4 Tips for Beginning Softball Pitchers

Learning to pitch in fastpitch softball can be tricky, but D-BAT Sports – the premier softball training facility in the country – has a few tips for how to get started!

Focus on the Fastball 

There are 2 different ways to throw a softball fastpitch – four-seam fastball and two-seam fastball – but as a beginner, the only thing you need to worry about is the four-seam fastpitch. The grip of the ball is critical to the proper release. Place your middle 3 fingers so that the tips are touching the top of the seams on a “C,” pull your thumb back behind the ball, and then rest your pinky on the side or wherever is comfortable. It’s also important that you get in the habit of cupping the ball loosely with your tips for optimum spin.

Foot Placement is Key

When pitching in fastpitch softball, it is important to keep the right stance. Keep your stance about shoulder width apart, and then get your feet set on the rubber. If you are a right-handed pitcher, your forward foot will be on your right side. That foot should be sitting in the center of the rubber, while the toes on your left foot (opposite foot) should be slightly back and just touching the rubber – but not crossing it.

Know Your Power Line

The power line is the line between the catcher and the mound. You want your pitching motion to both start and stop on the power line in order to keep your body square and heading in the right direction. The goal is to make your stride leg land on the power line every time, with the toes at a 45-90 degree angle (closer to 90 for beginners).

Focus on X-Position 

The X-Position is a proper way to start each fastpitch softball throw. It’s called the X-Position because both arms are in the air, feet are on the power line, and you’re ready to go to work.

Becoming a great fastpitch softball pitcher doesn’t happen overnight, and the goal in the beginning should be to focus on mechanics – not strikes. The strikes will come if the mechanics are right! Call D-BAT Sports today to schedule one-on-one fastpitch softball pitching instruction with one of our expertly trained softball coaches! Check and see if you are near one of our 55+ locations!

Coaching Advice: How to Get a Baseball Hitter Out of a Slump

It can happen to the best of players.

You know they can hit, but for some reason, their hitting percentages have tanked. It’s called a slump, and there are things you can do as a coach to help evaluate the situation and take the player to the next level. Here are 3 recommendations from D-BAT Sports on what to do if you notice a baseball hitter is in a slump:

Record Game Time At-Bats

Players often look differently when batting in practice and when batting in a game time situation. Ask a parent or assistant coach to record the player in the game and then take time to analyze their at-bat. Is there an issue with their batting mechanics? Is their confidence lacking? A lack of confidence is the #1 reason for a batting slump. Determine some corrective measures that can be taken to correct and improve their batting average.

Practice More

Once you’ve identified some areas in need of improvement, take time out of practice to work one-on-one with the player in need of a little extra batting practice. If your practice is an hour, maybe take 15 minutes to work with them while another coach works drills with the rest of the team, or take some time after practice.

Set Goals

When talking with the player, start by offering praise for what they are doing well, sandwich in areas of improvement, followed by advice on how to make that improvement happen. Make sure the player understands their goals and objectives for improvement in the next game and that you will follow up with them on those goals. In a hitting slump, it’s a good idea to focus on making contact with the ball, swinging hard, and looking for good pitches only vs. focusing on hits period. The hits will come if the mechanics and proper batting practices are there.

In a slump now? Find the D-BAT location closest to you! D-BAT Sports is the #1 baseball training facility in the country with state-of-the-art batting cages open year round. Call today to schedule a little extra batting practice for your baseball player or team! Don’t forget to pick up some gear from the D-BAT location you visit. If you aren’t near a location, visit dbatsports.com and order today!

D-BAT CEO Named Finalist for EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award

D-BAT Sports is proud to announce that our Founder and CEO, Cade Griffis, has been named a finalist for the EY (formerly Ernst & Young) Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Southwest Region. This is a huge honor for Griffis, saying:

“This is a tremendous honor to be an EY Finalist in the Entrepreneur of the Year program. We are very proud of our team at D-BAT and the positive impact we are making on youth baseball and softball, not only in the United States, but overseas as well. We know how competitive the business atmosphere is in the Southwest, and we are thrilled to be included in this amazing group of finalists.”

About the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards

EY evaluates potential candidates for the award based on innovative business practices, personal commitment to their communities and business, and overall financial performance. Candidates are chosen by a panel of independent judges, and a winner will be chosen at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, Texas on June 23. The Southwest regional winner will then go on to compete for the National Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in California, and the winner from there goes on to the Worldwide Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in Monaco.

D-BAT Sports is proud to be recognized for our entrepreneurial spirit and growth! With locations around the United States and even overseas, Griffis has created a model that strives to be the best softball and baseball training facility in the country. D-BAT operates over 50 D-BAT Baseball Academy locations, each equipped with state-of-the-art facilities. We also carry only the best in baseball gear for sale: wood bats, gloves, batting gloves, helmets, etc. Our Pro Shop experts are equipped to find the gear that meets each player’s individual needs. A personalized approach – coupled with a top coaching staff – prepares each individual player for the next level.

Crucial Baseball Skills Every Catcher Must Know

Many outside the realm of baseball think being a catcher is simple. All they do is sit there and catch balls behind the plate, right?

As those inside the game know – the answer is a resounding “no.” The position of catcher is so much more than that. Here are 3 crucial skills every catcher must know to be successful:

1. Strong Leadership

A catcher must be able to take control of the game, and if the coach isn’t calling pitches, it is up to the catcher to fill this roll. He must also be aware of everything that is happening on the field at all times, and he’s responsible for non-stop communication with the pitcher to ensure he’s calm, collected, confident, and prepared for all situations.

2. Knowledge

The higher the level of baseball, the more responsibility the catcher has to call pitches and handle the pitcher. A catcher might spend hours getting to know both his pitching staff and the opposing team’s hitters to get a sense of a game plan for the big game. Baseball catchers must have a keen sense of the game and the ability to make split second decisions that can be the difference between a win and a loss. Again, understanding where everyone is on the field, where you’re at in the batting lineup, etc. is all a part of what makes a great catcher stand out.

3. Aggressive Catching

This may be obvious, but a baseball catcher has to be able to make the catch in order to prevent unnecessary stolen bases. Also – remember that a catcher is the only player on the field wearing protective gear. Use that protection to your advantage! Get out there and be aggressive, don’t be afraid to get down and block pitches, you’re wearing catchers gear for a reason.

Sound easy? It’s not. Catchers have one of the most difficult jobs on the field, but it can also be extremely rewarding. If you’re ready to hone your skills as a catcher, call us today to set up some instruction time! D-BAT Sports is the best baseball training facility, with state-of-the-art facilities around the country. Call us today for a tour and to set up a few practice sessions with our expert coaching staff. Check out all our locations HERE! And don’t forget to get all your baseball gear at dbatsports.com!

How to Care for Your Wood Baseball Bat


Just like any nice piece of equipment, wood baseball bats must be maintained properly in order to achieve maximum results. Here are 5 tips from D-BAT Sports on how to properly maintain your wood baseball bats:

1. Wipe it Down with Rubbing Alcohol 

After each time you practice with your wood baseball bat, go ahead and wipe it down with a clean cloth and rubbing alcohol. This will remove any pine tar buildup and keep the sweet spot nice and smooth – enhancing your ability to slug that ball.

2. Keep it Dry

Just like with any wood product, it is imperative that you keep your bat away from moisture and store it in a dry place. If your bat does in fact get wet, dry it off immediately, then apply linseed oil to protect it and replenish the oils in the wood.

3. Create Friction with Another Wood Bat

This might sound strange but applying force and rubbing another wood baseball bat against the bat will actually keep the sweet spot – and the rest of the bat – nice and smooth for optimum results.

4. Do Not Throw the Bat

This is self explanatory, but if you throw your bat, it can cause damage to the bat, and create knicks and grooves that are counterproductive to hitting. Do not throw the bat under any circumstances.

5. Store it Right

When your wood bat is not in use, store it in a dry, cool place, preferably with the handle up and the barrel facing downward. Never leave the bat in your gear bag in the trunk of a car, as the heat is detrimental to the quality of the bat.

6. Make Sure the Logo is Facing Up

When taking batting practice or stepping up to the plate during a game, always make sure the logo is facing UP. And when the bat crosses the plate to hit the ball,  the logo should be up or at a 12:00 position. The sweet spot is on a 45′ part of the wood.  When wood bats are designed, the bat maker takes great care to place the logo on top of the grain so that the player will hit the bat on the wood bat’s strongest surface. You want the player to squarely hit the ball on the wood bat’s “sweet spot.”


Ready to invest in a high quality wood baseball bat? Call D-BAT Sports today and let us show you our inventory of premium wood bats, or visit dbatsports.com to create your very own custom wood bat! Take a look here for some extra tips on taking care of your wood bat.

Player Development: 3 Ways Winners Learn From a Loss

Losing is never fun.

It doesn’t matter if it’s at baseball, or a contest at school, or even Family Game Night at home, a loss hurts.

But how can you channel that loss and make it into something meaningful? At D-BAT Sports, our goal is to develop the whole player, and here are 3 ways winners can learn from a loss:

1. It’s Okay to Be Upset – Just Don’t Stay that Way

After a hard fought game, it’s okay – and even healthy – to be upset. It shows that you care about the game, and your team, and you desire to see improvement. However, make sure that you cope with your frustration and move on quickly. Wallowing in your sorrow breeds bitterness, disappointment, and blame, none of which are emotions you can use for improvement.

2. Losing to Worthy Opponents Improves your Game

At some point, everyone loses. And losing to someone who is better than you, only sharpens your skill. Playing with and against those who are more skilled helps you to rise to the occasion. It teaches you how to perform on the next level. Use losses against worthy opponents as a form of player development.

3. Losing Forces You to Evaluate Shortcomings 

If you always won, then you’d never be able to clearly see where you fall short. Use a loss to evaluate your skills – where do you need improvement? Do you need to spend some time in the batting cages? Fielding causing issues? What about your teammates – where are they struggling? Use a loss to evaluate shortcomings and then use practice time to improve upon those faults.


Ready to get serious about player development? D-BAT Sports is a premier baseball training facility with the tools to help your player succeed. Find a location near you today for the best baseball training around! Don’t forget to visit www.dbatsports.com for all your baseball equipment needs!

Baseball Injury Prevention: 5 Things to Do Now

Risk of injury occurs with any sport you play, and the game of baseball is no exception. However, there are preventative measures you can take to significantly reduce the risk. At D-BAT Sports, we are serious about baseball injury prevention and recommend making these changes now to keep your baseball player healthy:

 1. Properly Warm Up

Playing on cold muscles is just asking for injury. Whether it’s a routine practice or a game, always stretch and do light running or jumping jacks to get the flood flowing. Warm muscles are more agile and significantly reduce the risk of injury.

 2. Have Quality Equipment

The old adage “you get what you pay for” applies when thinking about baseball equipment. We’re not saying you have to purchase the most expensive baseball bat on the market, but what we are saying is that quality equipment can sometimes come at a premium, but it will also last longer and reduce the risk of injury. Invest in high quality baseball cleats, bats, and gloves. Also make sure your batting helmet fits properly.

 3. Develop Proper Technique

There is a reason that we focus so much on baseball techniques when training baseball players. Improper throwing techniques, batting, sliding, etc. can lead to straining – which puts unnecessary stress on certain muscle groups and ligaments.

 4. Schedule Periods of Rest

Your child should never play one sport year-round. If they only want to play baseball, then there should be periods during the year where they take a little time off between seasons. This gives their muscle groups time to rest and recover and prevents young childhood injuries from overworking those muscle groups.

 5. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

Baseball injury prevention starts off the field. Getting adequate sleep, eating a well-balanced diet, and proper weight training are all important aspects of a healthy lifestyle.

Want to train in a baseball facility that supports your baseball player’s overall well-being? Come see us at D-BAT Sports – the best baseball training facility in the country! Click HERE to see the location closes to you! And don’t forget to get all your baseball gear at www.dbatsports.com!

Running the Bases: How to Become a Threat

In the game of baseball, being able to run the bases effectively and efficiently is a must-have skill – no matter what level you’re playing at. D-BAT Sports – the best baseball training facility in the country – has a few tips on how to not only run the bases, but run those bases as a threat:

1. Run Hard & Run Through

There is a reason baseball coaches make their players practice running the bases. It takes stamina to run through the bases – and run hard – all the way from first to home. Never let up and give it your all each time.

2. Learn to Read the Pitcher

This one takes time and practice, but watching a pitcher and understanding his body language will go a long way toward knowing when to book it to the next base – and when to stay put. Watch for a ball to hit the dirt and be ready to accelerate immediately.

3. Concentration is Key

As a base runner, your eyes need to be on your target at all times. Your goal is to get to the next base, so keep your eyes and ears open for cues from both your coach – and the players in the field – on when to advance.

4. Understand Your Speed

In order to be a good baseball player, speed is important – but it’s not everything. Most baseball players are great athletes, but some players don’t understand their speed and think they are Billy Hamilton or Delino Deshields. It’s important to know when to take risks and when not to. Understand where you are at in the game and make adjustments on how to attack the bases.

5. Know How to Slide

There is an art to the slide and it’s important that you learn it! A messy slide can lead to a tag out, and it’s just not worth it. Learn to do it right and your team will thank you.


Ready to learn more baseball tips to improve your game? Visit us at D-BAT Sports for professional baseball training you can’t get anywhere else! With locations across Texas and throughout the United States, find the nearest location to you HERE!

And don’t forget to order your equipment from www.dbatsports.com!

Want a Faster Swing Speed? Here’s an Exercise to Help.

As a batter, your goal is to swing faster, so that the ball rolls off the bat a higher velocity and the ball goes further. It’s the stuff that home runs are made of.

Even if you are already a decent batter, strengthening your forearms, wrists, and hands will boost your ability to swing the bat quickly. Here’s a DIY baseball exercise from D-BAT Sports to build those muscles and get you on your way to faster hitting.

Step 1: Build a Rope Weight

This baseball exercise starts by building a very simple, inexpensive rope weight. The whole apparatus shouldn’t cost more than $10 and everything is easy to find locally. Here’s what you do:

  1. Buy the necessary materials: You’ll need an 18” long, cylindrical piece of wood that is approximately 2” in diameter, a 4 foot piece of nylon rope, and a 2.5 lb. dumbbell plate.
  2. Drill a hole in the cylinder and feed the rope through it. Knot the rope on top.
  3. On the other end of the rope, tie the dumbbell plate.

Step 2: Exercise your Forearms, Wrists, and Hands

Now that your rope weight is complete, hold it out in front of you, parallel to the ground. Now work your hands and wrists to roll the dumbbell plate up to the wood – and then back down. Do 10 reps then rest. Perform this exercise a few times a week for optimal results. Once the 2.5 lb. dumbbell plate gets to easy, upgrade to a higher weight, with the goal to work up to a 5 pound weight. You’ll be impressed what a little consistent exercise will do to help you swing the bat faster than ever before!

Ready to get some batting practice in? Find the location closest to you HERE, and visit a D-BAT that has state-of-the-art batting cages in the best baseball facilities in the country. Call us this week to schedule a time to practice and take your baseball game to new heights.

Beyond Baseball: 5 Benefits of Team Sports

Getting your child involved in team sports – like baseball – goes well beyond the mechanics of the sport. Sure, your child’s ability to bat, catch, and field will improve, but their mental and emotional well-being benefits too. Here are 5 benefits of team sports that will benefit your young baseball player for the long run:

1. Cooperation

This is a no brainer. Sports like baseball force a player to work together with others for one common end goal. They learn empathy and the ability to form deeper relationships both on and off the field. Teams are often formed of players with different personalities, backgrounds, cultures, etc. – forcing a child to face adversity and differences head on.

2. Respect

Being on a team quickly teaches a player to respect the coach and his authority, to respect the other players, and to respect himself. Players need to learn early on that each coach and player plays a vital role in the game and they should be respected.

3. Lower Stress Levels 

Physical activity releases endorphins that lower stress and generally improve your emotional state. With a new generation caught up in screens and technology, never has it been more important to get outside and experience team sports with other people, lowering stress levels in the process!

4. Higher Test Scores

According to a study done by the Aspen Institute, students who are involved in physical activity perform 40% higher on test scores! This can be attributed to multiple things, but being a part of a team provides a support system where the player feels comfortable and can thrive both on and off the field.

5. Time Management

As your baseball player progresses in the sport, the practice and game schedules become more grueling. Place the responsibility on your child to manage their time wisely. Set limits on screens and gaming systems until chores, homework, and practice has been completed. Managing their time wisely is a skill that is pertinent throughout their entire life – far beyond baseball.

Ready to get some baseball practice in for the spring season? Check out our locations HERE and visit a D-BAT Sports facility near you to try out the best batting cages and best baseball facilities in the country.