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.
Inside Uptown Sports Complex's 16,000-square-foot facility, the cracks of baseball bats, the beats of hip-hop dance classes, and the rallying cries of cheerleaders combine into a constant, energetic din. The complex gives visitors of all ages plenty of outlets for their energy, such as baseball and gymnastics training camps for youngsters and Zumba dance classes for adults. Kids' classes typically take place after school and during the summer; check the class schedule for current class offerings.
Boasting one of Staten Island’s only go-kart tracks, Staten Island Go-Karts launches drivers around exhilarating turns and down straightaways at speeds of up to 20 mph, while its mini golf course's soothing brook and scenic landscaping maintain more moderate adrenaline levels. Speed-demon duos can rocket around the track in one of the rubber burners, tearing through each five-minute race like the Flash riding Seabiscuit (a $6 value each). Each speedy steed features a sturdy shoulder harness, and the track's qualified operator can control all karts to ensure safety.
A restaurant, a rock-climbing wall, batting cages, and a custom embroidery shop are all housed in Artistic Stitch’s 30,000 square foot facility. At the cages, Probatter Simulators accelerate batters’ learning processes with sophisticated programming that allows for different types of pitches, aiming lobs in the strike zone, around it, or directly at the nearest Ming vase. A 20’ rock-climbing wall invites visitors to ascend to new heights, and soccer and doge ball games spark friendly competition. In addition to general recreational play, day-camp sessions and birthday party packages allow children to let loose and engage in energetic matches. Famished athletes can replenish their energy at the on-site restaurant, Saverio’s Bistro, which serves up piping-hot brick-oven pizzas, paninis, and pastas.
At Hardball Training Center, seasoned coaches impart young players with the mental and physical fitness to excel in baseball and softball. A staff of trainers draw from extensive experience in sports at collegiate, minor-league, and major-league levels to guide pupils in proper pitching techniques, defensive strategies, hitting, and skill drills. A 16,000-square-foot, climate-controlled indoor space keeps practice running no matter the weather, and batting cages and pitching tunnels allow players to fine-tune their abilities.
Whether they're looking to build up to the precision power-hitting of a Ted Williams or the impressive mustache-growing of a Rollie Fingers, students can develop personalized training plans with coaches that cater to their specific strengths, skills, and goals. Softball and baseball teams and small groups hone fundamentals with pre-, mid-, and post-season regimens, while sessions in the gym condition athletes to perform at their peaks.
The Ballpark's 15,000-square-foot indoor baseball facility has been the training ground for regional all-star youth league players and state championship teams since 1999. A team of experienced coaches, led by three-time Star-Ledger Coach of the Year Tony Picaro, teaches fundamentals such as bunting, fielding, and signing autographs while wearing an oversize novelty foam finger. Private and group lessons hone skills after school, and multiday clinics immerse rookies and pros alike in the sport's finer points. Outside class hours, players practice at six public batting cages, a timed home-to-first track, and a pitching mound monitored by radar and off-duty traffic cops. The Ballpark is also a great place to host a birthday party, which include pizza or hot dogs, popcorn, drinks, papers goods, and a free batting cage token.