First Experience with Varsity Hockey
- October 10, 2015
- Posted by: Newbridge Academy
- Category: Uncategorized
- Has Newbridge Academy provided a program that has value?
- Does the competition and our programming have the development value for our players?
- Is it a league that Newbridge Academy players can gain exposure from?
The experience from a coaches viewpoint is simple and it answers all of the questions mentioned above with an astounding YES! After being in a bus for roughly 23 hours, study halls onboard, sleeping, team-building and more, our players went to play and compete they did, no question!
At Newbridge Academy we are very proud of the teams that we have assembled. We are by far the youngest program in both loops of the Prep School Hockey Federation and it was clear when stepping on the ice for the first time. The competitive nature of teams in both U16 and U18 levels in the first leg of league play was very high and very physical. So what did we learn about the league that we are in? Simple, we can skate with them and we have the skill level to play, now we have to get stronger physically and read the game at a quicker pace. This will happen each game that we play; however, our gains will be made in on and off-ice sessions between the league tournaments. The single biggest difference that we saw as a staff was that time and space was at a premium, we just have take that information and process quickly to get better.
The major victory for our staff that came out of the trip to Buffalo was simple when posed with the question of: How do we bring them together quickly and help players believe in themselves when the odds are stacked against them?
The facts are that we have brought together a great group of young men that have looked at the situation and decided that they would help each other. With a group of players that have varying levels of ability and experience, we found that players drew on each other to play with a strong sense of pride in themselves. They have come to understand already that they represent an entire school and carry the Newbridge Academy logo on their clothing with pride.
As the tournament came to a close it was obvious that we all had a good feeling and the tournament itself was a major victory for our players and the school. Some would say that the program won only one game collectively, but in effect the mere fact we are now off the ground and running is the true victory and it will only get better from this point!
As we left the hotel the topper for the program and the school was the recognition that the hotel gave our players. Jimmy – Front Manager, was very complimentary about how our boys behaved at the their facility. We do have a very special way about how we leave a hotel, but for now we will let the legend grow on that front. To say the least, we set a standard for the program and any hockey team that will be hard to match. We are very proud for our boys that they represented the school and themselves so well.
Our players also did their part when it came to their studies and the seriousness on which they participated in their numerous study halls. Back home their teachers were counting on the varsity program to truly take hold of the necessity of education as part of our player’s responsibilities of being in this program and by all accounts, they passed.
Our next competition will see Newbridge Academy U16 and U18 Varsity Team in Saint John, NB at the PSHF Maritime Showcase – October 16 to 18, 2015 at Harbour Station.