Music and the Mind
As external stimulants go, athletes love music. Precompetition music is used as an upper, a downer, or to provide an even keel for an athlete’s performance. Songs like Chariots of Fire, Eye of the Tiger, and the theme from the movie Rocky have been used by athletes and teams to fire them up before a contest. The Chicago Bulls use the song Sirius as they go through their warm-ups. athletic workout for beginners Chris Duplanty, goaltender for the U.S. water polo team in the 1996 Olympics, says he gets chills whenever he hears John WilliamsOlympic music. Tom Petranoff former world record holder in javelin, played the song This Is It in his head at the crucial point in his competition to pump himself up and help him concentrate. And the New York Yankees Paul O’Neil plays Rolling Stones music before a game.
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Boxers like Muhammad Ali have motivated themselves, or calmed themselves, through prebout rock’nroll. Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson used to turn up the sound system in his Ferrari full blast as he drove to the Great Western Forum for a basketball game. Former New York Giantslinebacker Harry Carson listened to organ music in church before games. And entire teams have plugged into it, like the Brazilian national soccer club, which uses salsa for pregame rhythm. In the 1970s, the Philadelphia Flyers got a nightly boost from singer Kate Smith’s God Bless America, which had them playing dizzying hockey at the Spectrum.
Yet many athletes ignore their favorite music as a precompetition additive that could get them into the right frame of mind, focus, and hormonal balance. train like an athlete workout For all of its fabulous potential, music has been an underappreciated sporting weapon until recent times. Boxing great Sugar Ray Robinson said he could have become better in the 1950s had he found a way to use music: In the minutes before I boxed, I searched for the rhythm in some matches there were bands playing between bouts and that music would be blaring as I came into the ring. I always wished they would have continued to play while I was boxing. I think I would’ve boxed better.
This type of rhythm can spill over after a match has ended. Defender Mike Reid of the Cincinnati Bengals wrote his best music and played his best concert piano immediately after his NFL games.
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