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Baseball Wellness

You Can’t Bottle It

September 16, 2019
We’ve all heard, read, or witnessed, first hand, how failure can ruin a career. That’s a pretty common topic in the baseball circle right? But you know what else can ruin a career? Success.   Yes, success.   We’ve all experienced success…whether it be having a big weekend at the plate, making “the” team, or committing to a legit college. It comes in all shapes and sizes. However, there is a problem that comes with success…we can fall into the trap of thinking that success is permanent and the truth is, that it is anything but true.   It’s not particularly hard to have some type of successful. What’s really hard is to continue to sustain success, day in and day out, as we continue to advance in our career.   Every goal we accomplish or every time we move up a level, the slate is clean. The game doesn’t care who you are or what you’ve done and neither do the people you’re competing against…for the same goals.   Don’t let success soften you. Remember why you were successful (work ethic, mindset, process, etc.) and realize what you’ve done in the past is now the bare minimum. As you progress in this game, EVERYONE you’re competing against is doing that. What makes you stand out?   You can’t bottle up success and keep it. It is earned one day at a time, one game at a time. And it only gets harder to achieve. Earn success today, don’t just assume it will happen because of the past. Be obsessed.   Ken Spangenberg Director of Baseball Maplezone Sports Institute
Baseball Wellness

The Panic Button

September 9, 2019
Don’t hit it! Far too often I’ll see players, coaches, teams, parents, etc. panic after experiencing a little failure.   Whether it’s a bad AB, a tough weekend, or a lousy practice all that really matters is whether you learn from the experience and put a plan in place to improve.   Unfortunately, instead of a productive response and plan of action, I’ve seen these to be common reactions… Pointing fingers Allowing negatively in to the team (we stink, he stinks, etc) Making huge sweeping changes (completely changing your stance) Quitting Making excuses (my arm hurt, I’m rusty, etc) There are certainly others, but these are the most common ones that I see/hear.   If baseball was easy, everybody would be hitting .800…but that’s not the reality of the game.   You were crazy enough to pick a sport where the absolute best in the game fail more often than they succeed. And if that’s true for the world’s most elite players, you better believe it’s true for you too.   So don’t over reach and hit that panic button so quickly. It’s easy to be negative and panic. It’s hard to reflect, plan, and execute.    If you’re able to avoid hitting that big red button after experiencing a struggle and respond with an action plan, you will have long term success in this game. If you can’t, you won’t. It’s really that simple.   Baseball is the most frustrating game on the planet…if you allow it to be. Let’s put that panic button away and focus on improving day by day. Be obsessed.   Ken Spangenberg Director of Baseball Maplezone Sports Institute

Bring The Juice (Not Apple or Grape)

September 3, 2019
Why the heck are we talking about types of juice?   Don’t worry, we aren’t!   Juice is a term that has become popular in the baseball community…specifically the college level.   A player with “juice” is someone that is locked in and really brings the energy and focus every day.   For example-That player really brings the juice.    You can play catch…or play catch with juice. You can take ground balls…or take ground balls with juice. You can show up to practice…or show up to practice with juice.   Why is juice a crucial asset to possess as a player?   Well, it will help both your individual career and will force players around you to step up their game too. Juice is contagious. Juice is a separator. Juice is required if you want to reach your potential.   That extra level of energy/focus that, over time, will create a HUGE difference between you and a juiceless player. Every single rep you take is with optimal purpose. You will squeeze every ounce of potential you have when you practicee/train with juice…not to mention that it will push everyone around you to bring the juice as well.   I heard this phrase over the summer from a current college coach and former DI College World Series champion (because guys with juice WIN)…”if you are juiceless, you are useless”. Don’t be useless. Bring the juice. Be obsessed.   Ken Spangenberg Director of Baseball Maplezone Sports Institute

This One is Personal

August 26, 2019
Most of you have heard me talk about my younger brother, Cory, before. For those of you that haven’t, Cory was in the Bigs for four plus years with the San Diego Padres prior to this season.   This offseason, he and the Padres decided to part ways so for the first time in his career, he became a free agent. Exciting, but also a little scary. We didn’t know where he would go, how long it would take, etc.   Thankfully, he signed with the Brewers relatively fast. We were all excited because it looked like he would be on the big league roster on a really competitive team who had a spot at being in the playoffs which is something Cor never experienced with his previous team.   Then things went wrong. Really wrong. I won’t bore you with all the details, but if you want to know just how wrong, check out this article…   Cory’s Journey This Year   Basically, the Brewers signed someone else (Moustaksas), put Cory in the minors, where he really struggled (hitting below .200 for a bit), he was taken off the 40-man roster for the first time in years, and passed waivers (which means no other team wanted him).    Probably an all-time low for him as a professional. But instead of letting all that affect his game, he did the opposite…he kept working, fixed his swing, and went on an absolute tear hitting over .350 from the middle of May until now.   Saturday, Cory got called up to the Brewers. Sunday, Cory recorded his first hit…a double.   The point of this isn’t to brag about my brother, although I am extremely proud of him, it is to show you that success isn’t linear.   It’s not one success, after another success, after another. It’s not a straight, gradual line forward in a positive direction.   It’s setbacks, it’s failures, and it’s ups and downs. The truly successful people understand that and rather than removing themselves from situations where they are exposed to failure, they embrace it because they understand that the journey to be anything worth while is going to hurt at times.   Your path will not be paved, nor will it be easy…but that’s because you’re chasing something special. Rather than avoid the path or take a seat on the bench, keep moving. You’ll never know where it will actually end unless you deal with the twists, turns, and detours along the way. Be obsessed.  


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