baseball and softball players aged 7–18 through private lessons, camps, and clinics. Four stationary batting cages let hitters tighten up their swings, and areas for long toss help players stretch their arms without having to cling to the spinning blades of a helicopter. But it's not just the game's budding stars who use these spaces: occasionally current big leaguers visit during the offseason to keep their skills sharp, too.
The track and field training staff at SCI has coached and trained more than 30,000 athletes—and that statistic is always growing. At his training facility, Sports Conditioning Institute, he and his team encourage athletes with sports-specific training, focusing on games including hockey and volleyball, and lead fit-seekers in two boot-camp styles. The common thread running through every workout is Vaccaro’s focus on avoiding overstressing bodies and preventing injuries. He emphasizes short and frequent workouts, for example, rather than long routines that can lead to sustaining injury, becoming burnt out, or accidentally running into another country without your passport. To complement coached workouts, the gym hosts an array of free weights and cardio machines for solo sessions.