Though the designers of Columbia SportsPark might have squabbled over how many batting cages to build or whether the mini-golf course should have a waterfall, they unanimously agreed on one factor—the park should be a place for families to spend time together. Today, their collaboration fulfills that mission with a sprawling 15,000-square-foot playground of family-friendly recreational activities. Along the 18-hole mini-golf course, lush plants, gushing waterfalls, and pristine ponds recreate the peaceful feel of a tropical garden or DMV lobby. Skaters pull off stunts at the 15,000-square foot outdoor skate facility with ramps, pipes, and a four-foot spine, while batters slug practice balls in cages equipped with professional fast- and slow-pitching machines. Beyond the daily family outings, Columbia SportsPark regularly hosts camps, skate lessons, and community gatherings throughout the year.
Spanning 18,000 square feet of turf-covered courts and batting cages, Raider's Edge hones bat-swinging skills with practice areas and instruction for individuals and groups. Baseball- and softball-pitching machines spit endless volleys of spheres, their speeds adjustable to accommodate both little leaguers and six-armed spider-men. The two spacious turf courts can also accommodate practice for soccer, lacrosse, and field hockey, and dual pitching lanes allow pitchers to perfect their craft side by side. Weekly exercise and softball practice programs focus on skills such as hitting, fielding, and pitching, and young players put their skills into practice as part of Raider’s Edge’s Red Raider softball teams.
The Bethesda Big Train baseball team came to fruition through the passion and charitable work of the Bethesda Community Baseball Club. Upon seeing that the area's softball and baseball fields were in disarray, this group quickly took to the task of improving them for the community's youth. After raising the money to fix the parks, the organization erected Shirley Povich Field to give the Bethesda Big Train a place to call home. A summer collegiate baseball team, the Big Train delights fans with the sounds of summer: the crack of the bat, the smack of a fastball hitting the catcher's mitt, and the buzz of a cell phone politely vibrating. The team members also aspire to be role models for the region's younger generation, showing them that they can play baseball at a high level while still putting college, their studies, and their right to wear sweatpants to class first. Today the club participates in the Cal Ripken League and has won the league's championship three seasons in a row, giving locals and fans plenty to cheer about while enjoying family fun out under the summer's warm evening sky.
United Social Sports brings recreational athletes together to socialize and showcase their hand-eye coordination. Free agents or team-sized groups register for the organization’s casual coed leagues dedicated to traditional sports such as softball and volleyball as well as carnival games such as cornhole and skee-ball. Each league hosts 6–8 weekly matches, which culminate in a final tournament and an end-of-season party—much like youth-sports leagues, but with postgame drink specials.
Golf requires power, precision, and soft touch, and Laurel Golf Center helps players hone all three at one location. Covered hitting stalls facilitate year-round practice at the driving range, where golfers can take aim at six target greens or try to nestle their golf ball inside a passing cloud. Short game practice areas let golfers hone chips, pitches, and shots with awkward lies from a practice bunker. To perfect their feel around the greens, guests can roll through the 18-hole miniature golf course.
For more than 10 years, athletes looking to improve their game have turned to Axis Sport. Using their more than 5,000-square-feet of space and equipment including bands, balls, battle ropes, and more, trainers focus on performance training to hone their clients’ agility, strength, speed, power, flexibility, and running mechanics. But you don't have to be an athlete to get fit at Axis. Instructors welcome clients of all levels during group classes, from high-intensity interval training to less intense sessions that aim to get heart rates up and prevent injury.