Ductu per Agone

Athletics at BA

Why is Bridgedale so Valuable from an Athletic Perspective?

The Clock is Ticking

The years from 9-14 are extremely important ones in your son’s development as an athlete and as a hockey player. This is especially true with respect to the development of his underlying athleticism, as sports science confirms that the window of opportunity* to develop athleticism begins to close once puberty has taken hold.

And so each pre-puberty year that goes by now (i.e. in which he doesn’t receive the type of athletic training we can offer him at Bridgedale) is a critical lost opportunity.

Because no one gets to “repeat” a developmental year once gone.** Either the young athlete has maximized the development of his athleticism during a given year, or he hasn’t.

For boys, this “window of opportunity” begins to close at around 15-17 years of age. After that, it’s pretty much only a matter of developing physical strength and/or “honing” an existing skills set (and of course gaining experience through competitions for those lucky enough to keep moving up the pyramid). But laying that foundation of general overall athleticism, upon which hockey’s skills sets are built, must come earlier.

**This means, for example, that for a 13-year old, the crucial-to-their-development ages of 11 and 12 have already gone by, never to be recaptured.

Bridgedale Trains for Hockey AND Athleticism

Bridgedale’s athletic training sessions comprise 2 hours of each school day, M-Th. Our student-athletes train not only for their physical skills set but also for a better conceptual understanding of how to play the game (i.e. course management in golf, game sense in hockey). And all our athletes train for the ABC’s of agility, balance and coordination, as well as for strength and general athleticism.

Boys Need an Outlet for Their Abundant Energy

Daily athletic training is extremely valuable and healthy for young boys. In our opinion, ALL schools should be offering as much athletic training as Bridgedale Academy does. Boys are boys and have tons of “little boy energy” that absolutely NEEDS an outlet.

Tremendous Health Benefits of Being so Active

All else being equal, Bridgedale’s student-athletes are more energized, more alert, stronger, more focused, and have greater stamina*** (and therefore less inclined to be fatigued) than other boys their age. Despite (or perhaps because of) the almost military-like regimen that Bridgedale student-athletes keep in their daily lives, we virtually never have kids who are yawning or can’t keep their eyes open in class.
This point about stamina is also true in competitions. With our hockey-athletes, we have been amazed by the excellent “decision-making” that the Bridgedale boys (both AAA and AA) have demonstrated at the ends of shifts. As a rule, the very first thing that goes when an athlete becomes fatigued is his ability to think clearly. And this tends to lead to poor decisions and critical turnovers, especially late in shifts and/or late in games. This is true even at the NHL level. Yet in all the games we’ve watched, we have yet to see a Bridgedale boy show mental fatigue (or physical fatigue for that matter), irrespective of whether it’s late in a shift or late in a game.