Maplezone Sports Institute’s (MSI) mission is to create a safe training environment for athletes of all ages and abilities which allow them the opportunity to maximize their athletic performance potential. MSI is committed to utilizing our expert coaches, state of the art facilities, tournament venues, and customized training programs to efficiently enhance the athletes' training and exposure experience. MSI makes you better – ON and OFF the field!!


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The Little Annoying Things Coach Makes You Do

December 18, 2018
I know players…coaches can really get on your case sometimes about the “little” things. They seem so pointless! Does it really matter if you forget to wear the right practice shirt, show up to the field 4 minutes after report time, skip one rep in the weight room, or are backing up a base 10ft behind the bag, instead of 15ft like he said?   Will not doing one of these things cost you a game? Will it make or break your career?   And the answer is no. Not doing one of these things, one time, will not have a huge negative imapct on your career   However, these little things DO add up in a massive way when you consider how many “little” things that you CAN be doing every day to improve.   In any given day, there could be 10, 20, or even  100 “little” things you can do to make yourself better.    Did you do 50% of them? Did you do 100% of them? Or did you do 15% of them?   Now consider that the number is multipled over weeks, months, and years of your career…while either doing some, all, or barely any of the “little” things.   Holy crap. Not so little anymore huh?    Take pride in doing the “little” things…because all of them added up over time equal huge things. Look at the big picture. It’s made up of thousands of little things. Be obsessed.   Ken Spangenberg Director of Baseball Maplezone Sports Institute
Baseball Wellness

Who You’re REALLY Competing Against

December 18, 2018
We had our first ever MLB/MiLB Roundtable last week which was open to our own players and families, but also the general public. It was made up of current pros who discussed things such as their journey to pro ball, what a day in the life of an MLB player is like, etc.    There were so many great messages and take aways, however, today I want to discuss one in particular…   One of the MiLB players was an 18-year old from the Bahamas named Trent Deveaux. Trent’s story was simply unbelievable. He left his HOME at the age of 13 to pursue his baseball career. Yes you read that right, he left his home at 13…   He then traveled to the Dominican Republic where he only trained for baseball around the clock. He was THIRTEEN, alone in another country, not speaking the language, training 7 days a week in hopes of becoming a professional baseball player.   If you want to write “professional baseball player” on your tax returns some day, this is who you are truly competing against…the entire world. And believe me, it is full of obsessed players who are willing to do things like Trent did to make their dreams come true.   Does that mean you need to drop out of school and move to the DR? It certainly does not.    But what it does mean is if playing professional baseball is your goal, be ready to go against players like this for exact same opportunities. Be ready to match this level of prepartion.     “Success” is very relative. It is easy to look around and be content with being in the upper echelon of the players you can see…but that’s not really your competition.   Talent won’t make your dreams come true. Taking pride in consistently preparing will. If professional baseball is your goal, make it your lifestyle. Be obsessed.   Ken Spangenberg Director of Baseball Maplezone Sports Institute
Baseball Wellness

Don’t Fall For the Timeline

December 18, 2018
The amount of “bad” information out regarding amateur baseball there is beyond alarming. This can span from recruiting to player development and everything in-between, but today I want to focus on a player’s “timeline”. It seems like everyone thinks that if they don’t hit certain check points at certain ages (Little League All-Star, “top” 13U travel team, DI offers as a Sophomore, etc.) then their career is over. Please do NOT buy into that timeline and checklist. Being a Little League All-Star doesn’t mean you’ll be a HS stud or a DI college player. It means that you’re a Little League All-Star. Getting a DI scholarship doesn’t mean you’ll be drafted or even that you’re going to be a good college player. It means you got a scholarship. Getting drafted doesn’t mean you’re going to play in the MLB some day. It means you were drafted. Absolutely ENJOY these milestones! That’s not what I’m saying at all. Any of them are awesome accomplishments, but don’t allow that them to distract you from your long term goals in this game. Keep your foot on the gas. If you DIDN’T hit these markers…who cares? All they are is a reflection of how “good” you are right this second. To allow them to have an impact on your work ethic and love of the game is really short sighted. Believe in yourself. Keep your foot on the gas. At the end of the day, being the best 14 year old matters very little in this game long term. Don’t focus on the “timeline”. Focus on being the best player when it’s all said and done because, honestly, that’s all that matters. Be obsessed.   Ken Spangenberg Director of Baseball Maplezone Sports Institute
Baseball Wellness

Risk Failure

December 18, 2018
First off, I am 100% stealing this line from one of our parents (thanks Matt!). I truly believe that the thought of failing, in front of everyone, is what holds the majority of players back from being the best they can be.   To reach your ceiling, you need to work REALLY hard. So hard that people are going to look at you funny and ask, “why are you working so hard?”   At that point, the player has to make his goal known…which now means that everyone knows so if the player doesn’t reach that goal everyone knows he “failed”.   PLAYERS-here is something that is an undeniable fact…the individuals that are the best at what they do, whether it’s in baseball or in life, fail often.   They realize that failure isn’t final. In fact, the elite fail significantly more often than the average or even the great because they are consistently pushing themselves and their boundaries. While everyone else is content with a mild amount of success in a safe, sheltered environment.   Don’t be afraid to fail. Be afraid of “what if”. Put yourself out there this week…set a goal and see if you can accomplish. Even if you don’t, you’ll still wake up the next morning and will have another shot at it. Be obsessed.    Ken Spangenberg Director of Baseball Maplezone Sports Institute


We are grateful for the experience that Ethan is getting and appreciate all you and the other coaches do for the kids. You guys are very good with the kids run a great program.

Crissi, MSI Parent

We just wanted to thank you for all your help with Jonathan. Today on Super Bowl Sunday Jonathan verbally committed to the Golden Rams of West Chester. Their coach was very excited about his commitment and sees him as one of his top guys for the next four years. The MuckDawgs program has been a great experience for Jonathan right from day one, verses where we came from. Jonathan has worked hard right from the start when you told him to fill out his jersey. You have given him the tools he needs to be successful on the field and in life. We are very thankful for all your help!

Alan & Gretchen, MSI Parents

Brooke is throwing her change-ups and they are working big time! The girls were way ahead of the pitch. Brooke could not stop smiling!
Nice work coach!

Scott, MSI Lesson Client

I wanted to thank you again for putting on a great winter lacrosse league. This was our first year in your league, and it was the best winter league we have played. We will definitely be participating next year.

Jeff, MSI Lacrosse League Client

The instruction and guidance offered to Michael by Corey during a batting session is truly appreciated. Just to see Michael’s expression when he gets that “ha-ha” moment after Corey improves his swing or stance is priceless. Everyone at MSI is truly wonderful. Please convey my Thank you!

Teresa Eze , MSI Parent

We couldn’t be happier, Rizz is a great instructor!

Tom Gartland, MSI Lesson Client

My son Ryan Beyer just completed his 8th pitching lesson with Todd Rizzo last Thursday, and I just wanted you to know how much Todd did to help Ryan improve. I was really impressed with how Coach Rizzo explained things to Ryan in an adult way, but a style that was easy for a kid to understand. He gave Ryan a lot of confidence and re-assurance as to his delivery mechanics and his abilities. I have to say that I was amazed and impressed by Coach Rizzos ability to spot even the smallest mechanical flaw and explain how it impacted his pitches in both location and velocity. Ryan has a pretty decent arm for a 10 year old kid, but last year, he really struggled with his control. He used to walk more than he struck out. This year, his first game at BYC, he threw 33 pitches, 28 of them were strikes, and he struck out the first 9 guys he faced. Needless to say, he was walking around on 3 feet of air after the game. I’ve never seen my son so happy and proud. So, I just wanted to let you know, since you are the general manager of MSI, that Todd did an outstanding job with my son. Cant say enough good things about the guy!! The lessons were super helpful and effective. Thanks

Brad Beyer, MSI Lesson Client

Chris, Just wanted to say you did a hell of a job getting everybody 3 pool play games. I’m sure it was a scheduling nightmare. That’s why you’re the best!!

Tom Hunter, MSI Tournament Client

Andrew did a great job with Daniel, he really liked his lesson. We will be putting him on schedule for lesson every week till the start of the season in March.

Paul Jacobs, MSI Parent

Coach Ty is an amazing coach. He provides great insight to the game inside the game. He develops the player physically as well as mentally. My son has been going to Coach Ty for years. I am amazed how much knowledge he has about the game as well as his demands in each session. He is the main reason why we have joined the MSI Team this year.

Dexter Felder, MSI Parent

Thank you very much for allowing me and my teammates to use your facility, it’s the perfect place to get everything we need done to get ready for the upcoming season!

Edwin Lee, Goldey-Beacom College 1B/OF

Our sessions with Ty Gainey have been outstanding. Ty really cares about my son and his baseball progress. We will continue to seek out sessions with Ty as my son progresses through high school.

Joel Lang, MSI Lesson Client

We had a wonderful first session with Ty. He was very informative, patient and humorous with my son. My son really enjoyed his lesson, thought it was very helpful and is looking forward to next Monday.

Shannan Roberts, MSI Lesson Client

Our MSI experience has been amazing. My daughter is about to start her 3rd year of softball. Michelle has been incredible with her. She is very new to catching and her first 2 lessons have helped her gain some confidence. She is so excited for her next lesson! We will definitely continue with lessons and clinics.

Julie Bossler, MSI Lesson Client

Session was great. Todd Rizzo was excellent with my two boys.
The 2 player small group package is a good fit. I plan to roll them through batting, fielding, catching and then back to pitching.

Ray Lewis, MSI Lesson Client

I cannot say more about how wonderful Cory is with my son!! He has made such a positive impact on my son’s hitting and is always kind and respectful of him. I constantly recommend him to my many baseball mom friends!!!

Julie McHugh, MSI Lesson Client

My son Cole raved about his experience with Carlos. This is his first year in little league and he has been very intimidated with batting. We are hoping the lessons will give him more skill and confidence so he can enjoy his experience to the fullest. So far, things seem great.

Lori Captain, MSI Lesson Client

I am so happy with MapleZone especially with Todd Rizzo. He has worked with my son so much this past winter and Jackson is off to a great start of his high school season and is direct reflection of the work with Coach Rizzo. Thank you so much!

Ian Kelly, MSI Lesson Client

Nick did a great job instructing my son Patrick. He took the time to teach him the proper mechanics and build his confidence at the same time… I was very impressed with Nicks ability to get through to my son and get him to respond much better than I could.

Rick Godfrey, MSI Lesson Client