When D-BAT opened in 1998, Cade Griffis was one of only two employees (the other was his brother, Kyle). But Cade knew that he had everything he needed to succeed, starting with a strong training philosophy shaped by his professional and college baseball careers.
Cade's philosophy is simple: every player should follow a unique game plan, tailored to his or her strengths. As straightforward as it sounds, it works wonders when applied consistently. Cade has helped many budding ballplayers grow into power hitters, and somewhere along the way his small facility transformed into a baseball empire with 19 high-tech training locations.
Today, veteran coaches staff each of the climate-controlled facilities. They have a variety of tools at their disposal, including pitching machines that shoot balls at custom speeds of 70+ mph. On flat-screen TVs, parents can watch their kids improve their batting form and master the art of juggling all the bases at once.
Zone Action Park thrills family members young and old with themed fun zones that quench thirsts for go-karting, bouncing, mini golf on two brand new 18-hole courses, and batting practice. The Speed Zone pits kids as young as 3 years old against each other for zipping go-kart action, whereas a bounce area lets them hop safely on inflatable jumps or slides. Batters practice against slow- or fast-pitch machines in the Strike Zone. Inside, the Game Zone fosters friendly competition with family-friendly games such as Big Bass Wheel and Treasure Quest fueled by hot fresh pizza from their cafe that happily serves large parties and birthdays.
With a veritable banquet of indoor and outdoor amusements, Putt-Putt Fun Center beckons fun-seekers to its three area locations. Challenging miniature-golf courses and variable-speed batting cages put competitors to the test while pixel professionals tackle the latest games inside raucous arcades. Friendly staff members handle all the details of birthday-party packages, laying out ice-cream cups, cutting cakes, and personally pre-opening all of the presents.
The Hurst location, the largest of the three, fields many additional games and rides. Go-karts zoom around dual tracks, bumper boats bob and ricochet in their pool, and rides such as teacups and planes teach youngsters important lessons about centrifugal force.:
Premier Baseball Academy's instructors draw from their experience at the high school, college, and professional levels to help hone skills of players ranging from little leaguers to pros. In private and group lessons, the bat-swinging experts focus on areas such as strength and arm velocity with equipment including pitching mounds and five Iron Mike batting-cage machines that dispatch balls at adjustable speeds. The instructors hold practices for entire teams and lead camps that aim to cover all mental and physical aspects of the national pastime. The Academy also hosts several tournaments throughout the year and serves as a rescue shelter for stray team mascots.
Practice makes perfect and perfection is the goal of Centerfield Baseball & Softball Academy's staff. The roster of experienced instructors includes members with playing and coaching experience at the collegiate and Major League levels. During private lessons, these instructors share their insight and help players refine fundamental hitting or pitching techniques. Larger clinics allow the staff to work with groups and create well-rounded baseball and softball athletes.
These lessons can take place in the academy's 15,000-square-foot climate-controlled facility, which also allows players to refine their game on their own. Its four Iron Mike pitching machines are capable of slinging fastballs or water balloons at speeds from 40 to 70 miles per hour, and six of its eight open cages feature mounds, which help pitchers dig in while they practice delivering the heat.
The crack of a bat signals another powerful hit inside Extra Innings' spacious, 70-foot-long batting tunnels. Each cage's Iron Mike pitching machine emulates the power and speed of a cantaloupe tossed by Popeye, sending a feast of fastballs screeching toward homerun-hungry hitters. Extra Innings' 12,000-square-foot facility also divvies its plethora of space for private pitching, fielding, and batting lessons hosted by seasoned instructors, as well as a circuit training area furnished with soft-toss machines, tees, and stride boards that further perfect techniques. The onsite pro shop also equips players with all of the baseball essentials.:m]]