New baseball and softball training center in Fort Smith

A new training center will soon provide River Valley athletes with a place to hone their baseball and softball skills.

Fort Smith brothers and natives, Alan and Kevin Dickinson, are opening a D-BAT baseball and softball academy at 4900 Regions Dr. in Fort Smith. The new location will mark the fourth in the state.

The Dickinsons are aiming for an opening in early 2022.

“It’s a training center for everyone,” Dickinson said. “It’s for anyone looking to improve their baseball and softball skills.”

The facility will house nine lanes, with three throwing machines and six open lanes available for rental and lessons.

There will also be a pro shop with merchandise such as bats, balls, gloves, shirts and jackets.

The inauguration of the nearly 12,000 square foot facility took place on October 9.

“There is nothing in our region that offers what D-Bat offers,” said Dickinson.

Dickinson, who has three children involved in the sport and has coached for years, saw the need for a place where athletes can train when it’s cold or bad. He also mentioned the lack of places in town that have indoor throwing machines.

The new facility will allow athletes to come and train or train all year round.

“It’s always been a dream of mine, I’ve been trying to do it for a long time,” Dickinson said.

The facility will likely need to fill two full-time positions and many part-time positions, as well as up to six instructors.

Kevin and Alan Dickinson pose with members of the Fort Smith Chamber of Commerce for the opening of their new baseball and softball training center in early October.

Dickinson stressed the importance for everyone of knowing that the facility will be open to them, no matter what sport they play or what team they belong to.

The facility will also offer speed and agility training and provides for an outdoor practice space.

Abbi Ross is the town’s reporter for the Southwest Times Record. She can be reached at aross @ swtimes or on Twitter at @__AbbiRoss

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