Lil Athletes Sports' coaches introduce children ages three to five to activities and social interaction through fun, structured games. Children ages 20 months to five team up with similarly aged kids and experienced coaches to focus on the basics of soccer, basketball, lacrosse, and baseball. As kids become acquainted with their preferred game, they can try their hand at more complex maneuvers and team play, leading up to a real game against their fellow competitors. Not only does this approach ensure children have a firm grasp on how to play the game, it also fosters relationships with those around them and inspires them to continue playing sports as they grow. Sports trainers also host birthday parties that put the guest of honor in the spotlight while giving all guests opportunities to play in structured games.
Amid its 25,000 square feet of climate-controlled indoor turf, Long Island Sports Complex treats up to 15 birthday celebrants to one hour of motion-based merriment, followed by a half-hour of pizza, cake, drinks, and party goods. The facility takes care of all the food, decorations and invitations, so parents can spend more time knitting the perfect birthday gift or reanimating it during an electrical storm. Sports-party revelers get to release excess energy with their choice of soccer, baseball, softball, football, or lacrosse without the outdoor inconveniences of grass stains or slingshotted acorns from territorial squirrels. Two to four sport-savvy supervisors will be on hand to make sure that everyone has a safe time.
The field at TM Baseball & Softball Academy extends both inside and outside letting players play during warm weather, cold weather, or nonexistent indoor snowstorms. During daily training sessions, the TM Baseball & Softball Academy coaching staff helps high school and college-level players–as well as children as young as 3 years old–hone their hitting, defense, and fielding abilities. They also infuse sessions with strength, conditioning, and agility exercises so that players can field line drives and beat mascots during 7th inning dizzy-bat races.
The family-run Astoria Sports Complex offers batting cages and indoor soccer, and has one of the largest fitness centers around. The facility got its start more than 30 years ago, when owner Steve Poliseno converted an abandoned ice house, purchased at auction, into the gigantic sports complex it is today. The most recent addition to the facility is a gigantic, Olympic-sized swimming pool, where kids can take lessons and prepare to be the Model U.N. delegate from Atlantis.
The nonprofit Asphalt Green keeps children, teens, and adults in shape with an array of fitness, swim, and sports activities and programs. Members enjoy full access to a 15,000-square-foot duplex fitness center lined with Precor and Technogym equipment, including treadmills and ellipticals with built-in TV screens. In the gym's weightlifting area, patrons can take a breather between reps as they gaze at picturesque views from the gym’s adjoining roof deck. Swimmers of all abilities glide through the 50-meter Olympic-sized pool, once home to Olympic bronze medalist Lia Neal and currently the home of the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.
Those opting for fitness classes can choose from 80 different sessions weekly—from Zumba and Pilates to martial arts to swimming. The gym also offers training programs and seminars for triathletes, a variety of community outreach programs including adaptive swim for veterans, and kid-focused summer and sport camps to keep young ones from making bad decisions, such as using chewing gum to plug up holes in dams. Patrons can also take advantage of the center’s babysitting services, which are open to children ages 6 months to 6 years.
Gleaning attention from media outlets such as Sports Illustrated, ESPN Radio, and the Washington Post, not to mention endorsements from major-league players such as Mariano Rivera, Manny Ramirez, and Mike Bordick, Frozen Ropes has gained a nationwide reputation thanks largely to its unique training model. Coaches from all baseball and softball backgrounds integrate instructional elements ranging from basic strength conditioning to biomechanics and sports psychology, helping students build their skills the same way dentists do—through a scientific approach to relentless drilling. Since 1989, the program has been used to help novices and professional-level players produce more of the company's namesake, the “frozen rope”—slang for a hard-hit line drive or a strong throw. At each of the company's nationwide facilities, instructors must complete Frozen Ropes' comprehensive curriculum—including hours of classroom instruction, shadowing, and mock lessons—before they can even begin teaching students the proper way to eat sunflower seeds.