Problem Solved

    Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 at 4:44 PM

    Posted by Mike McPartlin on Jan 17, 2018 4:44:00 PM

    Bridgedale to the Rescue

    by Mike McPartlin, Headmaster, Bridgedale Academy


    Last year about this time I received a phone call from a hockey couple looking for a solution. This couple, let’s call them John and Mary, said they'd found themselves between a rock and a hard place. 

    Bridgedale Academy Hockey in Perspective

    The good news was that their son, we’ll call him Junior, was showing promise as a youth hockey player at a local organization.

    But there was a problem: hockey was becoming almost an obsession. 

    He had no interest in any other activities, and he was becoming increasingly disinterested and negative about school.

    There was his phone … and there was hockey.

    John and Mary knew Junior was intelligent but his grades were only “so-so” because, in their words, "he wasn’t engaging at school.”

    Hockey as the carrot and the stick?

    Using hockey as a carrot and stickThey had tried using hockey as a “carrot and stick” to get Junior to pay more attention to his school work, but that was becoming counterproductive.

    Worse, they were beginning to stress about it.

    They knew about Bridgedale Academy but assumed that would just be "giving him more hockey," something they thought might simply gloss over the problem, or perhaps even make it worse.

    Eventually, however, they spoke to some Bridgedale parents. 

    And soon thereafter they gave me a call.


    Key questions answered

    Bridgedale Academy Physical Literacy of Youth Athletes

    We talked for 35 minutes, including about our classical academic curriculum and about how we nurture our students academically and athletically.

    Among other things, John and Mary specifically wanted to know how our boys cope with getting up so much earlier in the morning, and being so much more physically active, than in their pre-Bridgedale lives.

    They had two main questions:

    • “How much hockey burnout do you see?” and
    • “How do the boys do academically?”

    They presumed that we'd seen at least some hockey burnout and that we didn't really place much of an emphasis on academics.

    And so they were surprised by my answers.

    I told them:

    • our boys adapt quickly to Bridgedale’s more rigorous schedule;
    • we look for signs of “fatigue” and are quick to recognize and adjust for it;
    • we’ve never seen any burnout. 

    And I told them:

    • our academics are very challenging; yet
    • all our boys, without exception, engage academically at Bridgedale; and
    • this includes boys who "hated" their prior schools.


    Come and see for yourself

    Bridgedale Academy Academic ClassI invited John and Mary to come visit Bridgedale on a school day and sit in on some of our academic classes, which they did.

    They liked what they saw and so they signed up Junior for a Shadow Day at Bridgedale, which he of course loved.

    And then they enrolled him at Bridgedale Academy for the school year.


    Problem solved

    John recently told me that Bridgedale has had an "unbelievably positive" impact on Junior. 

    “He studies now and competes to get good grades. Each school day he’s downstairs ready for breakfast by 6:00am. And it's amazing how much he's developed as a hockey player." 

    Added Mary, “It’s by far the best school decision we've ever made.” 

    To learn more about Bridgedale, please click the button below to schedule a time to chat with Bridgedale's Headmaster.


    Talk to Headmaster

    You might also enjoy reading another of our blog posts at: "Top 7 Reasons for a Sports Academy Like Bridgedale Academy"
    Bridgedale Academy is an all-boys school for athletes, a prep school for serious youth hockey players. We will offer grades 6 through 8 in the 2018-19 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 midwest, including Lake Forest Academy, Culver Military Academy, Shattuck St. Mary’s, Northwood School, Benet Academy, Fenwick Prep, St. Ignatius Prep, Latin School and Providence Catholic. We pride ourselves on being the top youth hockey prep school in the nation. Nine (9) of our former or current students have already received their NCAA Division 1 college hockey commitments. Three (3) of our former students now compete for USA Hockey’s U17 National Team Development Program.


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