NEW YORK – Fourteen-year-old Sam Gilberg has big dreams of being a major league baseball player.
And 18-year-old Matt Rappaport dreams of a pro-hockey career.
With stars in their eyes, these young athletes are working -- and sweating -- hard to make all their dreams come true.
This summer, they enrolled in a different kind of sports camp. With today's world of high tech, Bluestreak at New York City's Chelsea Piers takes on a whole new meaning of intense sports training.
Bluestreak is a part of Athletic Republic, which has more than 150 sports facilities for teens and children nationwide. The majority of these facilities are located in colleges or with professional sports teams, something teens like Gilberg and Rappaport would not have access to on a regular basis.
The intensive program runs six to eight weeks, and allows youths to train hard, just like the pros.
"The first couple weeks we really work on beginning skills of running mechanics," said Jarrod Jordan, director of Bluestreak. "Once we teach them how to run appropriately we start to test their limits as far as speed capacity. How long they can keep their perfect form, and at what tempo."
The program works through many physical components. Athletes are put through strength-training and technique routines, as well as skill drills for their specialized sports.
"Many kids have never lifted or if they have lifted, they lifted incorrectly," said Jordon. "We are teaching them basic fundamentals, how you should do it safely and effectively so that they don't get injured in the up coming season."
And after all that hard work and exercise is done, athletes get to take what they have learned straight to the court, the field or the ice.
Jordan said these kids get more one-on-one attention than being in a group sport setting,and access to professional grade equipment and coaches. The program not only builds skills, but also confidence, he said.
"We have guys who played in the NFL, guys who have played pro hockey," he added. "And it's one thing to have your parent tell you how to do something, it's quite another to have a guy who played in the NFL tell you how to do something."