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The Big Game

May 14, 2019
Whether it’s a conference championship, a rivalry game, or a college coach has come out to watch you…we’ve all played in big games!   (And will ALWAYS be playing in a “bigger” game than the one you’re currently worrying about!)   But here’s the “big game” mistake most players make. It’s NOT about making a Sports Center Top 10 play or going 4-4 with 7 RBIs…   It’s about WANTING the baseball, making the plays you’re supposed to make, and playing the game hard.    If you do those things consistently, especially in the big moments, you will enjoy success often.   When you think you need to make the amazing play. When you try to win the game on one swing. When you take for granted that the rest of your team is working for the same goal as you…that’s when the big game spins out of control.   Big games aren’t different than any other game you play. Your goals are the same…be present in the moment, be a great competitor, and be a selfless teammate.   When you do those three things…”big games” won’t feel so big because it ISN’T about just you and your performance…it becomes more about doing your job for your TEAM.   Gain confidence in your team. Rely on them and let them rely on you. This is a TEAM sport after all. Be obsessed.   Ken Spangenberg Director of Baseball Maplezone Sports Institute
Baseball Wellness

Your “A” Game

May 14, 2019
You know those days where your body feels great, your swing is locked and loaded, and your arm feels like a bazooka? That’s called having your “A” game.    You feel great physically and mentally. You’re ready for any pitcher and any challenge that comes your way! You’re going to succeed. Period.   But how often do we have our “A” game? It certainly depends on player, but no one steps on the field always feeling optimal.    Our back may feel a little tight. Our swing may feel a little off. Our arm might feel a little sore.   That sounds familiar too right? Depending on how “bad” you feel, this could be your “B”, “C”, “D”, or even your “F” game.   Let’s say we feel like we bring our “A” game to the field 50% of the time which I bet is pretty realistic for most. What happens the other 50% of the time where you don’t have your best game ready to go?   The answer to this question is what will make or break you as a player…it will define your career.   The players who reach their full potential are the best at playing with LESS than their “A” game.   Do you think the guys you see on TV feel great every day? They go months without an off day. They’re flying all over the country. And when they have a bad game, they get blasted by social media and the fan base.   Does that sound like an environment where an “A” game is going to show up consistently?   No. I don’t think so either.   It’s easy to COMPETE when you have your “A” game, but what will make your career is how you compete with your “B”-“F” game.   Make the choice to be a fierce competitor regardless of what game shows up to the field today. Be obsessed.   Ken Spangenberg Director of Baseball Maplezone Sports Institute
Baseball Wellness

View of the Field

May 2, 2019
As you’re walking up to the field, do you feel excited, ready to compete (which is much different than winning), and eager to learn?   Or do you feel nervous, the fear of being scolded, and ready to be lectured?   The feelings that a player attaches to the field have a massive effect on what type of success they will have throughout their career.   As coaches (and parents) we greatly influence how players feel about stepping on to the baseball field.   Let’s take pride in making it an atmosphere of growth, FUN, and learning, rather than the criticizing and disappointment.   Let’s teach them how to separate COMPETING from RESULTS. They should be excited to go out and compete against quality competition, rather than be nervous about losing or looking bad.   And let’s make it very evident that we love watching them play hard, regardless of their stat lines!    The field should be a place where players are eager to go! Be obsessed.   Ken Spangenberg Director of Baseball Maplezone Sports Institute
Baseball Wellness

Be the Best at . . .

April 22, 2019
Being bad! Yes you read that right…be the best at being bad. Everyone is locked in when they’re 3 for 4. Everyone is a great teammate when they’ve pitched 6 scoreless innings. Everyone is coachable when their team is already 3-0 on the weekend. But in a game of FAILURE, how often do we have games or weekends like this, compared to the games with mistakes or weekends with losses? If you haven’t experienced games or weekends when you and/or your team are failing, you will. At some point, no matter how talented you are, you are going to get knocked on our butt. Hard. But that part doesn’t matter…it happens to everyone. Literally everyone. What matters is..are you able to still remain positive, competitive, coachable, and a great teammate during these tough moments? That’s the real test. That’s what separates the players that reach their ceilings and the players that are left wondering “what if” 10 years after they hang up their cleats. Make the difficult CHOICE to do all of these things, even when it’s really HARD to make it…ESPECIALLY when it’s hard to make it. Be the best at being bad. You’ll end up being bad a lot less. Be obsessed. PS-This applies to coaches AND parents too! Are we the same positive, supportive person when things are not going the way we’d like them to?


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