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.
The Baseball Center NYC, Manhattan’s only full-service indoor baseball facility, supplies youth, teenage, and adult baseball and softball players with access to 15,000 square feet of batting cages, pitching simulators, and fielding areas. During a private lesson, professionals instruct athletes on how to strengthen hitting, pitching, catching, fielding, and flying techniques.
Rain delays and snow-outs are never an issue within Hudson Baseball Center, where instructors lead baseball and softball lessons atop the indoor facility's evergreen turf. Working in individual practice lanes or in group clinics, players focus on improving distinct aspects of their game, including hitting, pitching, and fielding. Regardless of the specialty involved, every lesson places particular emphasis on critical thinking and physical discipline, valuable skills for both playing baseball and wrestling other jury members to settle an impasse. Comprised of former high school, collegiate, and professional athletes, the faculty includes the likes of a Class-A pitcher for the Reds, a high-school All-American with 14 years of coaching experience, and a softball player who spent 13 years with the Hoboken Shockers' traveling team.
The family-run Astoria Sports Complex offers batting cages and indoor soccer, and has one of the largest fitness centers around. The facility got its start more than 30 years ago, when owner Steve Poliseno converted an abandoned ice house, purchased at auction, into the gigantic sports complex it is today. The most recent addition to the facility is a gigantic, Olympic-sized swimming pool, where kids can take lessons and prepare to be the Model U.N. delegate from Atlantis.
As baseball season draws to an end, and the Newark Bears empty their lockers, specters hiding in the mist materialize to transform Riverfront ballpark into the Stadium of Screams. Daring explorers of the unexplained can traverse through the seasonally haunted attractions, which include haunted locker rooms, where undead actors lie in wait, ready to terrify unsuspecting visitors, and bubbling cauldrons brewing viscous vats of Gatorade. Just beyond the cursed confines, shrieks of terror become shrieks of glee at the Stadium of Screams Fun Zone. Visitors can participate in a free nightly treasure hunt, or spend up to $1 on prize-riddled amusement park games. Costumed actors greet guests for photos and stage fear tastings from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. and again from 11 p.m. to midnight. Although not included in the price of this Groupon, a hayride ($5) is available to tote guests around the baseball field, granting sublime views of the night sky and an eerily moonlit home plate.