3 Mistakes Outfielders Make – And How to Fix Them

In the game of baseball, each inning is a team effort. Outfielders, infielders, pitcher, and catcher – the whole team must be ready at all times to make the play and get off the field. 

Each position on the field comes with its challenges, and outfield is no exception. Here are 3 mistakes we often see in the outfield – and how to fix them:

Losing Focus

This can happen at any position, but proximity to the mound (or lack thereof) makes it a particular issue for outfielders. It’s easy to get distracted when you see so much of the field and so many things going on. Maybe the infielders and pitcher have handled all the balls that inning and you’re feeling restless. Regardless of the reason, stay in ready position and keep mental focus through each play. Stay focused by thinking through what you’ll do each time a batter comes up to bat. 

Not Backing Up the Infielders

This one happens often. Coaches often forget the importance of this role until a ball is overthrown and the outfielder isn’t there to back the player up. As an outfielder, always remember to stay alert and move to backup an infielder as you can to prevent stolen bases, and ultimately, more runs by the opposing team.

Lacking Communication

This one goes out to center fielders in particular. It is your job to call out information to your fellow outfielders. What position in the lineup is this hitter ? How did they hit last time? What’s the count? All outfielders need to be strong verbal communicators with each other on what’s going on, but center fielders need to make sure they are loud and vocal throughout the game to keep the entire outfield engaged and ready. 

Ready to practice your fielding skills? If you want the best baseball or softball training the in the country, look no further than D-BAT. Our facilities are second-to-none and our expert staff will take your game to the next level. Call us today to schedule lessons. Find the closest location to you HERE!

How Sleep Impacts Performance

There is a lot on your plate and we get it. 

Most people understand that sleep plays a powerful role in their overall well-being, but few give it it’s due when it comes to being ready to play your best on game day. In fact, studies have shown that sleep is equally important to hydration, mental toughness, physical conditioning, and nutrition. Here are a few areas of your baseball/softball performance that are impacted by sleep:


Accuracy is vital to all sports, including baseball and softball, and it may come as no surprise that accuracy is affected by sleep. A recent study of Stanford University basketball players took accuracy results both after regular sleep schedules and then with 10 hours of sleep per night. Athletes saw noticeable improvements in accuracy and speed with 10 hours of sleep.


Injuries increase when less sleep is involved, and a study by the University of California confirmed this. They showed that risk of injury increased if the athlete got less than 6 hours of sleep at night, plus less sleep means less time for your body to use sleep for regeneration and healing. Sleeplessness also contributes to a weakened immune system, which impacts play as well.

Problem Solving

Try making a decision with a little sleep deprivation involved and it’s hard. Reaction times are slower and the cognitive processes are too. Getting ample sleep means a sharper mind come gameday.

Shorter Career

Not many of our athletes are going to make a career in baseball or softball, but a study of major league baseball players found that not getting enough sleep was directly correlated to shorter careers in the MLB. Just another indicator that you’re not your best when you’re fatigued, and a marker athletes at all levels should pay attention to.

At D-BAT, we care about developing the whole player. Come see us to learn more about how to be play your best on gameday at one of our ongoing clinics (clinic specifics vary by location). It’s just one of the ways we strive to be the best baseball and softball training facility in the country! Find the location nearest you HERE!

Mistakes Batter’s Make When Up Against a 2-Strike Count

Batting with a 2-strike count can be unnerving. At D-BAT, we get it. We know the pressure you feel when you’re in the box, and we want to help your mental toughness to get over the hump and be more successful when the 2-strike count is upon you.

We’ve coached a lot of players over the years, and here are 4 common mistakes we see players make over and over:

Mistake #1: Not Swinging

With 2 strikes, you’ve got to swing! Swing hard and aggressively at anything that’s close, and if it goes foul, it’s no big deal. A foul ball keeps you in the count and gives you the opportunity to nail the perfect pitch.

Mistake #2: Swinging Too Softly

As we said earlier, you’ve got to swing hard every time! Hitting it too softly could result in a weak grounder that is easily fielded. Also, don’t forget to swing through as you make contact.

Mistake #3: Getting Down on Yourself Because you Struck Out

We must rethink the way we think about strikeouts. Cade Griffis – founder of D-BAT and former scout for the Chicago White Sox/former player for the Kansas City Royals – says the following about strikeouts: “I don’t judge a kid (any worse) who goes 1-for-3 and strikes out twice. It’s the same thing if he goes 1-for-3 and hits two weak ground balls to the pitcher. An out is an out. I think we create outs because we put too much emphasis on the strikeout, and we get them out of their comfort zone.”

Mistake #4: Ignoring Cues Around You

When you’re batting, let all your senses in on the action because you might be surprised what you can hear or see that will tip you off. Listen for cues from the coach and watch the wind-up of the pitcher. If a coach yells, “be smart!” then the pitcher might be playing it safe with his pitch.

Want to run batting practice with the best? Schedule private batting lessons at D-BAT – the best baseball training facility in the country. Find the location closest to you HERE!

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.


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!