You see athletes in all sports walking around with their headphones on getting ready for their game or match or event or whatever they were going to compete in. And I’m sure they all have different songs and genres of music that get them psyched and in the mood and ready to play. I always wondered though if listening to music before sports actually would help your performance.
Dr Costas Karageorghis, the leading researcher in music’s effects on performance, often refers to music as a performance enhancing drug, that you can’t be penalized for using obviously. His research has shown that music enhances athletic performance and can help with visualizing how you’re going to perform and ultimately what the end result will be after your competition.
Music in general has been shown to help in disassociating your mind. This basically means that the music can help athletes by distracting their mind in a way, from feelings of fatigue during performance The disassociation is really shown in endurance sport, such as running, swimming and cycling. An interesting fact, researchers in the UK have found that music can benefit athletes by improving their levels of effort up to 12% and their endurance up to 15%.
Flow is an alternate state of mind, most athletes will refer to it as being in the zone. Some athletes use their music to help them get into this zone and get ready to go and compete. The music has also shown benefits of aiding in visualization while the athletes are in the zone. The music helps in visualizing how they’re going to compete and what the result will be after their competition. Music help the athletes reach that top level of focus and concentration while putting all else aside in their life and just focusing on their competition visualizations.
All in all, I think music definitely has benefits in performance and endurance throughout competition. One thing I think though with music, especially in sports, is when athletes listen to certain songs they get into the zone and are excited to compete and are more relaxed which can help them perform better. Me personally I compete better when I am relaxed, having fun and just competing. I think the music can help some athletes relax and escape everything in their life just to focus on the one task at hand and perform to the best of their abilities and worry about all the rest later. It is also very interesting to me just to see how powerful your mind can be. For me at least it seems as if this is all mental that then translates to your physical performance. You’re thinking about competing and visualizing what you want to happen and to see how much it improves your performance is very intriguing.
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