A bum knee may have killed your hopes of playing collegiate ball, but the injury did nothing to hinder your relentless drive. And thanks to a number of fantasy sports camps being led by ex-stars, that competitive spirit now has a constructive outlet. From icy tracks in New York to tennis courts in the Caribbean, we get in the game with five experiences that allow your wildest dreams to come true.
U.S. Luge Fantasy Camp
If the closest you’ve ever wanted to come to a frozen track is putting Cool Runnings in your Netflix queue, this upstate New York camp may not be for you. Taking place in Lake Placid, home of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Games, this experience gives luge enthusiasts (or businesses looking for a cool team-building outing) a true feel for the fastest sport on ice. Over a two- or three-day session, campers learn proper technique from Olympic medalists, review training session films and bunk in the U.S. Olympic Training Center. There’s also a lighthearted dinner at the end of the camp with a video presentation of all the thrills and spills. March 1-4, $2,000.
Richard Petty Fantasy Racing Camp
Imagining you’re Jimmie Johnson while you weave through afternoon traffic is one thing, but actually getting behind the wheel of a real NASCAR stock car is a beast of another racing stripe. With this exclusive Vegas opportunity (there are only 12 slots available, though a few remained at press time), you get to live a few days like a real stock car driver, sleeping in the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Aria Resort & Casino, taking helicopter rides to venues and putting pedal to medal on three tracks—Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s short track and speedway, and Spring Mountain Motorsport’s road course. Retired crew chief Dale Inman, two-time Busch Series champion Randy LaJoie and the legend himself, Richard Petty, make up the race fan’s dream driving-instruction team. March 10-13, $10,500.
Caddy for a Cure
Though this unique opportunity doesn’t exactly qualify as a “camp”—weekend golfers bid on a chance to be the actual caddy for a top-shelf pro like Jim Furyk or Rickie Fowler at a PGA-sanctioned event—it’s a fantasy come to life for golfers nonetheless. Of course, if the thought of holding the bag for Graeme McDowell or suggesting the right club for Jason Dufner at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando aren’t amazing enough, knowing that proceeds from Caddy for a Cure auctions go to research for fanconi anemia, a devastating bone marrow disorder, makes it well worth taking a shot. March 20.
Curtain Bluff Fantasy Tennis Camp
Instead of living your on-court fantasies vicariously through Australian Open highlights, you can get back in the swing of things at a fantasy camp on Antigua’s equally dreamy Curtain Bluff resort. Ladies and gents ranging in skill level from recreational to tournament level will play matches and get thorough instruction from two-time U.S. Open champ Tracy Austin, two-time Australian Open winner Johan Kriek and former ATP pro Taylor Dent. And if you tire of tennis, you can scuba dive, try yoga or get a spa treatment for those aching muscles. April 29-May 3, rates start at $2,175.
Steelers Men’s Fantasy Camp
Remember those outbursts you made during the Pittsburgh Steelers’ bumpy 8-8 campaign about how you could do better than the guys on the field? Well, with this fully involved football camp at Western Pennsylvania’s Saint Vincent College, you can get your chance. With former players like five-time Pro Bowler Tunch Ilkin and Craig Wolfley as your teammates, you’ll go through conditioning drills, have team meals and compete in various skills challenges. And with all the hands-on experience you’ll gain over the weekend in the Steel City, perhaps you’ll realize what Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger and Co. do on Sundays isn’t nearly as easy as it looks from your couch. May 31-June 2.
Photos Courtesy of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Richard Petty Driving Experience, ORDA and Curtain Bluff Resort Antigua