MyHuddle™ is a mission-driven startup that provides mental training to student-athletes and coaches. We believe that mental health is just as important as physical health and that every student-athlete should have access to mental training that optimize mental health, well-being, and overall performance.
Through our online platform, high school and college athletes gain access to 1:1 counseling via text/video chat and expert-led group workshops. To-date, we've worked with schools, teams, and individual athletes to better manage performance anxiety, overcome fear of failure, deal with injury, and more.
At MyHuddle™, we envision a world where every student-athlete can feel healthy, happy, and perform at their best, and we're on a mission to make that a reality.
Christina Hagner VandenBerg
CEO & Co-Founder
Christina is a former college athlete who is passionate about using her background in technology to improve the health and well-being of student-athletes. This passion is rooted in her own experience as a high school athlete and Division 1 soccer player at Harvard. From battling injuries and losing streaks, Christina went on to lead her team in goals, be named Harvard’s ‘Breakout Female Athlete of the Year,’ and help her team win back-to-back Ivy League titles. Realizing that investing in the mental side of her training and health was the difference maker in her performance, Christina became invested in making mental support and training accessible to all athletes. Prior to MyHuddle, Christina spent a decade working in tech and sports at Fortune 500 companies and fast-growing startups, from ZipRecruiter to TeamSnap to Under Armour Connected Fitness. She holds an MBA from Stanford where she served as a Graduate Student Mentor to Varsity Athletes and today serves on the Harvard Soccer Alumni Board and Leadership Council for Positive Coaching Alliance. When she's not working on MyHuddle, you'll likely find her trekking up a hiking trail, trying to catch a wave on a surfboard, or downward dogging on a yoga mat.
Curtis VandenBerg, MD
Curtis is an Orthopaedic Surgeon and the Surgical Director of Sports Medicine at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Growing up as a multi-sport athlete and captain of his high school football and baseball teams, the draw to help young athletes was magnetic as he progressed through medical training. After his residency in orthopaedic surgery, Curtis completed two years of advanced fellowship training in sports medicine and pediatric orthopaedics. During this time, he served as a team physician for the football and gymnastic teams at his alma mater, the University of Michigan, and treated a variety of athletes - from D1 superstars, to high school athletes, to weekend warriors. With all these patients, he began to see a common theme: the mental and emotional side of injury recovery was often just as difficult as physical recovery. Realizing that few resources were available, Curtis became inspired to do more to help athletes and the journey to MyHuddle began. In his practice today, Curtis serves pediatric and adult patients across Los Angeles and is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Surgery at Keck School of Medicine of USC. When he's not treating patients or working on MyHuddle, you'll likely find him somewhere on a road bike, mountain bike, or sipping on his favorite cup of coffee.
A Message from the Founders
Hello and welcome to MyHuddle™!
We’re Christina and Curt, co-founders of MyHuddle and husband and wife. For us, MyHuddle is a mission inspired by each of our personal journeys in sports. For Christina, it’s my experience as a Division 1 soccer player where I realized I overlooked the mental side of my health and performance for most of my career. For Curt, it’s my experience as an Orthopaedic Sports Surgeon where I wish I could do more to help my patients with the mental side of injury recovery. Together, we are working to make mental support for student-athletes both accessible and convenient. Here’s why:
When done right, sports have lasting positive impacts: Physically active young people develop stronger cognitive and social skills, and carry healthier lifestyle habits into adulthood (Aspen Institute).
But young athletes today are under high levels of stress: 70% of teens say anxiety is a ‘major problem’ among their peers; 1 in 3 NCAA athletes report being intractably overwhelmed (Pew Research, NCAA).
Traditional models for supporting athletes are insufficient: at an average cost of $200-$300 per hour, a sport psychology professional is out of reach for the majority of young athletes today.
But it doesn't have to be this way. With MyHuddle™, student-athletes get access to personalized support and guidance, right in the palm of their hand. If the past year has shown us anything, now more than ever mental health needs to be treated like physical health in sports. We are grateful to have you here with us and we look forward to helping your athlete feel healthier, happier, and perform at their best.
Christina Hagner VandenBerg
Former D1 Athlete at Harvard
Curtis VandenBerg, MD
Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Surgeon
The MyHuddle Coaches
A former two sport Division I athlete and two-time World Cup medalist in lacrosse, Katie takes a holistic approach working with student-athletes and teams to optimize health, wellbeing and performance. She attained a master’s in Mental Health Counseling from Boston College, along with certifications in nutrition and mindfulness, and believes that the different areas of health are not mutually exclusive, leading to a whole-human approach for helping athletes grow and thrive.. Katie believes that sports are a platform for developing life and leadership skills, and she is committed to guiding athletes along their journeys on and off of the playing field.
Kelley is a Mental Performance Coach, with a specialization in working with athletes competing or pursuing competition at the Olympic level. She approaches athletes as people first, working from a foundational framework that what we do comes out of who we are, and that athlete performance is tied to athlete well-being. She has her Master of Science in Sport and Performance Psychology, with a focus on multicultural counseling in sport.
Karelle is a professional 100-meter-hurdler and a 5X Team Canada member. Her journey has been far from linear. In 2008, she suffered a back injury that kept her off the track for 3 years. Despite an orthopedic surgeon telling her to "pick up a new hobby because she would probably never run again", she made a successful return to the track in 2012. She has a BSc with a specialization in Human Kinetics and a MA in Counseling Psychology. She is now currently working towards her license as a Mental Health Counselor and becoming Certified Mental Performance Consultant.
Tim is a former athlete who played as many different sports as he could growing up. His experiences in sport led him to degrees in athletic training and then sport psychology.
He works with athletes at the high school, college, professional, and Olympic level. Not only does Tim help athletes learn how to mentally perform their best, he also helps injured athletes recover mentally from injuries, surgery, and lengthy rehabilitations so that their mind can be just as ready as their body when they start to play their sport again. He holds a PhD in counseling psych with an emphasis in sport, an MS in sport psychology, and a BS in athletic training.
As a former elite athlete, playing Ice Hockey at both the college (NCAA DI) and professional levels, Lauren bring a combination of experience and expertise into her work. Her goal as a coach is to help athletes unlock the next levels of their performance by integrating top notch mental skills work and brain training to help athletes discover their passion for achieving their goals while learning how to live life with a positive mindset. Lauren holds a Masters of Education in Counseling with a focus in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.