Science of Music Improving Athletic Performance.

We all have that favorite song that we can’t get out of our heads but can music manipulate athletes to do better in sport?


According to Sport Journal music can help bring focus and can significantly help the performer. One way music can help is with changing your state of mind, mood set, fatigue. Although this doesn’t make your workout easier it makes your experience more enjoyable. Another way music can help is to help pump up or relax the performer. The louder and more upbeat the song is the more pumped or anxious the athlete gets and same thing vice versa (slower music). According to the article on the Effect of Synchronous Music on Performance humans respond to the music tempo and rhythm of music. They found that the higher the tempo the better the performer is at higher intensity workouts. They tested this many different ways having groups of athletes running to different styles of music. Some coaches even withhold music from athletes and use it as a treat or a motivational prize if the athlete reaches the coaches expectations.


Music isn’t just for workouts, According to The Sync Project music is also good to listen too when warming up as it raises your heart rate. They also said that listening to music in recovery stage so when you finish your workout helps with your physical recovery as you are tend to be more relaxed.


Now just cause you are not an athlete doesn’t mean you can’t do this. I was just bring attention to how music can help performance levels and you can see that helping with athletes. So go put on your favorite music and go enjoy your workout.

15 thoughts on “Science of Music Improving Athletic Performance.

  1. John Rutledge

    I was always a believer in music improving athletic performance. For example, before every major golf tournament I play, I always listen to classic rock or alternative music like red hot chili peppers, Led Zepplin, Chicago. And through my own experiment I feel like I shoot lower scores whenever I do this. I realize coloration does not equal causation all the time, but If it makes you feel better, why not do it. This also might be the placebo effect taking place.

    1. Jaier Vicente Avecillas Post author

      Thats a very interesting about the placebo effect, I will have to check that out. But I think its the personal connections you have this song that makes you want to improve and its more psychological.

  2. Alexander Mark Schaefer

    I can relate to this post big time. Not only do I listen to music when I go to the gym, before every wrestling match I’d have to listen to the same song during warm up or I’d feel like I wouldn’t wrestle well. Same thing with rugby, I have to listen to a certain playlist. Now I knew nothing about it improving my performance physically, it was more of a mental state of mind for me. Here’s an article from jacked factory, a supplement/blogging website that supports that music is beneficial to performance.

  3. Jen Malespina

    This is a great post! I’ve always found it to be interesting seeing athletes listening to music before performing. All this time, I thought it was just a way to get pumped up however, after reading this, it is clear that there are many other reasons behind it. It’s intriguing to think that a good song can have an effect on how you do in your sport that day. You should read this article to see how music plays a role in the NFL:

  4. Casey Andrew Schaum

    I have always wondered if music helps our performance. From personal experience, music gets me amped up when I am playing sports. As you mentioned, the higher the tempo the better. It seems as if the beat can help you keep going when you are getting tired. A study on this subject would be very interesting. Would it find a correlation between the tempo of music and the performance on a workout? I found a cool article that talks about how music relates to athletic performance. . It explains four ways that music can help our athletic performance. As I mentioned earlier, it seems that music can help you reach your flow state. It also seems to help you keep going for longer through dissociation. So it seems that music can help your athletic performance. Music is truly a great thing and it’s good to see that studies are being done to show its many benefits.

  5. Alexandra Nicole Iaccino

    This post is very relatable to me and I agree with it completely. I was a competitive dancer for 13 years and whenever I prepared myself to go on stage, I would always listen to music that got me excited and exhilarated. But in addition to the music getting me enthusiastic to go on stage, it also calmed my nerves. I know this worked for me, but I also know other people who didn’t have the same effect from listening to music beforehand like I did.

    1. Jaier Vicente Avecillas Post author

      They were probably trained to not listen to music till they perform well, There are many coaches who use it as a tool to motivate the performer to do better. When you were dancing do you listen to the song you were performing too or was it a different song?

  6. Taylor Rodrigues

    I really enjoyed reading this article because I absolutely believe that music would have a benefit on anyone, especially with athletes. I found this article online by Thehealthsciencesacademy,
    it discusses how music is a great stimulant for people who work out or are involved in sports! It discusses how it is a great “pump up” for athletes and how it can help with certain recoveries as well!

  7. Tyler Olson

    I’ve always found the effect of music on people’s emotions fascinating. I am a naturally pretty happy person, and I typically listen to only happy, upbeat music. However, many of my friends are into sad songs or angry metal. I never go the point of listening to music that reflected negative emotions I do not want to have. However, your post inspired me to do a little research on the topic and I found that those types of music can actually make people feel the inverse emotions. Here’s the link:
    So, maybe next time I’m feeling down I’ll listen to some sad songs and feel better!

  8. William Joseph Robbins-cole

    I noticed that you mentioned that listening to music during your warm up can help increase your heart rate and get you warmed up. That made me think about whether it is helpful to listen to slower music after your workout during the cool down and stretching to help lower your heart rate. I found this website that claims that listening to music after a workout actually enhances recovery rates.

  9. Christina Rae Locurto

    As an athlete for many years, I was drawn to your blog post. I competed on my track team in high school, and I would tend to get very nervous before I competed. I noticed however, that listening to certain songs calmed me down and motivated me to do well. My personal favorite song to listen to before a race was Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now.” You can listen to it here. Additionally, I would like to perform an observational study that compared athletes who listened to music before they competed versus athletes who didn’t listen to music, and compare how each individual did. There could also be a lot of confounding variables, like type of music, gender, age and the sport that is played. And chance can never be ruled out, so that could also be a possible answer.

  10. Nicholas E Schneider

    I enjoyed reading your article and absolutely agree that music can help an individual in his or her athletic endeavors. Personally, i can’t remember the last time i hit the gym or went for a run without having my phone and earbuds with me. The right song could settle down your nerves before a big game or match, get you pumped up for an intense workout, or clear your mind before crushing the competition. While the genre of music you listen to during your athletic activity can determine what you’re trying to achieve, i agree that as a whole, music makes your experience more enjoyable and can help pass the time quickly. Here’s a list from fitness magazine listing the 100 best songs to workout to!

  11. Michael Mandarino

    Very interesting topic – I’m not an athlete in any way but music is not only something I really enjoy, but it is also a tool that I use to either calm myself down or pump myself up whenever I need to. I find that country music is great for when I’m nervous/fidgety for whatever reason because of its slower beat and rhythm, and that EDM and rap are great for whenever I need to pump myself up. Thanks for sharing

  12. Jason Schwartz

    Speaking from experience I feel that music can have a huge benefit on us athletes. The extra surge I get when a song with an exhilarating beat comes on brings me to the next level. Im glad your article points out why this happens and it is reassuring. Do you think it matters what amount of time you listen to the music?

    1. Jaier Vicente Avecillas Post author

      I don’t think so I think it all depends on the playlist, I’m not sure. But I feel like it as long as the songs keep changing in a cycle you should be good, It helps out psychological more then anything.

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