For Bedford, 30 minutes separates parents and their student/athletes from a cutting edge sports facility that will certainly add mileage to busy schedules but put real distance between the baseball, softball, volleyball, basketball and lacrosse players who stay behind.
The House of Sports in Ardsley is a three story behemoth of sports instruction, academic engagement and adult recreation off exit 17 on the Saw Mill. While the main focus is youth sports of all levels, says Andy Borman Executive Director of Basketball, “We want this to be a one stop shop for the community.”
In other words, parents don’t have to run offto a separate gym as their children are upping their game. “We have yoga, Pilates, spin classes and weight training,” says Borman, and open adult volleyball and basketball follow youth hours.
On the other hand, the full fledged grill and cafeteria gives parents the option slow it down on Saturday afternoon with College Football and Nachos or stick to the program and eat healthy afterwards with their kids.
At the same time, “the House” is attuned to the dual commitment athletes must adhere to as students – providing an education room for studies. “The NCAA has upped its academic requirements,” says Borman, which means 43% of today’s NCAA athletes would be ineligible, he adds.
If setting a study room aside sounds more like lip service, parents will be reassured by the set up they encounter. “The House of Sports Youth Foundation is our separate nonprofit entity that will provide counseling and tutoring services,” says Borman.
Closing the books, basketball and volleyball players can hit the open floor with two regulation sized courts. “You can tell it’s the right size because the three point lines aren’t out the door,” he joked.
On the far end, basketball players can launch their jumpers in synchronization of 21st century science. “Each of the eight baskets in our shooting lab has a device developed by NASA
Upstairs, arcs are not necessarily among the equations the nearly full sized lacrosse field will try to solve. 80 yards by 35 with synthetically appropriate turf, the field can be partitioned five times to occupy the different levels of instruction.
But that’s not the thing the serious lacrosse player will notice first, according to Borman. The surrounding walls give players the opportunity to continually improve their ball handling skills with a sturdy bounce, he says.
Not to be left out, softball and baseball players will also get the chance to knock down some walls with batting cages and the same synthetic surface to hone fielding skills. But it’s not just about technique. “Our performance floor will improve speed, agility, flexibility and strength,” says Borman.
Of course, none of this matters without instruction that goes the distance. “We will feature a litany of NCAA champions and coaches who know what it takes to make it as both a student and an athlete,” says the back up point guard for the Duke University team that won the national title in 2001.
Who knew the opportunity for such success could be so close.