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Expert Sports Facility Advice

Hey Everyone!

My name is Brett Derrig and I am a Facility Specialist with Practice Sports. I have operated an indoor baseball facility for 3 years now and that experience has enabled me to give prospective customers advice on what they should and shouldn’t do on their next facility purchase!

When it comes to turf and netting, I have learned some ins and outs that will benefit you when making decisions on which products to buy. The first thing that you should do is set a budget for the project. This step will help a ton when it comes to knowing what products you are in the market for, as well as help our Facility Specialists put together your quote easier and guide you in the right path.

From there, I think it’s important to make a list determining your needs, and if possible, place them in priority order. There are many facilities we work with that take their large project and break them down into segments throughout the year, and that is something we can easily accommodate!

Once you have your list and budget, it’s time to start shopping!

When determining what type of netting you should go with, the first thing to determine is whether it will be going indoors or outdoors, and if it will experience moisture throughout it’s lifetime. If the answer is yes to either of these questions, you will need to get Latex Dip Treatment. From there, you will want to determine the gauge of netting you need. If you are planning on this cage being for home use or light to moderate youth level use, then you can get away with #36 Nylon. For commercial use or heavy high school/college use, you will want to choose #60 Nylon. For professional use, you will need #96 Nylon. These examples are to ensure that you get the most life span out of your net!

Turf is one of the first things people “ooh” and “aah” about when they walk into a facility. It’s not a question that kids love good turf, and they love large, open spaces of it! As a facility owner, you must understand that your turf will be one of, if not the most, trafficked areas of your building. The great news is, we have a variety of options at Practice Sports to suit your needs. Whether it’s field turf, high end poly or nylon turf, or used turf; we have you covered!

The needs you have for the turf will point you in the right direction on which way to go. If you have kids that are going to make impact with the turf, such as sliding or contact sports like soccer and football, then you will absolutely want at least 3 mm foam padding. For heavy football and soccer use, you will need 5 mm foam padding to reduce risk for injury on impact. At the end of the day, we want our facilities to be a safe and pleasurable place for athletes to compete and train!

If athletes are going to wear cleats on the turf, it is highly recommended to go with a Nylon material, which are all spike-resistant! Nylon is much more tightly woven than Poly when it comes to turf. This allows more impact as well as spikes to wear on it without the turf deteriorating. If you have a facility where you don’t allow cleats to be worn, you can go with the Poly option, which is a softer material and less tightly woven than Nylon. Poly is great for baseball and softball players to slide on as well as dive for balls without getting the infamous “rug burn” as easily.

As I mentioned a few paragraphs ago, we also have used turf available and it works exceptionally well for start-up facilities. I vividly remember the time when I made the decision to go with used turf from Practice Sports, and I was very scared about the condition it would arrive in. But when it arrived, I had an overwhelming sense of relief wash over my body as we unrolled the turf. It was in great condition, and saved me a ton of money that I was able to put into other products that enhanced my facility from the onset!

I hope that my firsthand experiences can help you when it comes to making your next facility purchase! Now that I work for Practice Sports, I pride myself in making the right fit for each customer when it comes to their products. If you want me to help design your facility, I’m more than willing to draw something up for your approval. If you have questions that need answered, I check my emails throughout the day, even after business hours, so you can always be assured you are getting a prompt reply.

We want your facility to be something you and your athletes are proud of, and we will go the extra mile to make sure that happens!

Posted in Batting Cage Facility | Leave a comment

Custom Gym Divider Curtain Calculator Walkthrough

gym-divider-curtain-calculator

The Custom Gym Divider Curtain Calculator is the easiest way to order a gym divider curtain on the internet.

This brief walkthrough will help show you just how easy it is.

The first step is to determine what type of ceiling structure you have in your facility. Most ceiling structures fall into 3 categories, Flat, Peaked, or Irregular. For this tutuorial, lets select a flat ceiling structure.

gym-curtain-ceiling-structure

The next step is to enter the dimensions of your curtain.

gym-curtain-dimensions

Measure your height from floor to ceiling, and then subtract about 2” to allow for attachment hardware. The curtain can have any ratio of vinyl to mesh. If you need an all mesh curtain, simply enter 0 into the vinyl entry box. Or if you need an all vinyl curtain, simply enter 0 into the mesh entry box. Once you’ve entered your dimensions, click the orange ‘Calculate’ to continue to the next step.

gym-curtain-mesh-color gym-curtain-vinyl-color

At this point you can select your mesh and vinyl colors, then click the ‘Select Color’ buttons to continue.

The next question is whether or not you need installation hardware. Unless you’re ordering a replacement curtain, you’ll probably need hardware. If you do decide to purchase hardware now, you can save an instant ten percent on the hardware order.

gym-curtain-hardware

And if you’re not sure what kind of hardware you need, don’t worry, we’ll walk you through it. For this example, let’s add hardware to the order.

manual-vs-motorized-gym-curtain

You’ll then be asked if you want to add a motorized or manual installation kit. Whether or not you can utilize a motorized curtain can depend on a few different factors, so for the purposes of this tutorial, let’s select a manual curtain.

gym-curtain-track-length

At this point you’ll enter your track length. It may or may not be the same as your wall to wall span.

Once you’ve entered the track length, we’ll prepopulate the basic gym curtain installation hardware that you’ll need. You can add to or delete hardware depending on your specific application. For instance, we select 6 foot sections of track because it’s a more stable option than 8 foot sections. However, 6 foot sections may not be applicable in all situations.

gym-curtain-track

If you’re planning to store your curtain parallel to your wall structures, you’ll need to add a radius kit.

gym-curtain-radius-corner-kit

End stops will also be auto populated.

gym-curtain-track-end-stops

For most applications, the basic track connectors will work for ceiling attachment, but if you need one of our other options, you can select from ceiling clamp or threaded rod connectors. (You’ll have to source the threaded rod locally.)

gym-curtain-track-connectors

You can also select from nylon or steel roller wheels.

gym-curtain-roller-wheels

We offer free shipping on our gym curtains, which is a great deal, but expediting options are subject to availability for an added cost.

Custom logos are also available for your gym curtain for an additional cost. If you do decide to add a logo, you’ll need to upload it to us.

For now, let’s move on and review your order. At this time if you need any changes to your order, simply select ‘Edit’ and you can return to that point in the process.

gym-curtain-review

If everything looks good, you can ‘Add to Cart’ and continue shopping.

gym-curtain-add-to-cart

As you can see there really is no simpler way on the internet to order a custom gym divider curtain.

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Transform Your Sports Facility With a ShellCage

ShellCageIf you are a facility owner or ever aspire to be one, then this article is perfect for you!

My name is Brett Derrig and I am a Facility Specialist with Practice Sports, and I also run a baseball facility, called Triple Play Sports, locally in the Omaha metro.  Four short years ago, I was a 21 year old kid who was trying to fulfill a lifelong dream of opening an indoor baseball facility in my hometown of Council Bluffs, Iowa.  We would be the first indoor facility in the city to offer memberships and I wanted it to be something kids would be proud of attending.

As you can imagine, I had a ton of questions, and I was fortunate enough to have a great team at Practice Sports to work with on the project every step of the way.  The first thing they sold me on was the ShellCage, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision to listen to their advice!  I am here to offer my firsthand experiences with the ShellCage system and discuss how it has made my facility a place where teams and members love going to on a daily basis!

The basic idea of a ShellCage is to have the flexibility of using a large open space or dividing out the cages individually.  Just that description alone should give you a visual of how this works great for teams!  You could have half of your team playing catch and half of your team hitting in cages, then in a matter of seconds have the cages pulled back for a team infield!

ShellCage-Sports-Facility

You can even use the open space for other sports. That added versatility for your sports facility can lead to added revenue!

What the ShellCage system has offered me is priceless, and I couldn’t imagine running my facility without it.  The feedback that I get from teams is incredible.  Coaches are constantly raving about how they love making practice plans now.  They are able to incorporate team throwing, hitting, team infield, and even live throwing/hitting all while understanding they can convert the cages in less than a minute to suit their needs.

shellcage-open

If you are in the market for a cage system that needs flexibility for different uses, then the ShellCage system is the way to go!

Feel free to take a look at a video I took at my facility of my 14u team doing a hitting circuit below:

 

 https://www.facebook.com/TriplePlaySports/videos/1780431862189565/?hc_ref=PAGES_TIMELINE

Posted in Batting Cage Facility, Batting Cage Nets, ShellCage Basics, ShellCage vs Individual Batting Cages | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Opening Baseball Facility, Not Sure Where to Start

Hi,
We are in the process of opening a facility and aren’t exactly sure where to start. We do know that we would like 2 tunnels inside our building which is about 4,000 square feet. We’re open to any suggestions.

Thanks,
Dusty

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Hi Dusty,
Thanks for contacting us regarding the facility. Here’s a rough breakdown of the netting options. You can go with 2 basic netting setups – fully enclosed individual lanes or a shell net covering the area for both tunnels with a divider net to split the shell into 2 lanes.

Individual Lanes:
This will just be 2 tunnels that will be completely independent from eachother. This will allow you to slide the tunnels separately so you can move them out of the way independent from the other. There are no real advantages to this setup other than the ability to slide the tunnels separately.

Shell Net with Divider:
This will be a large net covering the footprint of both lanes. A divider net will be used inside to create the 2 lanes. This setup will allow you to slide the divider net while allowing the shell net to stay in place so you can utilitze the entire are of both lanes as well as allow you to slide the entire shell net out of the way.

Depending on your building dimensions and construction the best and most efficient way to hang these nets is with a cable system. Typically the cables would span from wall to wall with limitations restricted to the distance between the walls and wall structure (limitations of distance; around 100′ max distance between walls and limitations on wall structure; including the walls that can’t be anchored to or that cannot take a horizontal load from the cable tension). There are ways around these issues, for example, we can anchor cable lines from the ceiling using truss brackets or beam anchors. Again this will all depend on building dimensions and structure.

A good starting point would be for you to provide an overhead sketch of the facility layout or the netting area in relation to the weight side along with the dimensions of the building. Any pictures you could provide would also be helpful. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Thanks again,

Cory

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Payment Options

Waht forms of payment do you take?

Anthony

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Hi Anthony,
We take all major credit cards; Visa, MasterCard, American Express, & Discover. We will also except electronic checks or E-checks, Paypal or you can mail a check in. We also accept purchase orders from schools and city municipalities. Let us know if you have any other questions.

Thanks,
Chad

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Custom Triangle Net

Hi,
I’m looking for a small triangle net and was wondering if this is something you sell.

Thanks,
Harry

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Hi Harry,
Sure we can build any size net you need. In order to get some pricing on the materials we offer I could need a sketch to see the distances if it isn’t a right triangle with a 90 degree angle in one corner. Here is a link where you can view some info on the netting materials we offer:
http://www.practicesports.com/cgi-bin/category/net-examiner

I can answer any questions you may have as well.

Thanks,
Cory

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Blue Soccer Nets

Hi,

I hope all is well. I am inquiring about a set of custom, professional quality box soccer nets that I am interested in ordering. I am looking for a pair of black and light blue striped nets. Ive seen the options you offer on your website, but am wondering if there is any way we can place a custom order. Is this an option you can offer? This is something I definitely need for an upcoming match in September and would love to be able to make something work. Please let me know and thanks in advance for any help!

Thanks,
Steven

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Hi Steven,
Thanks for inquiring about the soccer netting. We can build any size you need however they are only available in black in white colors. Let me know the sizes you needed along with the zip code where they’re shipping and I can provide a quote.

Thanks again,
Cory

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Looking for Electic Retractable Cage System

I’m looking to get a quote on a couple of your systems. I have some plans I could send over but I’d like to get a price on the electric retractable and the collapsible cages. I wasn’t sure who to contact for a quote but could supply more information once they contact me.

Thanks!
Marlena

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Hi Marlena,
Thanks for contacting us. Please send your info and I’ll review the details. We’ll need to you to provide some building dimensions and provide some pictures of the building so we can see the type of facility you have. Any pictures you can send would be great as well.

Thanks again.
Chad
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Chad,
Attached is the plan where it shows the net. On the second page I put a rectangle around the net itself. You can see on the first page that the owner would like the net to go pretty much the whole entire garage bay, I would say roughly 60’ long x 12’ or 13’ wide.

The owner mentioned having this on a frame where they can raise and lower the net, is that something you offer?

Thanks,
Marlena

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Thanks for sending the updated drawings. We do in fact offer cages that raise to the ceiling. We have 2 different models, please find videos demonstrating how these cages work here http://www.practicesports.com/cgi-bin/category/Retractable-Batting-Cages.

These systems are custom fit to each ceiling to ensure safety, so we will need to review photos of the finished ceiling prior to submitting a final bid. In the mean-time I can provide budget ranges to consider.

Thanks,
Chad

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Batting Cage Installation

Do you offer batting cage installation services in my area?

Thanks.
Tom Fitzgerald

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Hi Tom,
Yes, we offer nationwide batting cage installation.

http://www.practicesports.com/cgi-bin/category/sports-facility-installation

Please let me know what style you are looking for – indoor or outdoor cages http://www.practicesports.com/cgi-bin/category/Outdoor-Batting-Cage-Frames- and if you could also supply a few pictures of the area.

Thanks.
Chad Schneider
PracticeSports.com
800-877-6787

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Custom Curtain Cage

I am thinking of putting a batting cage in my basement for my two children and I was trying to find out some pricing information. I have a limited space to work with and a low ceiling. A rough estimate of the dimensions are as follows: 6.5′ high, 10′ wide, 30′ long. I was interested in the curtain cage concept so that I could slide the net out of the way when it is not in use. I am currently planning on only using plastic balls so the net would not have to be super heavy duty. Also the net might need to be small enough to be used with the small golf ball sized plastic balls used in some pitching matches. If you could provide some type of estimate based on those dimensions and details, I would greatly appreciate it. If you have any questions please let me know.

Thanks,
Jim

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Hi Jim,
Thanks for inquiring about our netting. You will need about 6″ to 1′ of space between the net and the ceiling and walls. So if your ceiling is 6.5′H the net will need to be at least 6″ below it along with 1′ of sag on the ground so the total height should be about 7′. Please confirm that this would be sufficient space for the net (the dimensions would be 30′L x 10′W x 7′H). Also how old are your children and please provide the zip code where the net would be shipping.

Thanks again,
Cory
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Cory,
Thank you for the quick reply. I think the 7′ would be sufficient. My children are 9 and 6 and the ship to zip code would be 43026. If you need any additional information please let me know.

Thanks,
Jim

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Hi Jim,
In order for the net to slide like a curtain, it needs to be run on cable lines (3 for your width). The cables would run parallel with the length of the net so please let me know the distance from wall to wall and the types of walls you have (cinder block, drywall with studs). If it is a drywall you most likely would need to place some wood headers between the studs since the studs would not line up with the cable lines.

Thanks,
Cory
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Cory,

The distance from wall to wall is actually only 28′. Apparently I was off a little in my original estimation. One wall is cinder block and the other wall is exposed studs, so it shouldn’t be a problem to put wood headers in there.

Thanks,
Jim

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Hi Jim,
Do you think you’d be able to provide a sketch of the building? I should be able to get you some initial pricing.

Thanks,
Cory

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