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.
Sculpted into a landscape of fountains, streams, and waterfalls, the 18-hole miniature golf course at Station Sports is just is one of the attractions that entertains guests. Over at the wild west-themed paintball station, players showcase their marksmanship and quick-draw skills by firing off paintballs at moving and stationary targets. Baseballs are hurled between 30 and 90 mph inside five batting cages, while a cage for youngsters features whiffle balls flung at a more kid-friendly pace. Inside Sport Station’s arcade, pucks zip across air hockey tables, bowling balls tumble down lanes, and toes hastily tap on Dance Dance Revolution mats. To refuel after such fast-paced games, visitors can stop by the snack shack for popcorn, hot dogs, and ice cream.
Five Towns Mini Golf, Batting Range & Wild West Target Paintball offers a lively outdoor haunt where patrons contend with themselves and the laws of physics in a trinity of sphere-based recreation. A labyrinth of brick-ensconced emerald corridors puts putting proficiency to the test in each 18-hole round of mini golf, where steady strokes prevail against shaky hands. Bold contours form breaks more difficult to read than a fossilized Dostoevsky anthology. Each guest also receives five batting-cage tokens, good for 50 hardball or 80 wiffle-ball pitches taken within Five Towns' circular batting range. Automatic pitchers fire baseball facsimiles at four different speeds, topping out at 80 miles per hour, and softball swingers can knock spheroids served up in three varieties of arced pitches or a blazing fast-pitch setting. Two-dimensional denizens of frontier lore populate the Wild West Target Paintball shooting area, where sharpshooters outdraw bandana-faced outlaws and paintballs add chromatic décor to the façades of a central saloon, jailhouse, and Buffalo Bill's freshly buffed fingernails.
It can be hard to find one's exercise of choice with options such as the back and forth of tennis, the melodic strokes of lap swimming, or an agile jaunt on the balance beam. Guests at Chelsea Piers Connecticut are saved the burden of such decisions as they take full advantage of the 400,000-square-foot facility's exhaustive exercise options. Modeled after the namesake location in New York City, Chelsea Piers Connecticut provides facilities and instruction for all ages and abilities. The Aquatics Center's Olympic size, 50-meter indoor pool caters to adults, while a 6,000-square-foot water play area entertains water-winged children. At the Field House, runners jog on the 1/5-mile track that circles the 100-yard turf field used for lacrosse, soccer, field hockey, flag football, and more. Chelsea Piers also boasts a full Gymnastics Center, two full-size indoor ice rinks, Squash Club, Tennis Club, as well as basketball and volleyball courts. Members can also take advantage of in-house babysitting services in order to secure some much-needed alone time to test-drive the Adventure Center's trampoline Jump Zone or Climb Zone.
Matt Guiliano's Play Like a Pro packs eight hitting tunnels, four batting cages, four pitching mounds, a 90'x40' fielding area, and a 96'x40' soccer field into its 33,000 square feet. The varied areas set the stage for equally diverse play, from private baseball or softball lessons to Sports Bash camps (which cover everything from soccer to European-style handball) to Xbox gaming in the Sports Cave. Or athletes can practice their swing in the batting cages, adjusting the speed of the pitch to anywhere between 35–80 miles per hour.
Rain delays and snow-outs are never an issue within Hudson Baseball Center, where instructors lead baseball and softball lessons atop the indoor facility's evergreen turf. Working in individual practice lanes or in group clinics, players focus on improving distinct aspects of their game, including hitting, pitching, and fielding. Regardless of the specialty involved, every lesson places particular emphasis on critical thinking and physical discipline, valuable skills for both playing baseball and wrestling other jury members to settle an impasse. Comprised of former high school, collegiate, and professional athletes, the faculty includes the likes of a Class-A pitcher for the Reds, a high-school All-American with 14 years of coaching experience, and a softball player who spent 13 years with the Hoboken Shockers' traveling team.