|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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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:
- 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.
- Drill a hole in the cylinder and feed the rope through it. Knot the rope on top.
- 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.
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:
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.
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.