Baseball and softball players of all skill levels descend upon Extra Innings' 18,000-square-foot indoor facility to hone home-run-hitting swings and more. Players can swing, pitch, or field for 60 minutes inside one of the five indoor hitting tunnels that stretch 70 feet long, 15 feet wide, and 30 feet high as adjustable pitching machines sling unlimited fastballs toward the plate at speeds of up to 90 miles per hour. The facility outfits hitters with bats and helmets for no additional charge, and each tunnel is equipped with an L-screen, a pitcher's mound, and sliding nets that can transform the cage into an open-field area for practicing fielding skills and ribbon-dancing routines.
As the Advanced Class A affiliate of the Florida Marlins, the Jupiter Hammerheads showcase diamond-dwellers aspiring to follow the path to major league fame already trodden by alumni such as Cliff Lee. Gather a quartet of friends or singing barbers and witness the homeric battle between ball and bat as it plays out at Roger Dean Stadium, also home of the Palm Beach Cardinals and the newest baseball facility of its kind in Florida. From field box seats, stretching down the first- and third-base lines, fans will enjoy unobstructed views of Hammerhead players as they intimidate opponents into submission with rocket-fueled fastballs, gravity-razzing catches, and cryptic riddles.
The Atlantic surf, the quiet shallow reefs, the warm stretches between islands—Jupiter Kite Paddle Wake makes these as accessible with ease. Amid racks of gear and boards by makers such as Cabrinha, North, Wainman, and Liquid Force, certified instructors wait to instill the basics of boarding in newcomers with kiteboarding lessons. Jupiter Kite Paddle Wake teaches everything from board set-up, to finding the wind, to idling patiently at sea turtle-crossings. Coaches are also happy to impart the basics of standup paddleboard cruising and racing in semi-private lessons, or train students to leave flat water and master cutting through the waves with paddleboard-surfing sessions. But the focus doesn't remain on oceanic newbies alone. Experienced aquanauts can join guides for private tours, or participate in on-water yoga classes atop their boards.
Wading through indoor heated pools, the instructors at British Swim School teach independent swimming skills to learners aged 3 months and older, adhering to a curriculum devised by British national swimmer Rita Goldberg. The 30-minute one-on-one sessions and small-group lessons, containing six or fewer swimmers, elucidate essential techniques for water safety and the importance of speaking fluent manatee. Swimboree (ages 3 months–3 years with parents) and Young Minnows sessions (ages 1–3 years without parents) teach wee swimmers basic water-survival skills, such as the back float. Turtle One and Turtle Two classes focus on freestyle, backstroke, and breaststroke maneuvers, honing more structured swimming skills in older kiddos. British Swim School's Shark courses enhance stamina and speed and teach even more demanding strokes, such as the butterfly and little-known mountain-goat flail. Certain British Swim School classes require parents to participate in the water or to supervise from the pool deck, and adults-only lessons allow grown-ups to refine their own abilities without the supervision of a toddler.
At N Zone Sports, coaches develop players both on and off the field. Instead of cultivating a highly competitive atmosphere, they allow each child to get ample time in the spotlight—so long as he or she demonstrates a sufficient grasp of sportsmanship and teamwork. Tikes as young as 3 years old can prove their mastery of the concepts of flag football, soccer, cheerleading, basketball, or baseball or by shaking the hand of someone who just poured Gatorade over their heads.