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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Athletic Training Baseball Wellness

I NEED to Play With . . .

November 12, 2018
Another set of tryouts have officially come and gone here at MSI. Tryouts are my least favorite time of the year, hands down. It is always full of tough decisions, upset players/families, and a glaring reminder about how backwards some people’s priorities are in youth sports.   One of the most common questions I get is, “who is on the team?” or the comment, “I need to play with really good players”.    Now let’s dissect this for a minute…in order to be a really good player, you NEED to play with other really good players?    Hmmm…   So you’re telling me that you need other players to push you? To make you perform to your full potential?   That doesn’t sound like a promising, long-term career strategy.   What if your high school team is bad? Does that give you the excuse to be bad?    What about your college team? Or even better yet, what if you’re drafted and you’re put on one of the weaker teams in an organization’s Farm System?    You’re not going to perform because the players on your team aren’t good enough to help YOU perform?   Hmmm is this not adding up for anyone else?   Does Mike Trout not compete every day because he isn’t surrounded by a bunch of really good players? No.   Did Jose Altuve cash it in when he got signed by, at the time, one of the worst organizations in MLB history? No.   Then why should that affect you?   The answer is clear. It shouldn’t. The people around the truly great players have ZERO effect on how they themselves perform or train. They’re elite with bad players around them, they’re elite with no one around them, and they’re elite with great players around them.    Instead of NEEDING to play with “dudes”, focus on being one yourself. Elite are elite, regardless of the circumstances. Be obsessed.   Ken Spangenberg Director of Baseball Maplezone Sports Institute
Athletic Training Baseball Wellness

Never Stop This . . .

November 12, 2018
So my commute to work is pretty brutal. There’s no denying it. It typically takes me around an hour, but with traffic and construction, it can be even longer.   I make the most of it though by listening to a lot of different podcasts and audiobooks…”Automobile U” is a term I’ve heard that accurately describes this strategy.   I listen to a decent amount of “baseball stuff”, but I also really enjoy listening to people that are really good at what they do, whether it’s a successful CEO, entrepreneur, teacher, etc.    Why do I waste my time with non “baseball stuff” you ask? Because being successful is being successful…the traits and strategies used to run a successful business are the same traits and strategies necessary to make a successful baseball player, coach, or leader.   My most surprising take away? That the best of the best understand that they DON’T know it all! Despite being super successful already, they still are unsure about a lot of things. They are constantly looking for new knowledge and ways to better themselves and the people around them.   This is how we need to be as players and coaches (and parents). We don’t know it all. NO ONE knows it all. Be open minded. Be hungry to learn. Ask questions. Do your own research and draw your own conclusions. Surround yourself with those types of people and a lot of good will come from it.   Don’t let your need to be “right” get in the way of your development. Never stop learning. Be obsessed.   Ken Spangenberg Director of Baseball Maplezone Sports Institute
Athletic Training Baseball Wellness

You Forgot About This!

November 12, 2018
When talking about how to get recruited to play in college, the talk always centers around exit velocity, 60 times, Perfect Game rankings, etc…but there’s still one HUGE component that is being missed…your grades!   I recently came across these stats regarding NCAA schools and the percentage of schools you can get into with certain GPAs…   4.0 GPA= 94% of colleges 3.5 GPA= 72% of colleges 3.0 GPA= 51% of colleges 2.5 GPA= 21% of colleges 2.0 GPA= 8% of colleges   So next time you think baseball will open all the doors for you, please remember these stats.   Despite popular belief, college coaches can’t wave a magic wand and get you into their school if your grades stink. So any doors opened by baseball, can be quickly closed by your lack luster GPA.   Not to mention, that college is expensive! The cold hard truth is that there is more much scholarship money available for academics than for baseball.    DI schools only have (at most) 11.7 athletic scholarships which means that only 25 or so players on the roster (maximum) are getting even a dime of athletic money.    Do the math, that means that approximately 10 players, per team, aren’t getting ANY athletic money and that’s on a DI roster! So imagine watching the College World Series this past summer…at least 10 of those players, on each team, AREN’T on a baseball scholarship! And that’s DI…DII and DIII have even less opportunities for athletes to get athletic money.   Bottom line-your grades matter. There is NO reason why you don’t have a decent GPA in high school. None. Go to class, be prepared, do your HW, study, and ask for help when you need it!   A 2.5 is just plain lazy. There are a finite amount of colleges out there for you already…don’t cross more off of that list because you’re “too cool” to do your HW. Be obsessed.   Ken Spangenberg Director of Baseball Maplezone Sports Institute
Athletic Training Baseball Wellness

What Will You Be Left With?

November 12, 2018
I took a weekend off! I was in Austin, Texas for one of my best friend’s bachelor party’s (in fact I’m actually writing this on the plane ride home).   How did I meet him you ask? I played college baseball with him from 2004-2008. We were both freshman on the team and lived in the same dorm hallway.   Besides me, there were EIGHT of our former teammates that also made the journey! Some older, some younger…with all of us sharing the common bond of being on the same college baseball team.   Why should you care about my weekend in Austin?   Because this is yet another example of what baseball is truly about…the RELATIONSHIPS.    People won’t remember your GameChanger stats, your accolades, or your measurables…they will remember how you made them FEEL.   Think about it…   10+ years later (god I’m getting old), a bunch of us were willing to give up one of our precious weekends to fly half way across the country and spend a couple grand, to help celebrate a former teammate’s future marriage.   This. Isn’t. Just. About. BASEBALL.    0.001% of us will GET to make a living playing this game. The other 99.999% of us will be left with our relationships.   How are your relationships?   What type of MAN will your teammates say you are? Will they pick you up when you fall down? Will they fly across the country for you? Will they have your back?   Regardless, if you’re a future pro or not, this is not a journey you can complete alone. Be the type of MAN that your teammates will drop everything for. 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