Every inch of RIP Empire's 1,200-square-foot indoor facility is devoted to baseball and softball. Turf-covered floors, tunnels, nets, and batting cages with pitching machines all wait for sluggers to practice their stance and perfect their swings. Fields and tunnels give players the space they need to field grounders or swing for the fences without worrying about breaking windows or the fences. RIP Empire welcomes the general public for batting cage sessions, but it also dedicates its space to team practices and one-on-one training.
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.:
After starting out as a single facility in 1998, D-BAT Sports has since grown to include a dozen academies spread across Texas and the rest of United States. Each location embodies the company's core belief: every ballplayer is an individual with a unique, specific set of talents that must be honed. As such, D-BAT's professional trainers mold baseball and softball players into experienced specialists with custom lessons in pivotal skills, such as hitting, pitching, and autographing hot dogs. The climate-controlled facilities also feature rentable indoor batting cages as well as pro shops stocked with major-brand equipment.
With the help of a team of trainers, owner of Cover All Bases, Chris Gay, gives little-leaguers a leg up on the competition. During his clinics, he spends much of the time working on the sport's most essential motion—the swing—in private hitting lessons. But to help build all-around athletes he and his four trainers lead sessions geared toward pitching, fielding, catching, and the closely related art of hitting softballs. A high school athlete himself who went on to pitch for the University of Texas at Arlington and double-A minor league baseball with the Chicago White Sox for 2 1/2 seasons, his love for the game shines through in his training sessions. "(I) love teaching baseball to kids and helping them make their high school teams," he says.
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular offering: Private hitting lessons and token cards
Pro Tip: It's more comfortable when you bring your own bat
Good for Kids: Yes
Walk-ins Welcome: Yes
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.