Whether it's sunny, rainy, or snowy, baseball is still being played at The Hitter's Edge. Within its indoor batting cages, balls fly at six individuals cages, each accented with its own home plate. And a number of arcade games keep batters entertained while they await their turn in the cages. The facility also houses the Pride of the Diamond training center, athletes alike can sharpen their throwing, fielding, and hitting skills.
Since digging its cleats into the Philadelphia baseball scene in 1998, All Star Baseball Academy has helped launch the college careers of hundreds of players?and the big league careers of dozens more. Designed for ballplayers ages 5 to 18, the academy sharpens on-the-field skills with private instruction, leagues, camps, and tournaments. Read the academy's mission statement here.
This diverse selection of training opportunities stands as a testament to ASBA's growth: the academy now has five facilities under its umbrella, totaling more than 90,000 square feet of training space. Multiple times throughout the year, ASBA sets aside its own training areas to host prospect camps at universities and stadiums. There, coaches and scouts can watch ballplayers in action, timing how fast they run, assessing their pitch speed, and seeing how well they hit with pool noodles instead of bats.
• For $32, you get two Thunder hats, concessions, and two tickets to the game against the Erie SeaWolves on Monday, July 18, at 7:05 p.m. (up to a $78 total value). • For $32, you get two Thunder hats, concessions, and two tickets to the game against the Richmond Flying Squirrels on Thursday, July 28, at 7:05 p.m. (up to a $78 total value).
In the open countryside of the town of Sparta stands a red-brick, 17,000-square-foot training facility. Inside are not the Greek warriors of legend but the sporting heroes of tomorrow, still growing into their uniforms. At DreamField Sports, developing athletes train year-round to unveil their inner champion. The facility houses a spacious, brightly lit indoor field that allows for air-conditioned versions of outdoor sports, including football, baseball, softball, and soccer. The enormous field also divides via retractable curtains or is lifted by a troop of dislocated circus strongmen to reveal polished hardwood basketball and volleyball courts. Away from the courts, waiting areas with flat-screen televisions let parents catch up on the local news when they're not looking in on the training sessions through large windows. Each session is led by a group of experienced coaches, many of whom lived former lives as professional athletes and some of whom train current professional and Olympic athletes. Not only do these gurus provide technical instruction, they also encourage positive attitudes and fair sportsmanship and instill the confidence necessary to enter the Indy 500 on roller skates.
In sports parlance, being "in the zone" means, of course, to achieve a state of heightened, virtually unconscious performance excellence for a sustained period of time. It's not an easy thing to achieve?there are no road maps and it can't be summoned by superstition?but the staff of high school coaches and former college standouts at In The Zone Baseball & Softball Academy knows something about being there. Mostly it takes loads of practice on every aspect of the game, including the obvious ones, such as hitting and pitching, as well as the subtler skills of strategy and furtively stealing bases by first becoming camouflaged in dirt. Instruction is dispensed through lessons and clinics held inside the academy's 8,000-square-foot facility, which includes six batting cages, two pitching lanes, and a fully turfed general use area.
BAM Social Sports assembles co-ed teams of athletes aged 21 and older for regular battle in recreational games throughout northern and central New Jersey. The network's friendship-fueled leagues span a wide range of sports, including basketball, soccer, softball, and bowling, and excluding hamster racing. After games, players can retire to local sponsor bars, where discounts on food and drink help celebrate victories or fuel mournful food fights.