For more than 130 years, the YMCA has worked to facilitate growth for individuals as well as communities by providing social-enrichment programs that promote honesty, respect, and responsibility. YMCA of Greater San Antonio, which features locations throughout the metropolitan area, helps people improve their lives with healthy living programs that offer inclusive training classes as well as lifelong learning classes. Youth development initiatives and childcare services allow children as well as teens to develop positive behaviors while exploring their interests in a safe, supportive environment. The centers also encourage social responsibility by providing opportunities to support local communities through volunteerism and charitable giving.
Encompassing an 11,000-square-foot indoor batting arena, an air-conditioned clubhouse filled with training videos, and an outdoor plot of screen-enclosed batting cages, Power Swing's facilities help train baseball and softball players of all ages and skill levels. Instructors train students in four private pitching tunnels and let them practice on a turf infield or field hits from regulation-size pitching mounds. Outside, players swing at four T-ball cages, or return machine-pitched volleys from 10 baseball pitchers and nine softball pitchers that launch balls and unwanted vases at up to 80 miles per hour. A team of coaches, many of them former athletes, can also help students hone pitching and hitting skills in private, semiprivate, and small-group lessons, and lead instructional clinics and athletic afterschool programs.
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.
At River Place Country Club, a championship golf course designed by Jay Morrish and Tom Kite, winner of the 1992 U.S. Open, invites golfers to launch balls over sand bunkers and twisting creeks that wend their way through the landscape’s hilly contours. The course’s superintendent draws on experience at Baton Rouge Country Club and Colonial Country Club, as well as a degree in Plant and Soil Systems, as he ensures that the greens and rolling Bermuda grass fairways are more carefully manicured than a prize-winning pet wooly mammoth. The course’s PGA professional instructors are on hand to improve individual games, and a driving range lets players practice at 15 hitting stations.
Adjacent to the course, eight lighted tennis courts abut a 40,000-square-foot clubhouse with an outdoor pool, fully equipped fitness center, and locker rooms whose dry saunas and whirlpools melt tension quicker than butter melts on the calves of a sprinter. The Grille invites clubgoers to sup on steak or seafood, and a pair of outdoor decks let guests drink in scenic views.
Course at a Glance:
Organized by the Austin Sports and Social Club, the community-oriented Downtown Dash TX unleashes teams on a race across the city rife with physical challenges, social interactions, and mental puzzles. The undefined course lets participants choose their own route, but with a catch: travel must be completed on foot or by public transportation, not on bicycles, rollerblades, or stolen emus. While following a clue sheet, teams attempt to topple up to a dozen challenges all while encountering some of Austin's most historic and renowned sites. Upon crossing the finish line, the top three teams receive a special prize, but everyone wins during a postrace party that stretches the day's festivities into the evening. There will also be random drawings in which every team has a chance to win. The race benefits the Austin Sunshine Camps.
Beyond the race, Austin Sports and Social Club offers a range of coed team sports leagues, including soccer, softball, dodgeball, bowling, and sand volleyball. Participants are able to socialize on the court and at team happy hours following games.
Since 2004, Todd Gibbs has grown his team of enthusiastic instructors from one to seven, and collectively they take a fun approach to fitness. The instructors incorporate motivating music into their Pilates, Barre and yoga classes. Their robust, seven-day schedule features morning through evening classes that they cater to students of all skill levels by demonstrating modifications that make the exercises less or more intense. Todd's classes in Pilates are designed to tone the entire body, placing emphasis on conditioning the core to help people protect their fragile chandelier centers.