Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist & Up2Us Regional Director Angela Hucles

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The Up2Us’ service program, Coach Across America, challenges young adults to spend 1-2 years giving back to their community as coach-mentors to youth in underserved communities. They provide our coaches with intensive and innovative training methods that incorporate everything from creating a safe space to guard against bullying to trauma-sensitive coaching. The coaches are trained to use skills and tactics that help them establish meaningful relationships and connections with the kids they serve. They address how to prevent bullying by intervening when necessary, asking questions, and offering praise. The process turns them into great coaches who kids can look up to and learn from. This isn’t just about sports, it’s about developing successful kids who have the skill base, the connections, the confidence to make the right choices and have a bright and positive future.

With spring and summer right around the corner, families are looking for sports programs to get their kids moving. Parents who are new to placing their kids in spring sports might have some concerns about their kids fitting in and whether or not they will be bullied. Kids will oftentimes not ask for help so it is important to recognize the signs that your child is being bullied. Some of the warning signs include a change in habits like: they are more quiet than normal, unexplained injuries, lost or destroyed personal property like electronics, books or jewelry. Other signs include changes in behavior or sleep patterns, sudden loss of friends or having difficulty sleeping or eating.

Make sure your kids’ coaches have been formally trained in how to prevent bullying by providing a safe environment in which children can play, learn and grow! A list of Up2Us member organizations can be found on their website.

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