Practice makes perfect and perfection is the goal of Centerfield Baseball & Softball Academy's staff. The roster of experienced instructors includes members with playing and coaching experience at the collegiate and Major League levels. During private lessons, these instructors share their insight and help players refine fundamental hitting or pitching techniques. Larger clinics allow the staff to work with groups and create well-rounded baseball and softball athletes.
These lessons can take place in the academy's 15,000-square-foot climate-controlled facility, which also allows players to refine their game on their own. Its four Iron Mike pitching machines are capable of slinging fastballs or water balloons at speeds from 40 to 70 miles per hour, and six of its eight open cages feature mounds, which help pitchers dig in while they practice delivering the heat.
Albert Jernigan holds black belts in two disciplines of tae kwon do, a testament to his three decades' experience in martial arts. At his Jernigan’s School of Martial Arts and Self-Defense, Albert puts this knowledge to work, teaching students as young as 6. His programs for men, women, and children encompass the principles of tae kwon do, tai chi, jujitsu, and kickboxing. He also caters to senior citizens, specializing in exercises that alleviate the discomforts of arthritis.
Both veterans of the full-contact karate circuit, coaches Bill Flowers and Jerry Byers sought to impart the hard-won lessons of their fighting days to new generations seeking discipline and self-defense skills. So in 2006, they combined their expertise, creating the KO 101© Martial Arts & Boxing Gym as a doorway into their lifelong passion.
Coach Flowers holds belts in three forms of karate and 12 championship titles, achievements complemented by coach Byers' belt rankings in seven different martial-arts styles, including black belts in three schools of tae kwon do. In their gym, students train for both personal enjoyment and healthy competition, ultimately taking to the ring to spar against one another once the punching bags have run out of lunch money.
Recently opened, Texas Champion Gymnastics offers regular classes that help hone kids' athletic skills while building their self-confidence. Tumbling and conditioning classes strengthen the muscles and motor skills needed to pull off the tricky moves for vaulting up to the cereal cabinet, and recreational gymnastics classes focus on the discipline and techniques of nailing specific routines.
Premier Baseball Academy's instructors draw from their experience at the high school, college, and professional levels to help hone skills of players ranging from little leaguers to pros. In private and group lessons, the bat-swinging experts focus on areas such as strength and arm velocity with equipment including pitching mounds and five Iron Mike batting-cage machines that dispatch balls at adjustable speeds. The instructors hold practices for entire teams and lead camps that aim to cover all mental and physical aspects of the national pastime. The Academy also hosts several tournaments throughout the year and serves as a rescue shelter for stray team mascots.
Inflated structures, slides, and games fill the climate-controlled environs of the numerous BounceU locations that speckle the nation. At each site, staff members closely monitor all activities as little ones traverse obstacle courses or pull on oversized inflatable boxing gloves. The crew also invites parents to join in on the fun, letting them bounce alongside their kids or make sweeping edicts from atop a bouncy-castle throne.
In addition to open sessions, the indoor-play haven sets the stage for the Preschool Playdate program, where instructors lead games and activities. Special events include family-bounce night, which lets parents join in the bouncing or relax in the party room and do grownup things, such as eat marshmallows with a knife and fork.