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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Baseball Wellness

Success Can Soften

March 12, 2019
One of the most unfortunate patterns that I’ve seen with youth players (and certainly older playes as well) is how experiencing “success” can negatively affect their work ethic.   Whether it’s a player committing to a college, being named “all-conference”, or making the “top” team…players often take their foot off of the gas when they feel like they’ve “made it”.   Let me be the first to tell you…don’t.   Let’s use the player that has committed to a college as an example. 6.8% of high school players commit to play in college. Awesome accomplishment! Be proud! But realize that actually getting ON the field at the college level will be the biggest challenge of that player’s career thus far.   In college, that player will ONLY be competing against the top 6.8% of high school players. Oh yeah, not to mention that they will also be competing against the top 6.8% of players 1 to 3 years older than them who have either already experienced success at the college level or have not and are sick of sitting the bench! Keep working even after making the committment!    Don’t let success soften your work ethic. Enjoy your success, but just know that it also means that the next challenge you will undertake will be even more difficult and will take even more preparation.   Keep your foot on the gas. Embrace the next challenge. You GET to chase that next new goal. Be obsessed.   Ken Spangenberg Director of Baseball Maplezone Sports Institute
Baseball Wellness

Every Time You Touch

March 12, 2019
No I’m not about to quote a sappy, pop love song!   Players-how many times do you touch a baseball or swing a bat over the course of the year? Thousands upon thousands right?   Here’s my challenge to you…get better EACH touch and swing. Train with intent. Move with purpose.The truth is you can use all these reps to get better or get worse…one by one…did you get better or worse?   Now, I understand that the majority of these reps may seem “unimportant” …playing catch before practice, doing “simple” drills, swinging to get loose before on-field BP, etc…but when you add up all of these seemingly “unimportant” reps, they can equal massive improvements over time if done with intent and purpose.   Don’t place priority on what you put effort towards. Elite players always have elite work ethics…they don’t pick and choose what’s important and what isn’t because it’s ALL important. Be obsessed.   Ken Spangenberg Director of Baseball Maplezone Sports Institute
Baseball Wellness

Win The Game That Matters

March 12, 2019
I get a lot of weird looks when I say that winning isn’t the end all be all at the youth level…especially from people that know me because they know how competitive of a person I am.   So why would I say something so crazy!?   Because I don’t see “the game” that we need to win as the game that is about to be played on the field this weekend.   “The game” that we need to focus on winning is the that of long term development…let’s call it the long game. The long game that is what someone looks like when they’re 18 years old and older. It’s about developing a set of skills, competitiveness, and character that will all play at a high level.   By focusing on winning right now, we focus on immediate results and lose sight of our developmental process.   Instead of focusing on immediate results, challenge yourself to answer these three questions each time you leave the field…   Were you able to translate things you were working on in training to the field?    What adjustments do you need to make in your training this week?    And most importantly, did you have FUN?   If you can constistanetly check all three of these boxes, you will win the game that matters.    Focus on development. Focus on being an elite competitor. And, most importantly, enjoy doing it…regardless of the short term “results”. Play the long game. Be obsessed.   Ken Spangenberg Director of Baseball Maplezone Sports Institute
Baseball Wellness

What Actually Matters

March 12, 2019
So since you’re taking the time to read these weekly emails, I assume that you or someone you care about wants to play baseball in college.   Between being a college coach and running the MSI Baseball Program, I now have 12yrs of recruiting/recruiting assistance under my belt and have a unique perspective since I’ve now been involved on both sides of the recruiting process.   Here’s a list of things that I have never asked a college coach about a player and/or a coach has never asked me about a player…   What is his batting average? What is he ranked? What was his winning percentage as a 10U-16U player? What is his travel team ranked? Was he All-Conference? How many Instagram or Twitter followers does he have?   I can go on, but I hope you’re catching what I’m throwing by now. What “youth baseball” perceives as important and what is ACTUALLY important seem to be two very different things.   So if none of those things matter, what actually does?    Being a quality player when you’re older (prioritize long term development). Being a great student (yes you will almost certainly get more ACADEMIC money than baseball money to play in college). AND being a great person. Make it easy for your current coach to put his neck on the line for you.   No tricks. No shortcuts. Focus on being really good when you’re 17+ years old. Focus on having grades that open doors rather than shut them. And, finally, possess the type of character that makes people want to go to bat for you when it matters. 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