Youth sports has become big business in the United States. Every year, thousands of kids sign up for team sports like soccer, baseball, softball and basketball. With the rising cost of college tuition, some parents and young athletes see sports as their only rout to a college education. With more children playing competitive sports, parents are turning to camps, clinic and private lessons to sharpen skills and give their child the extra edge on the playing field. In central Arkansas, private softball lessons, clinics and camps are available from a number of organizations. Providers range from professional academies to college student run camps and clinics.
Arkansas Fast Pitch Academy is a one stop shop for any kind of softball lessons. Pitching lessons,catching lessons, fielding lessons and hitting lessons are all available at their state of the art facility in Sherwood. Batting cages are also available for rent by the hour. Small group and team lessons are also offered. Arkansas Fastpitch Academy also offers camps and clinics throughout the summer. A full service sports shop featuring the newest bats and training equipment is on the premises. Arkansas Fastpitch Academy also designs and sells uniform packages.
The Batter’s Box, also in Sherwood, specializes in batting instruction. They feature the new video pitching machine, designed to mimic a pitcher’s natural movement. Lessons are available for individual players with reduced rates for groups of two or more. The pitching machines are also available for rent.
For summer camps, University of Central Arkansas Sugar Bears is offering a pitcher’s camp and a catcher’s camp for girls in fifth through 12th grade. The camps will be held in Conway, 35 miles north of Little Rock. The pitcher’s camp is scheduled for June 18th and 19th at the Farris Field and softball Complex. The catcher’s camp is scheduled for June 20 and 21. Arkansas Tech University Golden Suns are also offering basic skills camps for players of all ages, in addition to specialized camps for pitchers and catchers. The camps will be in Russellville. Dates are still to determined.
Hendrix College in Conway will offer camps for girls of varying experience and skill level. Camps will focus on the fundamentals of the game, including hitting, throwing, catching, base running. There will be intensive camp for girls in grades nine through 12, for those who play competitily and desire more detailed and rigorous training and instruction. Camps wll take place at Warrior Stadium, dates have yet to be determined.