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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The Ugly Truth About Being Elite

July 3, 2018
The Ugly Truth About Being Elite   Regardless of whether it’s the MLB or the College World Series, I think every young player turns on the TV and wishes they were one of those guys (and/or so do their parents…but that’s a topic for a different day).   And can we really blame them? Cool stadiums. Sick uniforms. Brand new gear. Tons of fans. National TV. That’s the dream right?   And yes, for a lot of us…it IS literally the dream.   Here’s the problem though…the dream and the journey TO the dream are vastly different.   The journey isn’t made of Nike custom gear, an adoring fan base, and perfectly manicured fields. The journey is made of sweat. It’s made of sacrifice. It’s made of failure.   But most of you know that I think. It isn’t any new concept. You hear people talk about how hard it is all the time right?   So you know what kind of sacrifice it takes then right? So the question then becomes, why AREN’T you elite?    It’s because you choose Fortnite over sweat. It’s because you are practice what you’re already good at instead of working on your weaknesses. It’s because you need a coach to tell you exactly what to do and when to do it, instead of taking the initiative yourself.   We all know how to be elite. There’s no secret. We just aren’t willing to make the actual sacrifices, on a daily basis, to BE elite.   And that’s fine! It isn’t easy and it isn’t for everyone. That’s why there are a lot of good players out there, but very, very, very few elite players.   You all know the outline of how to be elite. Do it or don’t. The choice is up to you. Be obsessed.    Ken Spangenberg Director of Baseball Maplezone Sports Institute

The Trap of Immediacy

July 3, 2018
The Trap of Immediacy    If I had to choose one thing to warn every family of a youth player about…this may be it.   It does NOT matter how “good” you are right now. What matters is that you are continuing to get better by doing the RIGHT things day in and day out.   I commonly see players (especially at younger ages) who are successful because they are simply more physically mature than everyone else. They don’t hustle. They don’t practice hard. They don’t take the time to learn the game. But yet, they are still putting up good stat lines because of their superior athleticism.    And on the flip side, I see players that are doing all the right things, but aren’t having the same amount of success because they are not as physically gifted (yet).   I strongly believe this to be true-Every time you step on the field, your god given “talent” matters less and less. Players are maturing, working hard, and catching up to the “physically gifted” player every day.   Don’t fall into the trap of immediacy. Fight the urge to allow short term “success” or “failure” affect your love of the game and how you prepare for it on a daily basis. Think long term!   Don’t get caught up admiring your stat line if it’s impressive. And don’t beat yourself up if it isn’t where you want it to be. Good or bad, just keep your head down and continue to do things the right way. It will add up.    Focus on being the best 18-22 year old, not the best Little League player. Be obsessed.   Ken Spangenberg Director of Baseball Maplezone Sports Institute

Why Does Coach Care About This?

July 3, 2018
Why Does Coach Care About This? I’m mixing things up this weekend and including a picture! Shocker, I know. This is a tweet from a current Head DI Baseball Coach (who actually recruited one of my brothers-great dude!) from the past weekend. So next time your coach gives you crap about leaving a messy dugout, realize he is doing it because he cares about you and doesn’t want you to lose out on opportunities because of a seemingly small detail! Why would a college coach care about something like this? Because it speaks to your attention to detail! If you can’t do something as simple as cleaning the dugout, how can they trust you to show up to a 5am lift or to know a sign in a crucial situation during a game? What most players don’t realize is that as we get older, the talent gap gets smaller and smaller so tiny things like this, your grades, and the type of man you are matter more and more. When you add up all of the little things you’re either doing or NOT doing, it can make a substanncial difference…positively or negatively. It’s up to you. Take pride in doing the grunt work. It will add up. Be obsessed. Ken Spangenberg Director of Baseball Maplezone Sports Institute

I Can’t Hit

June 11, 2018
So we had our 10-12u tryouts this past week and during the tryouts, I took note of something during one of the tryouts..   A player took two rounds. The first round he absolutely crushed the ball. He came back to the dugout confident and happy.   The second round, he struggled a little bit. This time when he came back to the dugout, he told me he “stunk and couldn’t hit”.   I feel like I see this type of reaction a fair amount, especially at the younger ages.    So here is my PSA to all players, parents, and coaches regarding this topic…   Do not attach what JUST happened to your ability as a player.   A bad round doesn’t make you a bad hitter.   A rough outing doesn’t mean you need to give up pitching.   This is baseball. Bad things happen. We need to stay confident regardless of the most recent outcome. Elite players take bad rounds. They have bad games. They have bad weekends…HOWEVER…   The difference between an elite player and everyone else, is that they don’t let negative results affect their immediate attitude, their belief in themselves, how they prepare for the game, and their love of the game.   Shake it off. Stay relentlessly positive. Believe in yourself. 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