The phone rings. Michael Clark picks it up. "He made it," the father of one of Phenom Baseball Academy's students exclaims over the line. "He made the team." Michael, a former pro-baseball player and current local scout for the San Diego Padres, has received this call from many parents. He started the academy after his time as a high-school coach put him face-to-face with numerous youth players who would try out for his team and clearly struggle, suffering from a lack of sound fundamentals. Michael and his group of seasoned coaches lead their group and individual training sessions inside a 4,700-square-foot training facility, which is furnished with quality field turf and three batting cages. During sessions, players aged 8–18 years old move about the expansive field, hitting, catching, and throwing under the guidance of up to four instructors. Parents who want to watch can do so from the upstairs viewing area, which positions them safely away from flying balls and the catcher's hand-signal requests for a juice box.
A reading specialist with decades of experience, Candace Meyer couldn't stop wondering why some kids have trouble in the classroom, while others excel. She noticed, however, that many of her struggling students shared the same difficulties: poor balance, lack of rhythm, and difficulty with visual tracking. To her, these symptoms all pointed to one root?the inner ear.
Meyer's research led her to establish connections between inner-ear functionality and learning ability in children. It also inspired her to found Minds-in-Motion, an organization that combines brain training with movement more safely than hosting lectures in the middle of a football field. The company's specialists create customized programs for each student based on assessments that measure sensory and motor skills. By helping children to develop both types of skills at the same time, Minds-in-Motion encourages them to succeed in school and life.
For this 5K race, a normally tame park or other venue is transformed into Mean Streets, an urban-themed obstacle course. In the Construction Zone, participants navigate over and under traffic barriers of different heights followed by a dive into a trash-filled dumpster. After bypassing the dumpster zone, runners test their stamina as cat burglars, scrambling through first-floor windows and trespassing through backyards. They barely touch ground before scaling upward once again on the Time-to-Climb portion of the course, which features a Jason Bourne-esque run across the rooftops. Finally, contestants climb out a window and onto the fire escape, swinging across an 8-foot ladder to reach the finish.
Safety plating divides the six lanes in both of the indoor civilian ranges, where sound-absorbing material muffles the blast of bullets hurtling toward targets on a 25-yard journey. Visiting shooters can test their aim with a rental gun or purchase a new firearm from the showroom, which also stocks an array of holsters, spotting scopes, and replacement grips. Meanwhile, gunsmiths spruce up pistols with cleanings, coatings, and tiny top hats, while the staff's NRA-certified instructors enhance pupils' handgun knowledge, safety, and skills during private lessons and women's-only classes.
At Farnsley Golf Course, you can sharpen your long and short game at a nine-hole, par-3 course or on multiple practice fields. In 2011, five of the course’s greens got a makeover and all caddies were required to dispose of their shoulder pads and acid-wash jeans. Off the course, golfers can perfect their swing at a driving range lined with 300 yards of bermuda grass, or focus on chipping in a short-game practice area. If you’re looking for more in-depth tweaks to your technique, feel free to enlist the help of a teaching professional with personalized lessons.
Every year, the comic industry’s icons, publishers, and fans converge on the Kentucky International Convention Center for a day of celebrating the graphic arts. Panel tables are all that stand between attendees and such notables as Tony Moore, illustrator for the first issues of The Walking Dead, and Mark Kidwell, co-creator of the Vietnam-zombie crossover, ’68. Throughout the day, convention spaces swell with fans turned out for contests and showcases and tables strain under the weight of merchandise.