A Roswell native, River Through Atlanta owner Chris Scalley grew up on the Chattahoochee River, which he proudly still calls home. It's not unusual for Chris to spend 200 days or more on the Hooch, as he and his affiliate guides constantly lead fly fishing instruction, boat trips, and wading trips on the river. Because of his lifetime of experience, Chris has accumulated a unique knowledge of the local ecology, behavior of the trout, and how frequently they vote on American Idol. Though he has fished at destination rivers all over the world, Chris still feels that the Hooch holds its own with regard to angling and aesthetics. To preserve these aesthetics, Chris led efforts to protect the Chattahoochee and its sport fishery, earning him recognition in 2007 as a Hero of Conservation in Field & Stream.
"[I] enjoyed the introspection it provided my mind when facing the open door for the first time," says ATL Skydiving's drop zone manager Josh Eckl. "Despite the fear, you push yourself forward and into the unknown." Since the profound experience he felt during his first skydive, Josh has gone on to complete more than 5000 jumps, becoming certified as a tandem and accelerated freefall (AFF) instructor in the process. Josh and his team—all members of the United States Parachute Association—arrange both of these types of jumps, offering traditional tandem jumps for amateur skydivers and AFF leaps for instructors in training. Regardless of the type of jump, skydivers are flown out of a tower-controlled airport (Earl L. Small, Jr. Field-Stockmar Airport in Villa Rica), ensuring they are in contact with all area aircraft, which contributes to ATL's stellar safety record.
To commemorate their dive, clients can purchase an RVT skydiving video. RVT, which stands for Revolutionary Video Technology, combines footage from a first-person canopy cam as well as panoramic shots in order to recreate the experience. The finished product shows every step of the jump, from the freefall and parachute opening to the ground landing and tasting of the soil to ensure that you landed back on Earth.
During the 45-minute video consultation, a Georgia Billiard Academy instructor leads students as young as six years old through fundamentals and drills while recording the students’ motions from three angles, gauging their skill level, and offering criticism. One-on-one training sessions, where instruction is based on the data gathered from the consultation, include drills and tips that will help students earn street cred in streets where cred is solely based on being good at pool. While GBA's Saturday morning appointments are reserved for junior players, those older than 13 can schedule appointments from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday–Friday and until 6 p.m. on Saturdays.
During summer months, camp counselors at Learning For Your Future help kids in first through eighth grades explore their creativity and learn valuable skills. Their day camps incorporate indoor and outdoor activities in areas such as music, dance, math, and art. The day camps can also help kids develop skills in sports.
At 5-Tool Sports Training Center's 7,000 square-foot, air-conditioned facility, David Collings—a former scholarship player at Andrew College and the University of West Georgia—leads a team of specialized instructors whose collective experience includes minor-league play and collegiate-level coaching. Together the team shapes young baseball players with results-oriented clinics, including a pitching program designed after those used by major-league franchises and the Chinese national team. Other sessions range from summer camps that cover all aspects of the game to position-specific clinics, such as introductory and advanced catching with Mike Day––a four-time College World Series catcher who went on to play with the Montreal Expos.
To keep their skill set sharp, athletes can schedule time in one of four 55-foot hitting cages, two of which boast Iron Mike pitching machines or two dedicated pitching lanes. Private instruction gives kids individualized feedback, and a video-analysis room allows them to see the errors in their swing or the understated chicness of swapping out a cap for a beret.
Targets strung up in 12 comfortably ventilated and climate-controlled lanes await approaching bullets as they fly from firearms held 25 yards away. Adjacent to the range, a private, 16-seat room houses NRA- and state-certified instructors as they walk novice and advanced trigger fingers alike through the safety and skills necessary to wield a pistol. In addition to supplying customers with firearm-operating knowledge, the expert gunslingers equip marksmen with a wealth of rifles and pistols from brand names such as Colt and Sig Sauer. Holsters, magazines, and cleaning supplies—such as a gun that shoots all the dirt off your other gun—round out the shop's extensive stock, which includes more than 27,000 products in its online store.