Music has been proven to have a positive impact on athletic performance. Though we don’t know the exact cause of the phenomenon, music can increase motivation, and elevate moods. Several studies have shown that music can actually improve athletic performance, both individually and as a team. For example, we know through research that music impacts mood states. In fact, the simple act of listening to music triggers a powerful emotional response. It is also believed that music allows athletes to disassociate from their feelings of fatigue, exertion, and pain.
Music as a Distraction
We witness it all the time; an NFL running back tackled by a 280-pound linebacker —getting back up to do it all again, or the long-distance runner who goes the distance in record time —despite an injury. What about the elite soccer striker who battling a bad knee, still manages to dominate the Olympic Games. What is it that helps elite athletes keep going? Scientists have found athletes use cognitive strategies which help them deal with the pain, or forget about it altogether. Listening to music allows an athlete's focus to narrow, diverting attention away from the physical activity. The process a lot like a well-known cognitive strategy called dissociation. Athletes who are able to dissociate can endure more intense physical conditioning with ease.
Give Me the Beat
Data also indicates that the type of music to which we listen, causes our movements to synchronize accordingly. Consequently, athletes listening to a fast tempo song are more likely to move at a faster pace. Likewise, an athlete who uses slow and graceful movements, such as a figure skater, would benefit from training while listening to a slower piece of music. Another study linked music that was upbeat in tempo to enhanced performance during exercise as well as, lowered feelings of aggression, depression, and exhaustion.
Sports Psychology and Music
Sport's psychologists often advise athletes to use music in preparation for intense competitions. This suggests that they believe music influences the state of stimulation and promotes thoughts that encourage physical activity and relaxation. Simply, the interaction between music and physical activity be a stimulus. It is important that athletes increase arousal levels before a competition or game. Therefore it stands to reason that they may benefit to listening to certain high-tempo music to encourage competition at a more intense level.
How to Use Music to Promote Team Unity
When a team is cohesive, it is more likely to enjoy peak performance. Athletes should try listening to a compilation to further the sense of unity. Be sure to involve each team member when creating the collection. The music allows athletes to mentally and emotionally prepare for the game, as a single unit. This prepares them for competition as a team. The compilation will also create an avenue which enables the members to better identify as a team. By developing a positive identity, there is a better likelihood of team cohesion.
Team flags and banners are another way to promote unity. When you fly a team flag, or place a banner designed with your school's colors, it tells people that you're a part of something bigger; a unified group with a shared interest and/or goal. When parents and fans see others with the same athletics banner, they feel pride and form an immediate connection. When you fly your team flag it isn't just to display your mascot, logo, or colors, but more the opportunity to remind your community of the standards, values, and morals that your team holds high. To learn about other ways to promote team unity, check out our supply of custom team banners and flags. Connect with us today to collaborate on a new custom athletics banner or flag for your team.