Youth sports training has become a year-round business.

Locally, you can find former players or coaches who give lessons. There are a couple of adult training facilities that offer “speed schools” to help kids get faster.

There are also a couple of large facilities in Conway that specialize in youth training. Both are within walking distance of the Wal-Mart on Hogan Lane. Both are owned by former Conway High graduates. Both are staffed by former local high school and college players. Both offer competitive team opportunities. Experience has shown me that both offer a quality and fun product. 

The Fieldhouse is a baseball and softball facility owned by Keith Williams. They recently celebrated their 10-year anniversary.

The facility has pitching machines for baseball and softball, and different lanes are set at different speeds to accommodate every age and ability. There is also an area where you can pitch and hit off of live pitchers.

The Fieldhouse has a large open indoor area that can be used to take infield, but is also used for soccer and is great for kickball. It is a fun place to have a birthday party.

They have a really nice full-sized artificial turf baseball field behind the indoor complex. It can be used pretty much year round. Former Conway High and college player. Adam Boucher, helps run the operation. Lessons are given by a host of former UCA and minor league players. Summer camps are offered, too. 

Peak Performance Academy is just a few years old and is owned by Bryan Adams and others. It is situated in the old Jump Zone building. PPA specializes in basketball and volleyball instruction. 

Former UCA football players David Bowser and Boris Scott run the place. They offer group sessions and individual lessons. They, too, can host special events. 

I know the owners of both facilities and  much of the staff. And whil,e yes, it is a business venture, they are not really in it for the money. They love what they do and love working with kids.

Youth sports can get way too serious sometimes, usually due to the grownups. But I’ll close with this description of a sign that hangs in the Fieldhouse. It shows two young boys standing beside each other on a baseball field. 

One lad says, “I see your dad is still yelling at you from the stands.” The other little boy replies, “Yeah, he thinks I’m going pro next year.”

As a parent, I know it is easy to get caught up in your children’s sports. There is nothing wrong with wanting them to succeed. Baseball or basketball lessons are great. 

If they like art or piano or dancing or science or chess, you should get them some lessons and send them to camp for that stuff, too.

Help them pursue their passions. But please remember, let your kid be kid.