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Beat Your Friends

Coaches show how to win at every sport.

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Baseball
If your batting average is as bad as Jason Giambi’s, get your swing expertly analyzed by Max Krance, the head baseball coach at the Chelsea Piers Field House. Warm up with underhand softball tosses, then finish by facing the Pro Batter machine, where a virtual pitcher hurls an 85-mph fastball at your head ($80 per hour for private lessons; 212-336-6500).

Tennis
If you’ve got the cash, legendary instructor Nick Bollettieri will come to New York for a few hours (call 800-872-6425 for quote). More affordable is local legend Roger Dowdeswell, director of tennis at Manhattan Plaza Racquet Club, who taught both John and Patrick McEnroe. A recent client wanted to focus exclusively on returning Dowdeswell’s 120-mph serves. After six weeks, she could ($134 per hour; 212-594-0554).

Swimming
Asphalt Green’s Eddie Lary not only videotapes your laps with an underwater camera, but also burns study DVDs ($150 for 30 minutes; 212-369-8890). For open-water mastery, Earl Walton will pass on iron-man techniques like how to draft off competitors, just like NASCAR drivers do ($140 for three one-day clinics June–August; Manhattan Island Foundation, nycswim.org).

Golf
PGA master professional Mike Hebron takes a cerebral approach in private classes with everyone from Nick Nolte to CEOs. He’s studied how the brain learns and uses that knowledge to make the best of what you’ve got, rather than trying to drastically change your habits or your grip ($145 per hour; Smithtown Long Island Country Club; 631-979-6534; mikehebron.com).

Croquet
Croquet is so a real sport, and the New York Croquet Club in Central Park is where the modern competitive game began. Lila “Tiger” Baitschova teaches sharpshooter instincts and a chesslike command of strategy ($100 for the summer; 212-369-7949).

See Also:
Make Your Hoop Dreams Come True: A Court for Every Game

How to Dive Like A Swan


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