Gleaning attention from media outlets such as Sports Illustrated, ESPN Radio, and the Washington Post, not to mention endorsements from major-league players such as Mariano Rivera, Manny Ramirez, and Mike Bordick, Frozen Ropes has gained a nationwide reputation thanks largely to its unique training model. Coaches from all baseball and softball backgrounds integrate instructional elements ranging from basic strength conditioning to biomechanics and sports psychology, helping students build their skills the same way dentists do—through a scientific approach to relentless drilling. Since 1989, the program has been used to help novices and professional-level players produce more of the company's namesake, the “frozen rope”—slang for a hard-hit line drive or a strong throw. At each of the company's nationwide facilities, instructors must complete Frozen Ropes' comprehensive curriculum—including hours of classroom instruction, shadowing, and mock lessons—before they can even begin teaching students the proper way to eat sunflower seeds.
Prospect Sports lacks the elements every baseball player dreams of—the smell of freshly mowed grass beneath their cleats, half-eaten pretzels hurling over their heads, rows of seats that seem to never stop climbing into the sky. But that's because the facility intentionally eschews such romantic distractions in order to foster an ideal training environment, which in turn fosters better athletes. Amid a top-notch synthetic turf that plays like real grass and an adjustable netting system that snakes across 25,000 square feet of space, players hone their skills through performance training, video analysis, and private lessons that focus on specific aspects of sports including baseball and softball. The center also offers a "Build-a-Player" program, which integrates skill and performance training into one program to develop well-rounded athletes that can handle the pro leagues' 400-pound baseballs made of solid gold.
Lil Athletes Sports' coaches introduce children ages three to five to activities and social interaction through fun, structured games. Children ages 20 months to five team up with similarly aged kids and experienced coaches to focus on the basics of soccer, basketball, lacrosse, and baseball. As kids become acquainted with their preferred game, they can try their hand at more complex maneuvers and team play, leading up to a real game against their fellow competitors. Not only does this approach ensure children have a firm grasp on how to play the game, it also fosters relationships with those around them and inspires them to continue playing sports as they grow. Sports trainers also host birthday parties that put the guest of honor in the spotlight while giving all guests opportunities to play in structured games.
At Body N Sync, trainers have furnished their studio with the mats, Reformer machines, and other small machines needed for a classic Pilates workout. But in the spirit of Pilates' founder, Joseph Pilates, who continually transformed his workout for 75 years, Body N Sync has adapted a new method called SpringTone. Consisting of wall-mounted, spring-resistant apparatuses, the workout combines elements of resistance training, core training, bodyweight training, and circuit training into one 45-minute session. Best of all, the workouts can be scaled for any fitness level, from a beginner to a just-retired superhero.
The field at TM Baseball & Softball Academy extends both inside and outside letting players play during warm weather, cold weather, or nonexistent indoor snowstorms. During daily training sessions, the TM Baseball & Softball Academy coaching staff helps high school and college-level players–as well as children as young as 3 years old–hone their hitting, defense, and fielding abilities. They also infuse sessions with strength, conditioning, and agility exercises so that players can field line drives and beat mascots during 7th inning dizzy-bat races.
The family-run Astoria Sports Complex offers batting cages and indoor soccer, and has one of the largest fitness centers around. The facility got its start more than 30 years ago, when owner Steve Poliseno converted an abandoned ice house, purchased at auction, into the gigantic sports complex it is today. The most recent addition to the facility is a gigantic, Olympic-sized swimming pool, where kids can take lessons and prepare to be the Model U.N. delegate from Atlantis.