Adverse Childhood Experiences or ACE's are traumatic events that occur in a child's developmental years that can have a negative, lasting effects on the health and well-being of that person well into their adult years.

Examples of Traumatic Events are:

  • Emotional, Physical or Sexual Abuse

  • Emotional or Physical Neglect

  • Witness to Domestic Violence or Drug use in the home

  • Experiencing Hunger

  • A Parent with Mental Illness

  • Parental separation due to Incarceration, Divorce or Death

  • Witness or Victim of Violence

  • Bullying

  • Constant Uncertainty

  • Death of a Sibling

" Adverse Childhood Experiences are the single greatest unaddressed public health threat facing our nation today "

Dr. Robert Block, the former President of the American Academy of Pediatrics

Experiencing events such as these for a prolonged period of time creates a TOXIC STRESS environment causing kids to constantly live in a fight or flight mode. Living in constant fear redlines the adrenaline response causing anxiety and raises cortisol levels in the body. Living with anxiety is a difficult task at any point in life, when this environment is a constant during developmental years (birth - teen) the body creates developmental hangups.

Results of growing up in a Toxic Environment:

  • Trouble focusing on tasks (usually diagnosed as ADD/ADHD)

  • Anger towards class mates

  • Learning Difficulties

  • Depression

  • Anger towards self

  • Over eating

  • Anger towards adults

  • Physical self-harm

  • Lack of Empathy

  • Explainable Behavior

Studies have linked ACE's with an increase in health related issues later in life such as:

  • Heavy drug use

  • Depression

  • Suicide attempts

  • Obesity

  • Heart Disease

  • Diabetes


Their past does not have to dictate their future. A child can recover from past experiences by building resiliency. We have designed our program around this concept and every coach we work with understands the principles outlined below.

Resiliency Principles:




5 minutes of daily, focused, deep belly breathing has been shown to increase grey matter in the brain repairing damage that traumatic stress causes to the Amygdala (emotions & Memory), Hippocampus (Learning & Memory), and the Prefrontal Cortex (Emotional Regulation)

 Positive Relationships


Creating a Safe, Stable & Nurturing Relationship sets the stage for healthy future relationships by rebuilding the idea of what one looks like. A mentor to give direction, friends to laugh with and a positive social environment provide an excellent model.

Feelings of



Conversation is the connection. Remembering small details can go a long way in showing that you are invested in a person. A connection builds trust and allows a person to relax releasing them from the fight or flight state.




Exercise produces endorphins which counter act the stress hormone Cortisol. Reducing anxiety is a key component in building resiliency. Distress/anxiety limits the capacity in working memory to process learning. Reducing anxiety also improves emotional regulation

Sport as an all encompassing Mechanism for Healing

This Ecological Sport Concept Model (published on "A Systematic review of the psychological and social benefits of participation in sport for children and adolescents") demonstrates the interpersonal and intrapersonal benefits of sport.

​Through Sport kids develop feelings of connection by building positive mentor-ships with both teammates and coaches and get physical exercise which reduces anxiety and fights obesity while developing confidence. This creates a cycle of desire to play and engage in sport while continuing to build on the benefits it has to offer.

The H.O.P.E Program Heals

AzCCs' tax identification number is 83-4161137.

15331 W. Bell Rd Ste 212

Surprise, Az 85374

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