Music – important element of sport or just addition to it?

Music is a very important thing in many different areas. Movies, theatre, everyday life and many more. Some people can’t even imagine life without music because it makes them complete. But have you ever wondered how big a role music plays in sports? How it motivates athletes to train and allows them to achieve the greatest success?


Music always had a big impact on sport but it became more common, in the noughties, after digital technology revolution, when portable devices such as MP3 player, IPods or mobile phones were more available to people. It is easier to working out with your headphones on because music makes that you are not focused that much on exercises and effort you have to make. Favourite rhythm or lyrics of a song you like helps you go through it.

Every single athlete has one’s own taste of music. It is individual preference and they often chose that kind of music which they like and helps them relax.  Listening to relaxing music, which often has slow tempo and no lyrics has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety before sports competitions. It also reduces levels of stress hormones in human’s body. But many athletes prefer listen to very fast and rhythm music to keep them more motivated. James Cracknell, who is British Olympic gold medallist was preparing to his competition listening rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers. That kind of music increases the motivation and makes workout sessions much more enjoyable. Not only music is important but also lyrics of the songs because they can make you even more motivated.  The athletes also claim that listening to music during the training don’t feel so tired as they really are, and what more they feel that they could do the training again.

From 1912 to 1948 music was a part of Olympic Games called Art Competitions. A single event for music was held until 1936, when three categories were introduced: one for orchestral music, one for instrumental music, and one for both solo and choral music. In 1948, these categories were slightly modified into choral/orchestral, instrumental/chamber, and vocal music.


Not only athletes feel like music is helping them but ordinary people too. Gym classes with music such as Zumba or aerobic are becoming more popular and lots of people attend to it. Music help them not to think about training and the fact that people are in a small groups makes them happy, relaxed and entertained. Music is also a big part of sport industry.  Many companies like Nike or Reebok thought about music when they were designing sports clothes for their customers. Leggings and shorts that people are using have a special small pocket when you can keep your music player and enjoying you training without worrying that you drop your phone or MP3 player during the run. Running shoes were also designed by those companies to increase safety of people’s feet while they are training.


Making special workout playlists became very popular. You can find lots of them on YouTube or Spotify. Dr Costas Karageorghis, who is a reader in sport psychology in conjunction with Spotify, which is very popular music app with over 75 million active users, devised an Ultimate Workout Playlist with 16 songs that you can use in different parts of your training. As Paula Radcliffe, the world record–holding marathoner, has said, “I put together a playlist and listen to it during the run-in. It helps psych me up and reminds me of times in the build-up when I’ve worked really hard, or felt good. With the right music, I do a much harder workout.”

As you can see not only musicians need music to comply with in their profession, but also athletes and they need it even more than we think. Music helps them to focus, motivates them and allows them to achieve what they dream of.  That, what we can see on all sorts of competitions and matches or just watching TV are just a small part of what is preceded of a daily and hard work out. Music helps them also to go through it and doesn’t let give up so we can watch them and enjoy their victories.




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