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The Vicinity Theory

August 19, 2019
So we were fortunate enough to play in the Met Classic this past week. It’s a really prestigious event, hosted by the NY Mets where they basically challenged the six teams in it to build the best team possible and compete.   Most of the players on the field are already committed to some big time colleges (or will be soon)…some will even be draft guys out of high school. So literally every player at the event was very talented.   So with all these loaded rosters, what separates the winners from the losers?   Well that’s where the vicinity theory comes into play (I just made this up).   There are an average of 290 pitches in a game. How many of those pitches do you have an affect on?   Most players only affect the game when they are close to the baseball…hitting, pitching, fielding, etc. and do very little for the game when they are not close to it which in a sport like baseball, is the majority of the game.   So let’s think about this… if I’m a shortstop, I may get to touch the ball 9-10 times a game on defense and get 3-4 ABs. Even if they’re long ABs, I’m only involved in 30-40 pitches during the game. That leaves 250ish that I’m not involved in. Does that sound like a recipe to positively affect your team?   No, I don’t think so either.   Then what does?   Impacting the game every pitch or as close to every pitch as possible. Constant defensive repositioning, base-running, sharing information you gathered from your previous AB with your team, etc. Now you’re impacting many more pitches than that original 30-40.    Now imagine that the other players you’re playing with are doing the same thing…a group of players trying their hardest to impact 290 pitches…That’s when winning takes place. That’s where championships are won and lost…away from the baseball.   Take pride in affecting the game when the ball is no where near you. Win the vicinity game. 290 pitches. Be obsessed.    Ken Spangenberg Director of Baseball Maplezone Sports Institute
Athletic Training Baseball Wellness

Addicted to Tomorrow

August 12, 2019
Hopefully, most of you know who Nick Saban is…Head Football Coach of Alabama University who are an absolute powerhouse football program to say the least.   Now love him or hate him, he has proven to win and win a lot. He has also proven to constistently provide us with great quotes. Here’s his most recent one…     How many of us have said “tomorrow” when talking about something that we are going to start? Everyone.   I’ll do XYZ tomorrow because I’m too busy today…two months pass and “tomorrow” still hasn’t happened.   It’s nothing to be ashamed of. We’ve all done it and beating ourselves up over the past is not productive or helpful.   What is helpful? Realizing that you’ve made this mistake and decide NOT make it today.    Pick something that you’ve been putting off and do it TODAY.    It might make today busier or more hectic, but it will pay off in the long term.   Tomorrow is a bad habit it. Kick it TODAY. Be obsessed.   Ken Spangenberg Director of Baseball Maplezone Sports Institute
Athletic Training Baseball Wellness

Your Career Won’t Be Like Wawa

August 6, 2019
Why do you go to Wawa so much? Because it’s convenient! It’s a one stop shop. Get some gas, a bite to eat, and your afternoon coffee. How can you beat that?   Unfortunately, reaching any goal that’s truly special, like playing college baseball (6.8% of HS baseball players GET to), will not be so convenient.   You can’t expect to train in comfort (doing only things you like and that you’re good at, when you want/feel like it), sleep in, drive 2 minutes to a gorgeous field, on a day with perfect weather, and play in front of 10 schools that you want to go to.   It doesn’t work that way. Not even close.   If you want to play in college and be in the top SEVEN PERCENT of high school players, here’s a more accurate picture of what your journey will look like…   Sacrificing things like sleeping in, hanging out with friends, video games, and your overall comfort to train your butt off during the week so you are prepared for the weekend.   Your weekends will now be full of early alarm clocks, and long drives where the reward is to play 7 innings in 90 heat and brutal humidity…in hopes of being recruited.   Doesn’t sound convenient right? That’s because it isn’t. The process of reaching a lofty goal rarely is fun, easy, or especially convenient. But that is what you’re going to have to do if you want a shot at entering that exclusive club of college baseball players.   Convenience applies to gas stations and fast food restrauants, not your baseball career. The journey won’t be easy…it will require plenty of sacrifices along the way. It is what separates the 7% from the 93%. Be obsessed.   Ken Spangenberg Director of Baseball Maplezone Sports Institute
Athletic Training Baseball Wellness

Does Hard Work Pay Off?

July 29, 2019
Hard work pays off. You’ve heard that before…nothing new there. And generally, it is something that I agree with.   So we’re all on the same page with that statement right? Then WHY haven’t you gotten that goal you’ve been working hard for?!?    Here’s why…   Although hard work DOES pay off…it just takes a longer than we would like. Goals are rarely accomplished after a few weeks of working hard. It is much more likely that it will take you years…and that’s the separator. It isn’t easy to sweat and sacrifice over something that is still years away.   But that’s why everyone isn’t a college baseball player or a big leaguer! Goals that are REALLY worth it will take you years upon years to accomplish and most people don’t have that type of discipline and passion.   Sacrifice NOW so that you’re in the position to accomplish your lofty goals down the road. It may look like you’re an overnight success, but we all know the truth. 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