An Exploration of the Effects of Music on Athletic Performance


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Dedicated athletic woman running in nature and dawn.

It has been proven that music can impact an athlete’s sports performance. Costas Karageorghis, a health and exercise scientist, states that syncing the beat of a song to an athlete’s heart rate can improve performance by increasing speed and stamina. Music also helps get rid of most distractions and helps keep an athlete more focused. Karageorghis explains that music can engage your brain in such a way that it trains it to pay better attention to events and make predictions about what might happen.

Music can give an athlete more confidence and calm them down. Some parts of the brain that music impacts are essential to athletic performance. For example, music impacts the Motor Cortex and where stress hormones are stored. This part of the brain also controls coordination which is an important factor in sports performance.

Music is also known to increase serotonin levels which can change an athlete’s attitude in a matter of minutes. Additionally, music can manage one’s pain levels because it sends signals to the brain which can override or weaken pain signals. Pain relief may occur due to the release of endorphins or changes in catecholamine levels, or it can even function though simply distracting people away from their pain.

Music is highly effective and beneficial while playing sports or even when simply working out, as it can distract people from pain and fatigue, elevate mood, increase endurance, reduce perceived effort, and even promote metabolic efficiency. When listening to music, people are able to handle more intense physical activity without even realizing it.

Pine Crest coaches often play music during sports practice, as well as during competitions, because of its ability to motivate athletes.

“Music can be inspiring, and greatly affects every workout in a unique way”, stated tennis instructor Coach Corey.

Scientific American
Triathlon Magazine