The folks at Team Footprintz believe there's a difference between those who play basketball and basketball players. Their goal is to create and nurture the latter group—players whose basketball IQ and court vision rival their jump shots, who value substance as much as style. Hoopers and ballers become players courtesy of the instructors, all of whom have played or coached at the high-school and college levels—and who share the belief that the fundamentals are the building blocks necessary to become a true basketball player.
In that vein, Team Footprintz offers intensive classes, camps, and personal- and group-training sessions that cover the fundamentals: ball handling, shooting, defense, and footwork. Still, each instructor brings his own personal energy to classes, informed by his experiences as a player or coach. Team Footprintz offers classes for kids as young as 6, including AAU training for high-school-aged players.
With more than 120 classes and a plethora of programs offered each week, the YMCA bolsters bodies with invigorating and enjoyable fitness regimens throughout Manhattan. Aspiring circus strongpersons have their pick from brawn-building courses such as kettlebell for a full flexibility workout, spinning for 45 minutes of fat-burning cardio, and capoeira for winning dance-fights against hard-bargaining local street vendors.
Staff Size: 11–25 people
Average Duration of Services: 1–2 hours
Pro Tip: Activewear is required to participate in all activities
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Recommended Age Group: 6-15
"We teach what we love to do," says Alex, president of CK Sports, "It doesn't get any better than that." For a lot of the staff, that means teaching basketball. Team CK's clutch of coaches run a robust, year-round basketball program. They hold training three days a week and focus on fundamental skills, sportsmanship, and teamwork. They train hard to give their athletes as much competitive edge as possible, while still teaching their students to play nice, according to the rules of the Nice League. "Out basketball program is for anyone who wishes to get great exercise while having fun and making friends," Alex reiterates.
Of course, they've got a lot of square footage between their gym and fitness center, and not all of it is court space. They also teach a variety of other sports-specific programs, including swimming and wrestling. They focus on a variety of seasonal activities in both summer and winter camps, and even offer general fitness training through one-on-one sessions in their gym.
Brooklyn Sports Club's mission isn't just about getting people fit—it's also about getting them to have a good time. The club emphasizes the communal aspect of working out with plenty of group activities and family-friendly programs for all ages. Children as young as six months can participate in swim classes in the competition-size lap pool, and there are several martial-arts programs for older kids.
Adult members can take advantage of any of BSC's facilities, including a boxing studio and a group fitness studio that hosts everything from Zumba to Hatha yoga. There's plenty of space for solo workouts on the fitness floor, including a 14,000-square-foot section with weights and a 5,000-square-foot area with computerized ellipticals and stair climbers. Here, certified personal trainers teach clients how to lift effectively and properly unwrap a protein bar. To help members further enjoy their time at the gym, there's a massage spa and a sun deck that occasionally hosts live music.
Relaxing and working out don't usually go hand-in-hand, but things aren't usual at The Sports Center at Chelsea Piers. As soon as visitors set foot in the Mind Body Studio, they're set at ease by a modern lounge area, which boasts sleek bamboo floors, exposed brick walls, and sprigs of verdant plants. Inside the workout space, classes such as yoga and the barre method emphasize the mind-body connection. The Nalini Method classes also push students toward inner harmony with a combination of Pilates, aerobics, barre work, and yoga, helping students de-stress while toning limbs and burning calories without ever tossing any cheesecakes into open flames.
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.