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If Hustle Was In GameChanger

October 14, 2019
Pretty sure the title gives this post away… One of the reasons we are SO focused with numbers (winning/losing, batting average, ERA, etc.) is because of the ease of use. I’m hitting X so I’m better than everything hitting less than X. I won 2 games today so I’m better than everyone who won less than 2 games. Clean and easy. However, it’s dead wrong. “Success” today doesn’t guarantee “success” tomorrow. Take batting average for instance…what’s better? Hitting 3 hard line drives and getting out 3 times because they were hit right at fielders OR 3 balls that jammed the hitter, were weakly hit, but happened to find a hole? It’s the line drives…sorry my GameChanger lovers. Ask any college coach or MLB scout which they’d rather see…10 of 10 will pick the player who hit the ball hard, but ran into bad luck. So if we’re not paying that much attention to the traditional numbers, what should we pay attention to? Effort, development, mental toughness, and ENJOYMENT. Focus on practicing/training really hard. Focus on getting a little better every day. focus on being a fierce competitor. And ENJOY doing it. Check those boxes on a daily basis and you’re going to have the opportunity to see just how good you can be. If GameChanger had stats for these things, baseball would be better off. Compete, learn, and have fun. Be obsessed. Ken Spangenberg Director of Baseball Maplezone Sports Institute
Baseball Wellness

Projectable vs. Gamer

October 7, 2019
Whether it’s picking teams or talking to families about the college recruiting, this situation commonly comes up…   There is a player (gamer) who is not as physically gifted, but is performing well vs a player (projectable) who is more physically gifted, but to this point, has not performed as well…what player do you choose?   It’s certainly a tough question and there isn’t one answer that is always correct. There are pros and cons to both the gamer and the projectable player.   I will say this though, especially when talking about college recruiting…   Imagine that you’re building a race team and you’re watching two cars race…one is a Prius and the other is a Corvette, but the Corvette has a bum tire. Who’s going to win the race? The Prius. But what if that Corvette gets its tire fixed? We all know who will win then…   And that’s how a lot of colleges look at players. Sure the gamer may be performing better right this second, but with some work the Corvette is a better pick long term.   Now, as the gamer, you can look at this one of two ways…   #1-This isn’t fair! I hit X amount higher than the other player or my ERA was Y lower than that other player and they’re the one that is getting college interest!    OR    #2-DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! Work your tail off to build up your own engine. Lift, train, and repeat. Just because you’re a Prius now, doesn’t mean you can’t make yourself into a Corvette.   And to the projectable player, just because you’re a Corvette, doesn’t mean you’re just going to magically win the race…you still have that bum tire. You need to work as well to fix it!   So the lesson here? Work. The cream will eventually rise to the top. It just may take longer than you’d like. Be the fastest car when it TRULY matters. Be obsessed.   Ken Spangenberg Director of Baseball Maplezone Sports Institute

You Can’t Wear Life

September 30, 2019
As baseball players, we are always told to be tough.   Wear it. Don’t rub it. OR rub some dirt on it are all common phrases that you’ll hear during a game.    It’s the nature of the sport. There are no dives or flops in baseball.   However, there are things that happen to us that will hurt much more than a 90mph fastball to the back.   All of us will be hit by life and that can feel infinity worse than any HBP.    Asking for help…needing to talk to someone…doesn’t make you soft, it makes you human.   If you aren’t feeling right, talk to someone…whether it’s a friend, teammate, family members, or coach…talk to someone.   Ken Spangenberg Director of Baseball Maplezone Sports Institute
Baseball Wellness

The Snow Ball

September 23, 2019
Have you ever watched a player that played with the utmost confidence? The way they carried themselves on offense or defense…or heck, even walking…you could just tell that they oozed confidence. It doesn’t matter the situation, the competition, or the stakes…they are THE guy and everybody watching knows it.   Do you wish that was you? Thought so! Well here’s how…it’s actually very simple…   Simple, yes. Easy, absolutely not. Want to know how this trait is EARNED? It’s earned through years upon years of hard work. That’s it. Sacrifice on a daily basis and knowing you’re prepared creates this type of confidence.   I’ll liken it to building a snow ball. It starts off small and unimpressive. Nobody really notices as you’re struggling to pack it big enough to even get it to roll. You’re putting in so much work and only have this pathetic little snow ball to show for it.    But what happens as you continue to roll it? It gets bigger and bigger, easier and easier to roll…now people finally start to notice. That tiny bit of snow is “all of a sudden” a massive, unstoppable snow ball.    Holy crap! How did he make one so big? Lucky him!   But we know the truth…it had nothing to do with luck. It took a lot of work, time, and sacrifice while no one was watching or giving you a second thought.   That’s how confidence works. It doesn’t happen overnight, although it may look that way to the onlookers. It’s earned…and earned slowly year after year.   So next time you see THAT player on the field, realize that the only thing that separates you from him is that he’s been pushing that building that snow ball longer than you have. Confidence is built, not given. Slow and steady…day by day. And you know what the the best part is? It’s all under your control. Build 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

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

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

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 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

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

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

Pat Shevlin was great. We’ll be back. Thanks!

Ian McDonald, MSI Lesson Client

Great lesson with Cory last night. My son responded to the couple flaws Cory picked up quickly. He hasn’t listened to me in 15yrs but listened to Cory in 30 min.
Thank you.

Stan Ciesielka, MSI Lesson Client

Chris, I wanted to compliment you, your staff and your location. This was my first visit to your facility and I was very impressed. I have played in dozens of venues on the east coast and our experience this weekend was one of my most enjoyable. The umpires, staff and facility were A+, and we as an organization can’t wait to come back in July! The competition was strong in the playoffs and we look forward to playing many tournaments in the future. I will be spreading the word here in CT about your facility for 12U and up! Thanks again,

Bill Granata, MSI Baseball Tournament Client