At Victory Gymnastics Academy, the gymnastics instructors don't just train kids to do the splits and flip effortlessly into handstands. In boys' freestyle gymnastics classes, they also train kids to overcome any physical obstacle—including a solid wall—through a mix of jumping, crawling, and climbing. A direct descendant of parkour, the sport only differs in one major way: it takes place inside, and the practice obstacles are padded, a setup that puts safety first.
The instructor's emphasize safety in their other courses, too. Sessions for preschoolers, for instance, unfold on scaled-down, age-appropriate equipment. During tumbling classes, kids try out handsprings and backtucks, finishing their new moves in an in-ground foam pit that minimizes the risk of injuries. Regardless of whether they're leading a recreation class or a competitive team practice, coaches supervise and correct kids' form, too, as when beginning gymnasts perform handstands by just standing upright and gazing at their hands.
In its seventh year, the Poinsettia Bowl invades the majestic Qualcomm Stadium for a postseason soirée featuring the West's premier college-football factions competing for one last shot at gridiron glory. Hurl cheers, sneers, and novelty foam roses from premium plaza seats tucked behind the field goal as you watch two of the most formidable squads from the Western Athletic Conference and Mountain West Conference square off in a fierce epilogue to an exhilarating 2011 season. ESPN's roving cameras will broadcast the game nationally, ensuring refs are kept in check and homemade signs emblazoned with coaching tips and marriage proposals are properly commemorated.
Brickyard Cages’ indoor facility dedicates more than 8,800 square feet to the task of improving sluggers' orb-smashing abilities. After arming themselves with a bat made of wood, aluminum, or lacquered papyrus scrolls, guests enter one of six oversize cages and mercilessly swing at robot-tossed balls. Brickyard's modern pitching machines are capable of launching baseballs at a variety of speeds, and can also produce curveballs, sliders, knuckleballs, and batter-taunting loop-the-loops. Hop into cages number two or three¬—both of which are equipped with softball machines¬—to prepare for an upcoming softball showdown or perfect a world-changing grapefruit-juicing method.
Entering their 85th season, the Harlem Globetrotters have entertained millions of parents, children, and general basketball admirers with a unique brand of athletic precision and showmanship. For their latest “4 Times the Fun” North American tour, the Globetrotters will add a new 4-point shot spots located 35 feet from the basket, which is 12 feet further than the official three-point line but several thousand miles closer than the prime meridian. See the arch-nemesis Generals try to keep up as the Harlem hardwood sorcerers evade gravity’s oppressive clutches and court clairvoyants distribute unassailable alley-oops. Youngsters can learn about the benefits of teamwork while laughing along with the jovial jocks as they perform classic routines of unconventional passing and sudden transmutations of water into confetti.
Named after the legendary team from Argentina where soccer star Diego Maradona got his start, the San Diego Boca Futbol Club follows in the fleet footsteps of its titular inspiration by promoting professional and youth soccer through its involvement in the National Premier Soccer League. Herds of brightly bedecked athletes rampage across an enormous plain to earn the confidence of a whirling, chiaroscuro globe by wooing it with feats of balance and head butting. Intersperse zigs, zags, and zips with soda sips, hot-dog bites, and vuvuzela renditions of Gary Glitter B-sides. This year’s team of cleated kickers booted their way to a fourth-place ranking in the league’s western division, leaving trembling blades of glass in their wake. With recently acquired Brazilian midfielder Zé Roberto and goal-scoring leader Justin Picou leading the charge toward postseason play, fans may redeem today's Groupon for home playoff games.