My mom pointed out to me something last night that I hadn't really taken notice of before. With all of Monster Man's issues with anxiety and nervousness, she said, you would think that all of the action of ice hockey would make him one very nervous little boy. I could see what she means - the puck is always flying from one side of the arena to the other, sometimes flying over the glass; the sport is very fast-paced, which can be hard to keep up with and can be very intense in itself; the players get into fights, oftentimes ramming other players against the glass. It really is an exciting, very active sport. It made her wonder how Monster Man can sit and watch the games without his anxiety getting the best of him.
It took me a moment to realize that ice hockey has the opposite effect on him. With all the games we've gone to, he's rarely expressed concern over anything other than the time we sat higher up than he was comfortable with. In fact, ice hockey seems to have a calming effect on him. It's my guess that all the action gives him something to place his focus on, something that serves as a distraction from the things that seem to bother him the most. He does tic quite often during hockey games, and there are times when it seems like the severity of the tics seems to coincide with the intensity of the game, but his fears seem to melt away completely during game time.
He recently asked me if I could find him a little league hockey team to play on. We're going to be busy with softball until the end of May, but I think that I might have to give in and either get him on a league or at least get him a few lessons so that we can see where it goes from there. As much as the thought of him out there in the middle of the action worries me, I still think it might be good for him.