IMG_2742This past Saturday, Miami Marlins pitcher AJ Ramos paid a visit to the Up2Us Sports Coach Training Institute. The event, which ran from August 27 – 30, is for newly selected coaches from Up2Us Sports’ national service program, Coach Across America (CAA).  It is designed to prepare practitioners of all levels to intentionally link sport and life skills and to integrate trauma-sensitive strategies into their youth sport activities.

AJ’s visit came on day one of the training during the Creating Culture and Safe Spaces session, where good culture and bad culture are defined and strategies are practiced individually and then in groups. In addition to participating in the sit-down segment, AJ teamed up with Coach Jamiah – in her third year as an AmeriCorps-funded CAA coach at Breakthrough Miami – in a game of  full-body Rock, Paper, Scissors – which models our “opportunities to matter” cultural strategy. To learn more about our training, click here.

IMG_2809Hosted at Miami’s Gibson Park, the event brought together over 50 participants for four days of education in sports-based youth development and networking. Attendees included nearly 20 City of Miami Parks and Recreation staff, officials from local Up2Us Sports Member Organizations Breakthrough Miami, Miami Children’s Initiative and enFamilia, as well as newly selected CAA coaches from Memphis, Miami, New Orleans, New York and Washington, DC.

“The coaches were so excited when they learned that AJ was going to be joining our training. He’s an amazing pitcher but they got to see a side of him you don’t see on TV – he was laughing and dancing and he enthusiastically celebrated his full-body Rock, Paper, Scissors victory. We are so thrilled to have such an incredible advocate supporting the work we’re doing here in South Florida,” said Michelle Abbs, Up2Us Sports’ Miami Regional Director.

Photos provided by Laetitia Donaghy Photography.

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