With a former Oakland Athletic and two ex-minor leaguers on staff, Baseball Unlimited Training Center is a safe haven to help young hitters, pitchers, and fielders take their skills to the next level. The 7,500-square-foot facility houses five separate hitting and pitching tunnels extending to 65 feet in length, suitable for practicing all baseball or softball pitches, except for spitballs or cannonballs. The center hosts ballplayers ranging from little leaguers to college players, who can each take part in camps and clinics or practice individually through batting-cage rentals in 30-minute allotments.
With a three-time Louisville Slugger Region 21 coach of the year and a scout for the Florida Marlins on its seven-man roster, the staff at Upper Deck Baseball Academy commands years of competitive diamond expertise. The team puts its 8,900-square-foot facility to work assisting budding baseball and softball stars with improvement of their physical, mechanical, and mental capabilities through creative, focused drills. Two Iron Mike pitching machines and two Jugs pitching machines hurl heat down the indoor batting cages, allowing players to work on bat speed and hitting to the opposite field without the awkward eye contact that comes with facing a real pitcher. Players can also have their chops recorded with video swing analysis, allowing for real-time feedback on swing mechanics.
At Mulligan's Island Golf & Entertainment, 60 covered hitting stalls look out onto 11 acres of target areas, a sprawling configuration that helped earn the facility a spot on Golf Range Magazine's 2011 list of top 100 ranges. Golfers can use the driving range's 20 heated stalls to practice during off-season months without worrying about cooler temperatures stiffening their swings, or they can invest in lessons that use digital teaching methods such as computerized swing analysis to lower handicaps. A USGA-rated course tests participants with nine holes of regulation-size golf, while an 18-hole pitch-and-putt short course and two mini-golf courses help golfers calibrate aspects of their short game. The practice mecca also tests swings at 10 batting cages that feed baseballs and softballs at adjustable speeds to suit both little leaguers and professionals fishing for compliments.
Some of the most surprising stats at Top Prospect Baseball & Softball Academy have nothing to do with batting average. Its square footage is impressive—the indoor baseball-softball facility covers 17,500. Its number of practice tunnels is no slouch, with eight, each 70 feet long and outfitted with pitching machines, L-screens, and pitching mounds. There are also more than a few baseball and softball clinics held there, in addition to pitching, hitting, and fielding lessons scheduled year-round.
It's the most difficult achievement in all of sports. So difficult, in fact, that doing it only 30% off time is considered excellent. That's hitting a baseball, and Hitzone Performance Center makes practicing the allusive feat an accessible one. Their batting cages are furnished with fast-pitch machines available for 30- and 60-minute sessions. Coaches and players can also step into tunnels replete with tees and L-screens, which coaches can stand behind for protection while pitching the ball themselves. Soft toss is available, too, for softball players to perfect timing and swings. To arm warriors of the dirt-diamond, they also carry equipment from top-manufacturers such as Louisville Slugger and Rawlings.
Geared towards youthful athletes looking to stay in top form during the off-season, The FieldHouse offers guests a sprawling facility of courts, fields, and gymnasia for all types of sports. Indoor turf allows sluggers to hone their swings and quarterbacks to tighten their spirals, while gleaming hardwood courts echo with the shouts of basketball or volleyball players. Performance sessions focus on more abstract improvement, toning key muscle groups and fine-tuning players' sense of how many times they can give their opponents red cards before being ejected. Adults looking to stay in shape can take advantage of the center's group classes, burning off pounds in exercises inspired by the facility's sports training.