Bridgedale Academy Blog

    Monday, August 26, 2019

    Top 7 Reasons for a School for Athletes like Bridgedale

    Developing the Entire Student-Athlete

    By Mike McPartlin, Headmaster, Bridgedale Academy


    Enhance your son's athletic and academic performance


    How valuable is a school for athletes that understands and deals straight up with the fact that boys need physical activity, on a daily basis, and that getting that physical activity improves their academics?

    What if that same school offers its student-athletes a classical education?

    What if that school actually encourages the boys to be competitive? Won't that yield benefits that go above and beyond just sports and academics?

    Boys learn better, boys excel, in such an environment. And the benefits can last a lifetime.

    So let’s get to it. What follows are my 7 top reasons for boys to attend a school for athletes like Bridgedale Academy.

    Leave a comment

    Wednesday, March 13, 2019

    Spring Hockey and Beyond

    Getting to the Next Level

    by Mike McPartlin, Headmaster, Bridgedale Academy


    How can a player get to the next level?

    Every year thousands of youth hockey players try out for their next season’s teams. Virtually all are trying to “get to the next level.” In Illinois the next level might be AAA, or it might be their club’s Central States or Gold level teams. In some cases it might simply be making that first travel team.

    Leave a comment

    Tuesday, February 26, 2019

    The 7 Keys of a True Hockey Mindset

    How can a youth hockey player "guarantee" his own success?

    by Mike McPartlin, Headmaster, Bridgedale Academy


    What kind of mindset does a player need to realize his full potential?

    The burden of doing what is necessary to an athlete's development falls squarely on the shoulders of the individual athlete.

    Parents indeed do play a crucial role when the athlete is younger. But ultimately it is up to the athlete to do what he must to turn his potential into reality.

    To do this the athlete must develop a certain mindset.

    It is a mindset that will allow the player to do those 7 key things that "must" be done, i.e. for the player to eventually realize his full potential.

    And ultimately, this mindset is dependent on what I'll call a "crucial understanding."

    First I'll address the 7 "keys" ... and then the crucial understanding. 

    Leave a comment

    Wednesday, November 14, 2018

    Why Goalies are a Special Breed

    Toughest Position in Team Sports

    by Mike McPartlin, Headmaster, Bridgedale Academy


    Nothing compares physically, mentally and emotionally

    I've never been a goalie.

    In fact, I don't think I've ever even put on the pads.

    Nonetheless, I believe that hockey goalie is the toughest position in all of team sports. So here's my very unscientific analysis of why it's so hard to be a goalie.

    Value to the team is only a part of it

    I've coached hockey for many years and understand the value that an elite goaltender brings to a team.

    Put simply: You can't win a championship without a championship-caliber goaltender.

    Read Insights & Fundamentals for Goalies Sept 2018 Edition

    But other sports have positions that will have a similar value to a team. No team wins in football without an exceptional quarterback. Championship baseball teams need world-class pitching.

    So it has to be more than just that.

    Leave a comment

    Wednesday, August 29, 2018

    Get 37 Weeks of Hockey Camp

    Every Year Parents Scramble to get their sons in Hockey Camps

    by Mike McPartlin, Headmaster, Bridgedale Academy


    Isn't there a better way?

    Every summer, hundreds of hockey camps are operating all over North America. And no matter what skills your hockey-playing child needs to work on, there are camps out there for you.

    There are camps for speed, camps for stick handling, camps for shooting, camps for checking, camps for “power” skating, camps for defensemen, etc. 

    Most of these camps are week-long camps, and with each camp comes the promise of positive results.

    So my question is: If positive results can come from attending a 1-week hockey camp, what kind of results could you expect from 37 weeks of hockey camp?


    Leave a comment

    Saturday, August 18, 2018

    Thinking inside the box

    Creativity might come from thinking outside the box, but fundamentals come from thinking inside it

    By Mike McPartlin, Headmaster, Bridgedale Academy


    How do you explain a generational player like Wayne Gretzky?

    The first time I saw Wayne Gretzky play hockey was at the old Chicago Stadium. He was 18 years old at the time.

    I remember thinking how his approach to playing the game was so "unusual."

    Unusual ... and unusually good. 

    Even then he was so unbelievably creative. It was as if he'd learned the game on another planet.

    He seemed to be the very definition of "thinking outside the box."

    Leave a comment

    Thursday, August 2, 2018

    An Open Letter to Young Hockey Players

    Your parents sacrifice so you can play hockey

    By Mike McPartlin, Headmaster, Bridgedale Academy


    To "All you young hockey players out there:"

    Dear hockey player:

    I wanted to give you a few things to think about:

    • Your parents are making sacrifices for you

    1) It takes a lot of effort and determination to do what your parents do. They work hard to be good at their jobs so they can feed you, buy you clothes and put a roof over your head. And you should always remember, and respect, that they work hard to earn their money. 

    2) Some of the money they earn (a lot of it in fact) they put toward your hockey. (Always remember this is money they could have used to pay for other things.)

    3) They also drive you all over the place so you can play hockey (evening practices, early mornings on weekends, travel for tournaments, etc.). This is their valuable time and energy, that they give to you. And it all adds up.

    But here’s the thing: your parents love you and want the best for you (including at hockey), and so they willingly make these sacrifices and are (almost always) glad to do these things for you.

    • Your parents want you to get a good education

    1) As much as you (and your parents) might love your hockey, they know that your academics must come first.

    Leave a comment

    Tuesday, June 12, 2018

    The Value of the Bridgedale Experience

    What makes Bridgedale unique to parents?

    By Mike McPartlin, Headmaster, Bridgedale Academy


    Absolute confidence that Bridgedale is delivering on its promises.

    Recently, a number of Bridgedale Academy parents and teachers got together with a marketing professional to conduct what is called a Value Proposition exercise. We talked about what Bridgedale is, and what it could be. 

    Sixteen (16) Bridgedale Academy parents contributed their time and ideas to the exercise, as did most of Bridgedale's teaching staff.

    The purpose of the exercise was to determine not only what made Bridgedale unique, but also what we could possibly do to make the Bridgedale Experience even better.

    Amy Holsinger of Project Enroll, who conducted the exercise, concluded there was “a general sense of satisfaction and happiness expressed by” the Bridgedale parents, noting there was an “absolute confidence that the school is delivering on a number of promises.” 

    Among these promises delivered were “a solid Classical education, exceptional teachers, attentive staff members, the knowledge that their sons are happy and highly challenged, and a high-quality hockey experience.”

    Amy said that what “resonated” for her was that Bridgedale is not just a “hockey school” and that “leadership, tenacity, ownership, accountability and a collaborative spirit are just a few of the many benefits young men will receive from a Bridgedale Academy education.”

    Leave a comment

    Monday, June 11, 2018

    Bridgedale Parent Testimonial June 11th 2018

    Awesome job Bridgedale!

    By Joanne Smith, Bridgedale Academy Mom


    He is so happy and thriving thanks to your guidance, help and grooming.

    I have been thinking about Bridgedale and all of our friends there that helped Ryan achieve a goal of his. I wanted to send you a very big THANK YOU!

    Ryan loves Culver. He is in exactly the right place.

    He is so happy and thriving thanks to your guidance, help and grooming.

    It's so nice that he still gets to see (Bridgedale English teacher) Mrs. Kuhl (also a Culver mom) occasionally. He loves to see a friendly “Mom” face when away!  Thank you for being so good to him.

    I thought you might enjoy a picture of our guy celebrating and honoring Culver's 2018 Graduates!! 

    Ryan (on the left in this photo) has his military game-face on and so he doesn’t have a smile.

    But I can assure you he has so much pride and happiness being the stoic Culver cadet.

    (And Mrs. Kuhl, congratulations to you, your husband and of course your 2018 Culver graduate son!)


    Here he is on his horse!!  

    Thank you again for everything you do!

    This is a heartfelt thank you.  The confidence and happiness Ryan has had at Culver and while at Bridgedale have transformed him.

    I will never forget what you and the teachers have done for him. You are a part of who he is today!


    Leave a comment

    Thursday, June 7, 2018

    Bridgedale Parent Testimonial June 7th 2018

    The best decision we have ever made for him

    By Val Rivelli, Businesswoman, Bridgedale Academy Mom


    I can't say enough about the education he received.

    Deciding to have Dominick attend Bridgedale was the best decision we have ever made for him.
    Thank you for all you have done for Dom. I can’t say enough about the education he received.
    We are sad to be leaving, but you all have greatly prepared Dom for whatever comes next. 
    Thank you again,
    Val Rivelli
    Val Rivelli appears by permission. She works in the real estate business.  
    Val's son Dominick is a highly-ranked 03 AAA forward who recently graduated from Bridgedale Academy. Dominick has competed for the Chicago Mission Hockey Club for the past fo
    ur seasons. 

    Leave a comment

    All posts