As restrictions due to COVID-19 and the coronavirus move into its third month, finding productive ways to pass the days from home may not be easy.
That is particularly true for children, many of which have been stuck at home with limited options for physical activity.
With that in mind, two local businesses have teamed up to do something about it — at least for six weeks during the summer.
The Bakersfield Baseball Academy and the Pinnacle Performance health and fitness center have partnered with Fallbrook-based Around the Horn Academy to offer tuition-free classes to children from kindergarten through 11th grade through the Elite Academic Academy (EAA) charter school in Thousand Oaks.
“Our big plan was to do all these face-to-face baseball camps and fitness camps, but with everything going on, we just thought this would be the best thing to get kids involved with this summer,” said Kyle Jean, a 2002 Stockdale graduate who owns and operates Pinnacle Performance. “I think it’s really going to help a lot of the kids, too, that are stuck at home without the money to get equipment to work out in their own backyard or at a park.”
The classes run from July 1 through Aug. 8, but time is of the essence. The deadline to signup is Friday. As an added bonus, students may also be able to receive high school credit for the courses. Jean is working with the Kern High School District to see if the classes will qualify. The deadline to sign-up is June 10.
Here’s how it works.
First, parents sign their children up for two classes at EAA, which offers a variety of curriculum options in addition to athletics, including academic acceleration, visual and performing arts and credit recovery at eliteacademic.com/enroll-now. Local students need to include a community partnership code: Around2020.
As part of the athletic program, students can sign-up for a variety of online physical activities and there is also a course in sports nutrition.
The program also benefits from EAA’s close relationship with the Mamba Academy, now simply called the Sports Academy since namesake Kobe Bryant’s tragic death in January. Students will be given a copy of The Mamba Mentality: How I Play, Bryant’s book that offers a personal perspective of his life and career on the basketball court. The book includes a workbook to help athletes deal with the mental part of sports.
That’s when the staff at Bakersfield Baseball Academy and Pinnacle Performance steps into action. By completing the two classes at EAA, students receive an additional enrichment course.
For those interested in baseball or softball, BBA has organized an online backyard baseball camp. Every student that signs up will be sent a hitting net, tee and baseballs or softballs for use with weekly videos provided by instructors at BBA. Students will be encouraged to keep a log of their performance for the respective drills and can also send their own videos to the BBA staff for further feedback.
Jean and BBA owner Bobby Maitia are also working to include other sports such as basketball, volleyball, soccer and golf. Students are not required to choose which enrichment program they prefer until mid-June.
Another option is a general fitness and sports performance workout designed by Jean. Students will be sent program-specific workout supplies to work in tandem with a weekly online video. Jean will provide feedback and students are encouraged to keep a workout log.
“There’s going to be a lot of core work,” Jean said. “Some high-intensity cardio and the use of suspension straps. Most of it is going to be functional-movement strengthening and body-weight control. Even without weights, you can really challenge yourself with a lot of this body-weight equipment.
“We were just searching for ways to provide summer physical activity to kids that are locked up at home, with maybe no equipment to do anything with. This is the first year they’ve offered this in town. I know, I’m 36, but I would have been all over this when I was a kid.”