Testimonials

“Before my son worked with Anthony he was a singles hitter who was often lunging and off balance at the plate. Since working with Anthony, the last two seasons, he is hitting hard line drives and deep fly balls. His batting average and slugging percentage have never been near as high as they are now. Anthony not only breaks down the physical mechanics of a good swing, he also has helped my son with his mental approach to hitting. My son’s confidence is apparent every time he steps to the plate. Our only regret is that we didn’t meet Anthony earlier.”

– Dave Scott, Glenview

“Director of Softball, Maral Binnebose and The Dugout are the BEST!

Maral strikes the perfect balance of teaching softball fundamentals and making it FUN! She has a great way of tailoring her coaching style to the individual personalities and skill levels of her players. Her specific knowledge of pitching and her ability to break down the proper mechanics to her students is outstanding. Maral responds promptly to every request. She LOVES what she does and it shows!

The Dugout facility is always clean and ready for action. The entire staff is friendly, knowledgeable and helpful.

I would recommend Maral and The Dugout to any softball player who wants to up her game!”

– Carol Heles, Glenview Titans Fast-Pitch Association

“All three of my boys (13,10,7) have practiced and trained at the Dugout over the past few years. Our experience has been outstanding. The training that Anthony and Tony have provided is top level baseball knowledge and their ability to relate to the kids is exceptional. We have done individual and team training at Dugout and the results have shown on the field. The Dugout facility is first rate.”

– Jon Williams, Northbrook

“My daughter has been coming to Maral for over 2 years now and we absolutely would not go anywhere else! She started out playing on a house league softball team and was interested in pitching. At the age of 9, we attended some pitching camps and met the Softball Director, Maral. My daughter took an immediate liking to Maral’s personality and style of instruction. She made my daughter feel very comfortable from the start and we started working exclusively with Maral on all of her softball needs (pitching, defense and hitting). Through private instruction, Maral has developed my daughter into a very well rounded softball player. She is now one of the starting pitchers on her 11u travel team and is doing fantastic. Her speed and consistency has increased dramatically. The growth that she has made over 1 season was tremendous. We owe all of her success to Maral. Her approach is to patiently work with her pitchers, giving them guidance, positive reinforcement, techniques to work on and confidence in themselves. Maral is fantastic with girls of all ages. She provides so much support to her girls inside and outside of the facility evidenced, by surprise appearances at softball games.

What sets The Dugout apart from the other baseball/softball development facilities is the experience of the instructors and the consistency of the staff. Prior to coming to The Dugout, we attended other facilities but quickly became disappointed when the instructors would quit and we had to find a new teacher. That made it difficult to move forward with training. We were looking for an instructor to work with us on a long term basis. We got what we were looking for and so much more!

I would recommend The Dugout to any athlete who wants to grow in a very positive, friendly environment.”

– Kelly Simon, Mount Prospect

“My son has been taking lessons at the Dugout for 3 years. Anthony has always exceeded my expectations. He can connect and communicate with my son in a way that he understands and I can see a difference before we leave each time. During the season if he feels he is in a slump, Anthony can always correct his swing…

Maral at the Dugout is amazing with my daughter. She studies her pitching and makes modifications based on her needs. Maral has improved her accuracy and speed.”

– Georgette Zitis, Park Ridge

“Coach Anthony & Tony have been working personally with my son and many of the boys on the team I coach for the past few years. Their teaching practices and diligence have led to numerous gains on the field in terms of hitting and pitching. Without their help I am not sure we would of achieved many of the goals we set out to achieve. I highly recommend Coach Anthony & Tony.”

– Scott Lerner, Northbrook

“As a high school baseball player, hitting was always the worst part of my game. I could have started every year, but not hitting always kept me out of the lineup. After batting .214 my junior year, I knew I had to get better offensively to be a full time starter. I started going to Anthony for hitting lessons once a week. After one week, my exit velocity went up 10 mph. I saw huge improvements, and I never felt more comfortable at the plate. I was top 5 on the team with most hits. I batted .288 and was selected honorary mention for all conference in the ESCC. Anthony took my game to the next level, and I am sure he can do the same for you.”

– Michael Pasquale, St. Pats High School (Chicago)

“My son has been taking hitting lessons with Anthony and pitching lessons with Tony for a while now. I can see a real difference in both his hitting and pitching approach and outcome. Not only has he become visibly better at both but he has really learned a lot about hitting and pitching mechanics and is learning how to critique himself and make in-game adjustments on his own. I really like both Anthony’s and Tony’s approach to the way they teach kids. They not only make the kids better and work on improving them but they make sure the kids understand what they are being taught and how it helps their game. Their approach shows that they deeply care about their students and invest a lot in their improvement. My son looks forward to his lessons and enjoys working with both Anthony and Tony. I would recommend them to anyone looking to improve and learn.

My daughter has worked with Maral this summer and I can really see her improving. More importantly, she is enjoying softball and wants to continue learning and playing. Maral is really great with the girls. She knows a lot about the game of softball and is a great teacher. I would recommend her to anyone.”

Igor Kroner, Northbrook

“Our family absolutely loves the dugout. It is our happy place. Anthony and Tony are both amazing at teaching kids baseball. Anthony has helped our kids really develop their swing and we saw immediate results. Besides his amazing baseball IQ, Anthony is also great with kids. Tony is a phenominal pitching coach! He has such great knowledge of the craft and teaches it in a fun format.”

– Mary Sehlhorst, Glenview

“Tony started working with Coach Anthony three years ago. Because he’s not a big, tall kid, Tony was always taught to be a slap hitter. But after only one session Anthony told him there was no reason he couldn’t hit for both power and average. More importantly, he told him he needed to hit for results, whether it was driving the ball in the gap or moving the runner over. Pitch selection, anticipation, game awareness; these were things that Anthony taught and Tony just drank in like a sponge. It wasn’t always a smooth path; this year he had a slump that dropped him in the lineup several spots. That’s when Coach Anthony’s other strengths came into play: explaining that batting is a process and that Tony may have bad days but that doesn’t make him a bad hitter. He taught him to accept adversity with a positive attitude, to work hard even when he’s just hitting off the tee, and to be a good role model and team player no matter what happens. By the end of this season, Tony was hitting cleanup for his 14U tournament travel team, second in both RBI and average and with the fewest strikeouts on the team. And in his last tournament, this 5’4″ former contact hitter hit a 330-foot bomb for his first ever over-the-fence home run.

There is no silver bullet, no shortcut. Tony hits off a tee every day and works on strength and conditioning between lessons. But Coach Anthony’s guidance focuses all that hard work into results, and that’s why Tony has been with him this long.”

– Joe Pluta, Palatine

“We have worked with Anthony and the rest of the staff for the last 4 years at The Dugout (Playball Prior) and keep coming back because we love the way they make us feel like part of their family. We’ve done individual and team practices at the facility and the results have shown in the win/loss column. The atmosphere is relaxed and the staff always friendly. As a head coach myself, I have found success in having certain specialist at The Dugout work with our team on those individual disciplines and then simply reinforcing those disciplines taught during separate practices. Thanks for all you do and we’ll see you in January if not sooner!”

– Steve Howard, Northbrook

“I just wanted to drop you a quick note about how much you’re work with my son helped him improve significantly this past season. His batting average, OPS, OBP, slugging %, walk ratio and all other statistics were up substantially this season in comparison to his numbers/statistics last year. We believe his weekly hitting sessions with you over the past 7 months were a major factor for this improvement.Your patience, analysis and ability to break down his swing is amazing and fun to observe. You also have a great rapport with him and he really looks forward to these hitting sessions with you. We look forward to working with you in the future.”

– Kurt Wessel, Park Ridge

“We brought our son to Anthony to improve his technique and consistency with wonderful results. At one point, our son simply needed some confidence after being hit by pitches. Anthony was patient and helped him approve his approach in the box. Another time, the goal was simply to make him a more consistent batter – the next season our son, with Anthony’s help, did exactly that. Anthony is patient and funny and our son truly enjoys working with him. Thank you, Anthony!”

– D.S.