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 my mental game was the difference maker that I wish I had worked on sooner. 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 coaching 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 and depression 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: sports coaches don’t have time to give one-on-one support and most families cannot access a sports psychologist due to its high cost and the time required.
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. As COVID-19 continues to disrupt youth sports, now more than ever we feel called to our mission. We are grateful to have you here with us and we look forward to helping your athlete persevere through these challenging times and come back stronger.
Christina Hagner VandenBerg
Former D1 Athlete at Harvard
Curtis VandenBerg, MD
Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Surgeon
We are a team of athletes, coaches, and digital health innovators who believe that mental health should be treated just like physical health. We know that student-athletes today face unique pressures and demands, but too often the non-physical aspects of an athlete’s health, like mindset and mental wellbeing, are overlooked due to stigma and barriers to access.
That’s why we created MyHuddle™, the first tech-enable sport psychology service made for student-athletes. Unlike current solutions that require long wait times, in-person appointments, and high costs, MyHuddle™ offers a solution for student-athletes in the palm of their hand. On our platform, student-athletes get on-demand access to a qualified MyHuddle™ coach to talk via text and video chat. All of our coaches understand what it’s like to be a student-athlete and provide coaching to improve both mental wellbeing and mental performance.
At MyHuddle™, we envision a world where every student-athlete has access to mental support to feel 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 and Division 1 soccer player at Harvard. Despite being a top recruit out of high school, Christina struggled in her first two seasons. Then, the summer before her junior season, she trained with a coach who worked with her on self-confidence. She came back that year to lead her team in goals, be named Harvard’s ‘Breakout Female Athlete of the Year,’ and help her team win the Ivy League title. Realizing that she overlooked the mental side of her performance for too long, Christina became invested in making this type of coaching accessible to future athletes. Prior to MyHuddle, Christina spent a decade working in tech and sports at Fortune 500 companies and fast-growing startups. She holds an MBA from Stanford where she served as a Graduate Student Mentor to Stanford Varsity athletes and today serves on the Harvard Soccer Board and Leadership Council for Positive Coaching Alliance.
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 the physical side. 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.