Dalton Bollinger has experienced his share of setbacks and success during his baseball career.
Now the 2014 Riverside graduate has found his niche helping athletes of all ages reach their goals by opening his own indoor training facility in Sidney, Bollinger Baseball and Softball, LCC.
“This is something I’ve always wanted to do since I was a kid,” said Bollinger, who lives in Sidney. “I’ve done lessons the last four years on and off on the side. It’s a lot of work and not much pay, so it was a little tough at times.
“I started working as a personal trainer and tried some other jobs. I started doing lessons on the side and loved it, but I wasn’t sure how realistic it would be to do full time. Eventually, my side job was keeping me busier so I decided to go for it.”
Bollinger opened part time in March, but made the move to open full time in mid-June. Since then he has stayed busy developing players and watching his new venture pay dividends.
“I saw the need in this area and my family lives over here, so it made sense,” said Bollinger. “There has never been something here like this. You would have to drive to Marysville or a long distance. We have been really busy (since we opened full time).
“Starting up while I was working a full-time job was definitely the biggest obstacle. Getting clientele built up was tough too. I was working 40-50 hours a week and then had lessons for the week to fit in.”
The Riverside product was a three-time all-Ohio catcher for the Pirates and went on to play Division I baseball at the University of Toledo. Recruited as a catcher, Bollinger found himself third on the team depth chart. With a strong bat, though, he was asked to switch to first base to get him in the starting lineup.
Bollinger started there for a majority of his freshman and sophomores seasons. His junior year he was moved to third base and back to first base. By the time he graduated from the University of Toledo in 2018 he was a true student of the game.
“As a person, I don’t know where things would have led me if I hadn’t learned to handle the adversity that college baseball, especially at the Division I level, taught me,” said Bollinger. “That taught me how to get through the tough things in life. Things may not always work out like you want, but you have to adapt and overcome in order to be successful.”
That experience helped prepare Bollinger for his role now instructing and developing players of all ages that come to his facility.
“Seeing kids grow has been my favorite part of this,” said Bollinger. “I have a lot of kids with different aspects. Some kids are naturally gifted and want to play at the next level. I go and help them realize what that looks like and get them to that next level.
“Some kids have confidence issues in general, not just sports. So I help get them working out and you start to see that mental change in sports and in life. That change has been awesome to see.”