Among the many reasons why alumni and families stay connected with Edge School, one of the most tangible is training at the Duckett Performance Centre (DPC).
Opened in 2008, when the construction of the athletic complex was completed at Edge School, the DPC was grounded in a world-class approach to training. Today, Ross McCain, Manager of the DPC, and his team continue to strengthen the DPC’s reputation as a premier training centre for high performance athletes.
On any given day, you will see several professional hockey players, dancers, and other athletes – many of them Edge alumni – working out in the DPC. Next to them, you will often find athletes in a ‘young guns’ training program, youth working hard and learning what it takes to get to the next level in their sport. Then there is another group – alumni who have gone on to colleges and universities in Canada and the U.S. – back at Edge over the summer to train in a friendly space.
Emily Moore is a member of this latter group. She graduated from Edge in 2017 and moved to Vancouver to pursue her Bachelor of Science degree at UBC. A hockey player, Emily plays for the UBC Thunderbirds Women’s Hockey Team.
2017-18 was a year of adjustment for Emily. She suffered a significant ankle injury in May 2017 that impacted her training in preparation for her first year with the Thunderbirds. With her conditioning not at a level required for U Sport athletes, she had a challenging year that saw her in and out of the lineup. At the end of her season, her UBC coaches presented her with another challenge: return in the fall as one of the fittest women on the team.
Coming home to Calgary and training at the DPC has been an important part of her summer plan. “I am in the best shape of my life,” Emily explains. “As a trainer, Ross is very thoughtful and flexible. He considers how you feel, takes your opinion. He recognized that I was on a two-a-day workout plan and provided the knowledge and insight to complement my other daily workout.” In Emily’s case, Ross was able to integrate training with strength work that she was doing with Calgary Hitmen Strength and Conditioning Coach, Sean Hope-Ross.
This flexible, mentoring approach is one that Ross has honed over years of working with a variety of athletes since joining Edge in 2009. “The role of the strength and conditioning coach is to mentor,” he explains. “Every training cycle starts over at the start of a new day. The goal is always to be moving forward. With the older athletes who understand their bodies, you need to be able to adjust and not just follow a script.”
With this philosophy, Ross and his team have been successful in developing a safe space for athletes and creating a culture of high performance that meets the needs of athletes of different ages and skill levels. For athletes like Emily Moore, the environment they have created is a great fit. “It’s inspiring to be around different types of athletes – young hockey players, pros, a lot of former Edge grads who I enjoy seeing. And it is truly motivating seeing the pros work.”
Ross describes a fundamental “relationship with training” that helps drive athletes who excel. “Pro athletes and youth athletes are different,” he observes. “Every pro athlete has learned to love to work at some point. If you are not willing to work, the ability to move doesn’t matter.”
Emily is certainly putting in the work and sees it paying off. “I have been feeling such a huge improvement over the summer,” she explains. “I am excited to return to UBC and to be an impact player this season.”