There's no doubt that you are a real adult when you have been an aerospace engineer for over 10 years. So for Kent Gold, it was a momentous life change when in 2001 he rediscovered his inner child and founded SoccerTots—a soccer-based program that helps 18-month to 10-year-old kids develop their motor skills and build their confidence through fun and athletic games. Now, a decade later, the program is offered at more than 150 locations, including Canada and Peru, and has expanded to include HoopsterTots and PartyTots.
Each SoccerTots program is helmed by a team of skilled instructors who engage little ones with fun activities, such as dribbling balls and playing scrimmages, that fuel their motivation to learn and challenge their athletic abilities. To ensure a supportive learning environment, classes are broken down by age and use only soft, child-size equipment. SoccerTot instructors also get kids ready to learn by sending them into super-concentration mode, which encourages little ones to concentrate and try their hardest at a task to help strengthen their muscle memory and their ability to levitate other players on the field.
Breakaway Sports is a full-service indoor athletics arena. The rink hosts recreation leagues and competitive tournaments for inline hockey, often with teams coming in from all parts of the country to compete. They also schedule public skating sessions on Friday and Saturday nights, which can be a fun activity for friends or a more aerobically effective date activity than polishing your butter-knife collection. When skaters and hockey players give up the rink, they make way for indoor sports such as soccer, lacrosse, and volleyball as well as birthday parties. Breakaway is also equipped with meeting rooms that have TVs and WiFi.
The Charlotte Eagles are a professional men's soccer team who compete in the second division of the United Soccer Leagues. This year's roster is packed with serious soccer muffins, such as midfielder and fruit elitist Joe DeLass and Uruguayan forward Gustavo Bentos. The players will only be able to display fancy footwork for four more home games. Check out the schedule and plan to attend a game when the sun will be close enough to earth to tan your body home-team orange.
United Social Sports expands its members' social circles through a slate of several sports and spirited, casual competition. Return to childhood bliss by joining kickball, throw bags at a board with cornhole, or whack around orbs in bocce. Leagues include a championship tournament, end-of-season party, and other goodies.
During the summer, visitors to certain North Carolina parks might see a bunch of athletic Europeans urging kids through drills. They shouldn't worry?this isn't some covert invasion. It's just the Barcelona Soccer Camp. Organized by ISL Futbol and UE Cornella of Barcelona, and partnered with FC Barcelona and Blackburn Rovers FC, this four-day program serves the dual purpose of building kids' confidence and soccer skills and preparing them for potential recruitment; assistant coaches scout each camp to find the ideal candidates for training and eventual placement in professional football clubs around North America and Europe.
Even more importantly, though, the program is designed to help kids have fun. UEFA Pro?licensed Spanish coaches?holders of the highest soccer-coaching level in the world?join forces with NCAA coaches and players. With one coach for every 12 campers, the six-hour days are filled with lessons in soccer theory and dynamic, hands-on training. Programs follow elite Spanish training methodology and are broken up into skill-specific workshops on dribbling, controlling and passing, possession games, and perhaps most importantly, real scrimmages with a team.
A new zombie horde rises, hungry for the packs of humans that flee in a desperate fight to see another day. This isn't a vision of a postapocalyptic future—it happens every fall at the Zombie Run Challenge, an event in which participants dressed as zombies chase down human competitors in a race for both survival and top prizes. After registering, competitors separate into the two factions, each with separate goals. In the course of up to two hours, zombies attempt to turn humans by capturing the flags attached to their belts. The living, in turn, try to complete challenges at four–five checkpoints, taking momentary refuge or healing at outposts scattered throughout the woods. All the while, a group of volunteer mercenaries armed with foam darts hunts down the undead attackers. Before the race begins, the special-effects gurus at Gregory F/X will provide zombie makeup to participants in exchange for a donation—100% of which goes to charity and won't be used to buy the zombies fresh brains at the local deli.