What does this have to do with young athletes?
By: Mike McPartlin, Headmaster, Bridgedale Academy
"An orange is not an apple."
Hmm. Seems pretty obvious.
After all, an orange is an orange, and an apple is an apple.
So “what does this have to do with the development of young student-athletes?” you might ask.
It turns out plenty.
Plenty, that is, when the student-athlete keeps trying to convince himself that some things are other than what they actually are.
A thing is what it is.
One of the most common challenges I deal with as Headmaster at Bridgedale Academy, is getting young student-athletes to deal head-on with the realities they face each day.
The capacity for youngsters to evade and contrive, and at times even to deceive themselves, never ceases to amaze me.
Are you working hard?
I wish I had a nickel for every time a young hockey player believed he was working hard at some skill or drill, when it was obvious to even a casual observer that he wasn’t.
“Do you think you’re working hard?” I’ll ask.
“Yes, I do,” he’ll answer.
And when I beg to disagree, he’ll often dig in (ready to take his argument to the US Supreme Court if need be).
Reality check time.
And so at some point I’ll say,
“Look, I might be able to convince you and every other person in the world, including myself, that the orange I’m holding in my hands is actually an apple.
“But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s an orange.
“It is what it is.
“An untruth is not the truth, no matter how many people you or I can convince otherwise.
“And so while you might actually believe you’re working hard, and you might be able to convince some other people that you’re working hard, maybe even including me … that doesn’t change reality.
“And the reality right now is: you’re not working hard.”
Does this actually work?
Amazingly, the old “an orange is not an apple” talk does often work … and more often than you might think.
And when it does, I like to flatter myself that this was due to the brilliant irrefutability of my logic.
But more likely, I’ve just so bewildered the boys that they throw up their hands in exasperation and say:
“Okay, we’ll work harder.”
And then they do.
At Bridgedale we are committed to the development of our young student-athletes, helping them to develop their physical and mental skills so they can perform at their best when it matters most, no matter the arena of life that challenges them. If you would like to learn more about Bridgedale Academy, please click the button below so we can schedule a time to chat.
Mike McPartlin, Headmaster, Bridgedale Academy
And what do Bridgedale teachers say about Bridgedale?
"This is such a special place!! It is life changing for these boys as it centers around strong relationships that encourage strong academic growth. It’s a hockey school, but so much more than that.
"It’s a pleasure to come to work everyday. Thank you for creating such a positive, caring environment."
Kristi Florey, Bridgedale Math Teacher
Bridgedale Academy is an all-boys school for athletes, a prep school for serious youth golfers and hockey players, offering grades 5 through 8 each school year. In addition to our winning combination of sports and academics, we focus on leadership training. We use a classical academic curriculum and our graduates go on to attend some of the most prestigious high schools in the country, including Lake Forest Academy, Culver Military Academy, Shattuck St. Mary’s, Northwood School, Benet Academy, Fenwick Prep, St. Ignatius Prep, Marmion Academy, Latin School and Providence Catholic. We pride ourselves on being the top youth hockey prep school in the nation and look forward to the same success in golf as we begin admitting golf athletes during the 2019-20 school year. Our hockey successes are many: Eighteen (18) of our former or current students have already received their NCAA Division 1 college hockey commitments, with many more sure to follow soon. Seven (7) of our grads have competed for USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program. Two (2) now compete for the University of Notre Dame. One just signed his entry-level contract with the NHL New York Islanders. Several other Bridgedale grads are now playing junior hockey, including in the USHL, the OHL and the NAHL.