The Ballpark's 15,000-square-foot indoor baseball facility has been the training ground for regional all-star youth league players and state championship teams since 1999. A team of experienced coaches, led by three-time Star-Ledger Coach of the Year Tony Picaro, teaches fundamentals such as bunting, fielding, and signing autographs while wearing an oversize novelty foam finger. Private and group lessons hone skills after school, and multiday clinics immerse rookies and pros alike in the sport's finer points. Outside class hours, players practice at six public batting cages, a timed home-to-first track, and a pitching mound monitored by radar and off-duty traffic cops. The Ballpark is also a great place to host a birthday party, which include pizza or hot dogs, popcorn, drinks, papers goods, and a free batting cage token.
At Duncan Martial Arts, instructor Gregory Duncan carries on his father’s legacy by teaching the Way of the Winds system. The first martial artists to bring ninjutsu to the United States, Gregory’s father, Professor Ronald Duncan, created a system that emphasizes rapid-fire striking patterns, evasive movements, and joint locking. Implementing elements of traditional taijutsu and jujitsu, the Way of the Winds system also includes education in traditional weaponry, such as sais, tonfa, han-bo, nunchakus, and more. Classes help build self-confidence and mental focus as students learn control over their bodies and responses to high-stress situations, such as a stranger approaching them in a dark alley and asking them to name all the vice presidents in alphabetical order. To expand upon the influences of Eastern fitness traditions, the center also offers yoga classes designed to center the mind and strengthen the body.
Fifteen thousand square feet of colorful training equipment beckons to be tumbled upon. That's where the dedicated staff comes in, working with students of all skill levels to build confidence and coordination through gymnastics programs. With classes designed for students between 18 months and 18 years old, gymnastics programs provide a well-rounded curriculum that helps motivate students while honing concentration and basic motor movements.
Classes for tots and kindergarten-age students include practice on obstacle courses, trampolines, balance beams, and tumble tracks. Girls and boys older than 5 1/2 years learn fun and challenging exercises while climbing rock walls, swinging on uneven bars, and attempting to bridle wild pommel horses. Sunburst Gymnastics also offers competitive programs, in which students train for state, regional, and national events.
The PGA instructors at SwingPlane Productions have a noble mission: make the game of golf more enjoyable for everyone. The team uses video swing analysis technology to help achieve this by providing instant, on-screen feedback of swing mechanics. A high speed Sony Action Cam camera breaks down players' swings frame-by-frame, revealing subtle flaws such as an awkward hitch in the backswing or the use of performance-enhancing hockey sticks. Lessons can be taken in person to combine the forces of video analysis and real-time professional advice or conducted over the internet, during which the instructor will analyze videotape of the student?s swing and prescribe specific drills to help improve results.
Passersby that peer inside the windows of CKO Kickboxing won?t see treadmills, ellipticals, or stairclimbers. Instead, they?ll spot rows of heavy bags lurching backward and sideways from the force of participants? kicks and right hooks. The kickboxing-focused gym doesn?t need excessive equipment or a catalog full of workout programs?the high-intensity fitness regimen of kickboxing is more than enough to shape up CKO members. Students of all levels reap the system?s multifaceted benefits, burning up to 1,200 calories per class, releasing stress, and developing a six-pack more realistically than drawing on their midsections with a marker.
The dedicated instructors at Kids Love Martial Arts teach children the techniques of self-defense styles such as karate and tang soo do. But they are just as focused on imparting lessons on discipline, focus, and confidence. The studio's websites shares stories of youngsters who were constantly distracted in school or picked on by their peers. The teachers always prescribe the same medicine: a few weeks in Kids Love Martial Arts classes. The physical aspect of the training engages the youthful participants, but it's the less tangible results that can help them positively channel their energy and confidently stare down the karate-practicing monster under the bed.