What Does D-BAT Have to Offer?

D-BAT began as a one location baseball training facility in Addison, Texas and has since exploded to offer the best baseball/softball training in locations around the country – and even worldwide! Each location varies in terms of services offered, but here are a some of the things you can expect from D-BAT Sports:

Batting Cages

Practice in our state-of-the-art, climate controlled facilities just once and you’ll never want to practice anywhere else! Our facilities are second-to-none and our cages are class leading. Sign-up for lessons with one of our coaches on staff, rent the cages for practice on your own, or just hit off of our state-of-the-art pitching machines.

Baseball and Softball Lessons

Speaking of lessons, our coaches offer the best baseball/softball coaching around. Each of the coaches at D-BAT are extremely experienced in the game, with most (if not all) with experience in collegiate level baseball or higher. Take your pitching, hitting, fielding, and personal training routine to the next level at D-BAT.

Camps and Clinics

Camps and clinics are held throughout the year, typically during holiday periods, to offer an opportunity to improve your game – and have fun while you’re doing it! Contact your local D-BAT to find out what camps are still being offered this summer and get ready for Fall Ball!

Fully Stocked Pro Shop

Time to get a new bat, glove, batting glove, helmet, or just want some cool new gear? You’ll find exactly what you need at the D-BAT Pro Shop. We’re loaded with the latest baseball and softball gear to get your player ready to perform at the next level.

Membership Packages

Want to get a discount on lessons, clinics, camps, pro shop merchandise, and more? We offer membership packages to cater to your individual needs. Plus – members can use the pitching machines for free daily!

Call your local D-BAT today to learn more about what is offered near you! Find the closest location to you HERE

5 Ways to Earn More Playing Time

“It’s so fun to sit on the bench.” – said no one ever! Chances are, you play baseball because you love the game and want to perform. The bench is the last place you want to be. Want to avoid that dreaded bench time? Here are 5 ways to earn more playing time:

Train for the Game

If you want more playing time, then showing up to practice is not going to cut it. You’re going to have to work harder. You’ll want to do things that will improve speed, agility, batting, and fielding. This can be a combination of weight lifting and one-on-one baseball training sessions with expertly trained coaches, but whatever it is, do it. Pretty soon, that added training will pay off.

Focus On Yourself

You can wallow in the “whys” of why someone else gets to play more or worry about how the game will go next week, but those thoughts aren’t constructive. Instead, just focus on yourself and things you can control. Focus on your skill level, making strides to improve. Positivity and mental toughness can go a long way toward improving your gameday play.

Show the Coach You Want It

Beyond additional training, the little things matter when showing your coach you’re ready to play. Show up first for practice. Be the last one off the field. Be an encouraging teammate. A good attitude shines.

Improve Your Batting

If you can hit, you’ll have a better chance of playing. You won’t sit the bench for getting too many hits, but you will for striking out too often. If hitting is a weakness, get in the cages and improve your game.

Talk to the Coach

Don’t whine that you want extra playing time, but do ask the coach where your weaknesses are and where he would like to see improvement, then do something about it! Take his feedback and do work!

As always, D-BAT – the best baseball/softball training facility in the country – is here to help with state-of-the-art facilities and an expertly trained coaching staff. Find the nearest location to you HERE

Build Arm Strength with These 5 Exercises

Arm strength is a big part of success in baseball and softball, and at D-BAT, we recommend a well-rounded training regime that includes weight training to increase bat speed, quicken throws, and make you an overall better player. Here are 5 exercises that will increase arm strength and make you unstoppable on the field:

Bench Press

The classic bench press is an excellent way to strengthen your triceps – a muscle group that is imperative for throwing. To maximize efficiency, place your hands about shoulder width apart, then try 3 to 5 reps every day. Gradually add weight as you strengthen.

Wrist Throwing

Pitchers aren’t the only ones who need a strong wrist. The stronger your wrist, then harder and faster you’ll be able to throw. A great way to work your wrist is to hold your throwing elbow in your hand, then “throw” the ball with your wrist only. These light flicks on the wrist will build strength you’ll see on the field.

45-Degree Dumbbell Raise

Each muscle in your arms and shoulders is imperative for throwing, and dumbbell raises are a great way to strengthen all of those muscles at once. Start with your arms holding 5 pound weights by your side, then slowly raise the arms to a 45-degree angle with your body, stopping at shoulder height. Raise and lower, performing 3 or 4 sets.

Push-ups

Don’t discount the effectiveness of this simple exercise! It requires no weights and can be done anywhere. Oh – and it’s a powerhouse for strengthening those arm muscles.

Quick Toss Drill

Here’s a good warm up in practice: grab a partner and stand 10 feet apart from each other. Practice throwing the ball back and forth as quickly as possible. These quick, short movements build arm strength and make you more nimble come game time.

Need more intensive baseball or softball training? Visit us at the premier baseball/softball training facility – D-BAT. We specialize in all things baseball, from throwing, catching, fielding, pitching, hitting, and more. Find the closest location to you HERE!

Why You Should Have a Wood Baseball Bat

As most people know, D-BAT has a full baseball pro-shop filled with top-of-the-line baseball and softball gear, including gloves, helmets, batting gloves, and of course, bats. We believe every kid should have a wood bat in their bag, and here’s why:

Player Development

Metal bats – while great for getting a hit and possibly hitting it further than you would with a wood bat – aren’t necessarily great for improving your baseball mechanics. You see, metal bats have a “trampoline effect” that essentially allows any ball that hits it to bounce at greater distances – not matter which part of the bat is hit. With wood, there is absolutely a sweet spot for hitting the ball, and if you can consistently hit the sweet spot, then your game will improve drastically. Wood allows the player to not only see the ball hit, but also hear the ball with more clarity. When that sweet spot is hit, you’ll know it by the pop! Discerning a good hit from a bad hit is much easier with wood.

Professionals Use Wood

If you have dreams of taking your baseball career to the next level, whether it’s college or beyond, then you’ll be required to hit with a wooden bat. The sooner you learn to use wood and learn how to identify that sweet spot, the better you’ll be down the road.

Discipline at the Plate

If you’re using metal, you’re often more likely to swing at anything close, because a hit can be had from many parts of the bat. However, if you do the same with a wood bat and hit it wrong, you might end up with stinging hands or a broken bat. But if you hit it right, you’ll be impressed by the difference wood can make! 

If you’re interested in one of the best wood bats around, then come see us at D-BAT! We offer a variety of top quality wood bats and can find the one right for you! Find the nearest location to you HERE!

Why Do I Keep Striking Out? How to Overcome a Hitting Slump

There’s no crying in baseball, but if there is ever a reason to cry, then a hitting slump can feel like it! At D-BAT we understand how frustrating this can be, and after working with many hitters over the years, we have some tips on how to overcome a hitting slump in baseball:

Work on Tracking Ball Movement and Rotation

Often a batter has the tendency to let their mind get too involved in the swing. Instead, make it about the eyes. Focus your eyes on the ball and let your body do the rest. Track the ball all the way into the strike zone and swing. You can use tracking drills to improve this skill and hand-eye coordination.

Have Confidence

It’s tempting to let nerves take over when you feel the pressure of getting a hit, but those nerves can deceive you. Instead, practicing deep breathing techniques as you take practice swing and feed yourself positive reinforcement that you can take on whatever that pitcher is going to throw your way.

Keep Calm

Those jitters can make a batter jump or lunge at the ball, which leads to a lack of focus and taking your eye off the ball. Instead, keep your body steady and make your stride fluid. It’s also important to keep your head steady, as bobbles prevent your eyes from focusing.

Expand the Strike Zone

If you’re up against a 2-strike count, one of the best things you can do is expand your strike zone. In other words, swing if it’s close.

Train for Anything

There are some great drills you can do to practice hitting balls that are low and outside, high and inside, etc. Training for all scenarios makes you a better hitter and prevents a “weak zone” for the pitcher to target.

If you’re tired of striking out and want to take batting practice from the best baseball/softball instructors in the country, then come see us at a D-BAT location near you!

Running the Bases: How to Take a Lead Off First Base

There is a lot of strategy that goes into the game of baseball, and one such component of a team’s strategy is stealing bases. But – you’ll never steal any bases if you don’t master taking a lead off the base correctly. In fact, you could actually hurt your team more if you do it incorrectly.

Today, let’s explore how to take a lead off first base and what must be done to be successful:

Stay Relaxed

Tense muscles are tight muscles, and tight muscles aren’t as agile. Instead, focus on what you know from practice. Keep your head in the game and an athletic stance at all times.

Avoid the Crossover

Pitchers are trained to look for crossover footwork as you take a lead off, this means when your left foot crosses over your right. In this position, your back is actually to the base, making it more difficult to dive back toward the base in a pinch. 

Focus on the Pitcher

If you aren’t on the bag, then you better know what the pitcher – and the ball – is doing at all times. Even when you are in the dugout, watch how the pitcher handles a pickoff to first in order to know what to expect when you’re in that situation yourself.

Take a Consistent Lead

Just as you’re watching the pitcher, if he’s good, he’s watching you! Make sure each of your leads looks exactly the same, so that when it’s time to steal the base, you haven’t tipped him off with a lead that looks different than the rest before you’ve even gone for it. This lead should be around 9-12 feet from the first base bag.

Play the Angle

When leading off the bag, consider angling the lead toward the pitcher. This lead gives the pitcher an optical illusion that you are closer to the bag (when in reality you aren’t), making you appear less of a threat to steal.  Another technique? Lead off toward the back angle, making the tag more difficult.

Ready for more base running tips and techniques? Come train at D-BAT – the best baseball and softball training facility in the country! Find the closest location to you HERE!

Baseball Training: What is the Y Balance Test?

Baseball training isn’t just about what happens on the field; it also involves weight lifting and body strengthening techniques that promote muscle strength, make you a better all-around athlete, and prevent injury.

One such test we use with our players at D-BAT to assess weaknesses is the Y Balance Test.

What is the Y Balance Test?

The Y Balance Test is a series of balancing tests that identify weaknesses and where your baseball player might be more prone to injury – or where they are still lacking motor control because of a previous injury. The test divides the body into 4 quadrants: upper left, upper right, lower left, and lower right, allowing the test to identify where there may be asymmetries in strength or muscle control. The athlete is asked to stand on one leg, and then reach the other leg in 3 directions: anterior, posteromedial, and posterolateral. The test takes the composite score of the 3 tasks and identifies a “composite reach distance” that informs injury risk.

Why Use the Y Balance Test?

When your body has asymmetries in strength, your functional abilities are impaired and risk of injury increases. The Y Balance Test is unique in that it looks at both the core and the extremities to pinpoint areas you may not have otherwise known were an issue. The Y Balance Test is proven in identifying risk of ankle injury, knee injury, and core strength deficiencies.

Want to Take the Y Balance Assessment?

D-BAT is passionate about developing the whole athlete, so functional movement and mobility are just as important to us as hitting and catching. Call a D-BAT baseball & softball training facility near you and ask about Functional Mobility & Motion Classes and the Y Balance Test for your athlete. D-BAT Lewisville has a class coming up May 2-June 6 with guru Peter Gonyeau, so call today to register! Or click HERE to find one of our other 70+ locations nationwide!

The Great Debate: Pros and Cons of Wearing Baseball Batting Gloves

Ever since the first MLB player wore batting gloves to Spring Training in 1949, there has been a debate about whether or not baseball batting gloves are necessary. Some pros wear them; others don’t. But why? At D-BAT Sports, we find this subject to be a matter of personal preference, but here are the common pros and cons for wearing batting gloves:

Pros of Wearing Batting Gloves

·      Grip: This may seem obvious, but this is the biggest reason players use batting gloves. Even the slightest slip of the bat during a swing can affect the trajectory of the bat – and the ball – and in a high stakes game, you just can’t have it. This is especially true when it’s hot outside and hands can otherwise get sweaty.

·      Prevent the Sting of the Bat: As you advance in the sport, the balls come at you faster and the swings are harder. When you make contact, many bats (particularly aluminum) have the tendency to vibrate and sting.

·      Protection from Injury: Batting gloves add an extra layer of protection for your hands, preventing blisters and cuts.

Cons of Wearing Batting Gloves

·      Less Connection with the Bat: Some players actually like that “sting” and vibration that comes from the bat. Often, the sting can be worse when the ball is not well hit, incentivizing the batter to hit better to avoid the pain.  

·      Wood Bat & Pine Tar Preference: Many batters who use wood bats like to use pine tar to grip the bat instead.

We’d love for you to weigh in – what is your preference on batting gloves?

If you’re in the market for new batting gloves, wood baseball bats, baseball gloves, and other baseball gear, come visit one of our many D-BAT Pro Shops! We are well-stocked with the highest quality baseball gear on the market and our knowledgeable sales staff will help you find exactly what you are looking for. Find the location closest to you HERE!

Open Your Eyes: 4 Tips for Seeing Each Pitch More Clearly

Do you find that you’re in a rut at the plate?

Have you ever considered that you aren’t seeing the pitch as clearly as you should? There are lots of mechanics involved in swinging and hitting the ball, but one very important factor is your vision. D-BAT has a few tips on how to see each pitch more clearly, thus improving your chances of a great hit every at-bat:

1.   Fix Both Eyes on the Pitcher

You might be thinking, “I do that,” but as we’ve learned, many batters have a tendency to focus on the pitcher with their left eye (if they are right handed) and not with their right. An easy way to determine this is to close the left eye and then see where you are looking with your right eye. The results might surprise you! By focusing both eyes squarely on the pitcher, you vastly improve your eye-hand coordination.

2.   Maintain Fluid Movements

As you swing, if your body is jerky or your movements are rigid, then it’s going to affect the focus your eyes have on the ball. Maintaining a fluid swing that starts in your lower body and spirals up to your arms last, will help keep your head still and eyes focused on the ball.

3.   Posture is Key

As you step up to the plate, make sure you are in a balanced position with your knees slightly bent and a slight angle to your body. The proper batting posture keeps your head aligned, with makes it easier to keep your eyes focused on the ball. The last thing you want is for your head to bobble, making it difficult to focus. The less your head moves, the better your vision.

4.   Clue Into the Pitcher

Make it your goal to see the ball. Strain to see the pitcher’s finger positioning on the ball as it’s released – or even the ball’s seams. This may seem impossible given the speed, but clueing into the pitch, picking up on any tells about the pitch, and then straining with intensity to see the ball as clearly as possible, will all make you a better hitter and help you see the ball better as it makes its way to the plate.

Ready for some batting practice? Come see us at D-BAT! Our state-of-the-art batting cages are designed with the player in mind. Click HERE to find the nearest location to you!

Skills for Developing Your Child’s Natural Athletic Ability

Athleticism and being a well-rounded athlete are two things that make a baseball player stronger and pay dividends on the field. But how do you develop natural athletic ability? Here are some simple tips to incorporate into everyday life that will increase your child’s athletic ability and translate to results on the baseball field:

Coordination

Coordination goes beyond the ability to catch a ball. Coordination is pivotal in baseball – everything from running, to jumping, to swinging a bat, to of course, catching a baseball. Many adults take coordination for granted but you can help your child develop these skills by just getting them outside to play or introducing them to other sports.

Strength Training

When people think strength training, they think of lifting weights. Sure, lifting weights is a way to strength train, but not one that is necessarily best for the younger set. Strengthening muscles improves your abilities in all aspects of baseball because it helps you run faster, swing harder, and throw harder. Children as young as 7 can benefit from strength training through resistance bands, push-ups, and even very light weights.

Agility

When your muscles are limber, they move faster and more efficiently. Make stretching a part of your child’s daily routine – adding it when they wake up in the morning and before they go to bed, particularly with muscles they use often in baseball. Reinforce the importance of regular stretching before a game to prevent injury.

Endurance

Physical endurance is less important in baseball, but it is a factor. Mental endurance, on the other hand, is extremely important in baseball. Mental endurance can be built by playing games like Chess or Monopoly that require a child to focus for extended periods of time. Physical endurance is important, particularly for running bases and for playing pitcher or catcher. Incorporating sports like soccer or basketball – even if just played infrequently with friends – helps to build endurance in these areas.

Ready for more specialized baseball training, tailored to your child’s individual skill set? Visit one of our 70+ locations nationwide! Click HERE to find the location closest to you!