play / 2021

Healing Power of Coaches

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by Up2Us Sports

Up2Us Sports’ Healing Power of Coaches program is a citywide effort to ramp up the support and training of trauma-informed coaches who will inspire the health and wellbeing of Los Angeles youth through access to PLAY post-pandemic. Our two-pronged approach will leverage LA2050 support to increase the number of coaches working with youth in LA’s most underserved communities and provide training citywide to 1,000 sports coaches in positive youth development programs who use play to impact their physical, social-emotional and academic health.


In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • City of Los Angeles

What is the problem that you are seeking to address?

Up2Us Sports’ Healing Power of Coaches program is a citywide effort to ramp up the support and training of trauma-informed coaches who will inspire the health and wellbeing of Los Angeles youth through access to PLAY post-pandemic. Our two-pronged approach will involve leveraging LA2050 support to increase the number of coaches working with youth in LA’s most underserved communities and provide training citywide to all youth sports coaches who want to use play to impact the physical, social-emotional and academic health of young people.

Describe the project, program, or initiative that this grant will support to address the problem identified.

Up2Us Sports plans to address this immense need for healing among LA youth by offering our nationally recognized “trauma-informed” coach training to local schools, parks and nonprofits. We will leverage funding from LA2050 to bring on a dedicated Training Manager and infuse our Coach Training Curriculum with additional training content that addresses the specific challenges that youth and their coaches are facing in the post-pandemic environment (i.e. mental health, racial equity, and gender equity issues). We will also identify communities that are lacking coaches and leverage our federal AmeriCorps grant to recruit coaches and level the playing field for opportunities for all youth to play - regardless of their socio-economic status. Our training will help coaches to intentionally use the combination of physical activity, positive peer-support, adult mentoring and life skills development in sports to directly address post-traumatic stress resulting from isolation. This approach will increase the effectiveness of our program on youth and youth impacts by enhancing youth’s SEL skills and overall experience in SBYD programs.

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative (expanding and continuing ongoing, successful work)

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

1,040
Direct impact
26,000
Indirect impact

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

Since 2013, Up2Us Sports has been supporting the development of young adults (primarily from low-income communities) to become coach-mentors in LA’s most underserved neighborhoods. To date, we have leveraged support from federal and state AmeriCorps (i.e. California Volunteers) and DOJ funding to recruit over 375 coaches who received 32 hours of SBYD training and have served 38,750 youth at more than 80 programs across LA. Our signature training has received city-wide attention from the Mayor’s Office, the parks department, schools, and nonprofits. In 2015, Up2Us Sports hired its first team of LA-based trainers who have delivered more than 40 trainings to 5,200 coaches. Leveraging our past experience and track record, we received support from the LA84 Foundation to host a 6-week citywide training series for LA-based coaches and SBYD practitioners. Up2Us Sports has also undergone two extensive evaluations that measured its effectiveness in supporting youth development outcomes.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

Up2Us Sports will leverage its existing monitoring and evaluation plan to evaluate process and outcome indicators for our program. We will track the number of coaches completing each training through training rosters (or its equivalent). We will also conduct site visits to determine whether youth have positive experiences with Up2Us Sports coaches trained in SBYD practices and how it translates into a more meaningful impact on the development of their physical and mental wellness as well as SEL skills. A mixed-methods approach will be used to collect quantitative and qualitative data (through pre- and post-surveys) from coaches and youth to assess program impact on coach reaction, learning, and application as well as on youth results, following the Kirkpatrick Model of Learning. • Coach Outcomes -Increased knowledge and skills and their application in SBYD and trauma-informed coaching • Youth Outcomes: -Positive engagement and experience with Up2Us Sports trained coaches

Which of the play metrics will you impact?​

  • Youth sports participation
  • Prevalence of trauma and adverse childhood experiences

Indicate any additional LA2050 goals your project will impact.

  • LA is the best place to CONNECT