Though they operate more than 200 locations in upwards of 30 states, the team behind U.S. Baseball Academy aims to make each young athlete's experience a personal one. Their four- or six-week camps are taught by local instructors who are current or former coaches at the high school or college level, and typically offer a 6:1 or better player-to-teacher ratio for intense, professional-style training. The Academy's proven itinerary of hitting, pitching, fielding, and baserunning drills was developed by an advisory board of college coaches and Major League players, including Cy Young Award–winner and ace pitcher Brandon Webb.
Nestled just beyond the University of San Diego, JP Longball boasts a bevy of trainers and training equipment. The family-owned and operated clinic crafts sluggers and slingers through comprehensive, step-by-step training in all aspects of the game, including pitching, catching, and hitting. Most on-hand instructors have been playing for years, and each lends their distinct philosophy to every dusty diamond visitor. If practicing players opt for robotic assistance, JP answers the call with five batting cages, two with dirt surfaces, and all with the capacity for fast, slow, curved, and high/low release points. During an hour of cage time, batters can expect to take cuts at approximately 600 lofted spheres.
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.
This 8,000-square-foot facility houses five indoor batting areas to train baseball beaters on customized pitching machines capable of launching fast balls and curve balls at speeds of 25 to 90 mph, faster than the speed of black light moving toward a felt Don Mattingly. Each cage provides pop-fly pilots with helmets, bats, and baseballs. Hardball Sports Academy also includes two cages equipped for live pitching with L-screens that protect the delicate exoskeletons of warm-blooded lobbers.
Since 1984, Sports Fever has outfitted fans of nearly every professional and collegiate sport with the colors and emblems of their beloved teams. With 16 brick-and-mortar stores throughout Northern and Southern California and an extensive online catalog of apparel and accessories, Sports Fever lets locals celebrate the Giants' recent world-championship victory with sporty T-shirts while supplying alumni with college hoodies that show off their schools’ chart-topping ACT scores.
Super Swing Sports' youth softball, baseball and tee-ball clinics forgo the competitive nature of the sports in favor of fun and teamwork. Boys and girls as young as 3 participate in the structured programs, which teach sport-specific skills such as hitting and fielding, plus the value of exercise and sportsmanship. Since there's no pressure, the youngsters are able to fully enjoy the sports, leaving nerves and performance expectations for later in life.