Athletes utilize variety of preparatory rituals

Many athletes have certain things that they do before they race or before they play any sports or if they have a big meet or workout ahead of them, but what are these things that people do and do they have a benefit to the human brain and do they improve performance?

According to the article 7 Ways Music Can Help Reduce Stress and Anxiety, “Studies have found that listening to music can help calm your nervous system and lower cortisol levels, both of which can help reduce stress.” 

Many athletes listen to music before they have something important coming their way. This can help stimulate their brains and take their minds off of what is stressing them or making them anxious. If one goes to a sporting event before it starts, most of the time one will see athletes listening to music or listening to something through headphones. Some athletes listen to music, some listen to a book to calm them or teach them ways to relax, and some people listen to podcasts. Others use headphones to cancel out the noise around them to let their brains cool down and focus on the task at hand. 

I attended the CYUP Misfits track meet in Chicago over the past weekend of Jan. 21-22. While I was there, I was listening to music to help calm my brain and focus in. It always helps me stay calm, but when it gets closer to the race I switch to a different playlist that helps fire me up and gets me ready to compete. After both of my races, I decided to go around and ask people what they do before their races and how it helps them. 

I asked around 200 people, and 117 people said they like to listen to rap music because it helps them get fired up, and it also gets them in the zone and ready to run fast. Fifty three people said that they like to listen to meditation music because it calms them down, and they like to stay calm before they race. They also mentioned that the meditation music helps with the nerves. Thirty people said that they don’t like to listen to music before they compete because it can put them in a mood that they cannot perform well in. 

“I like to listen to music from when we get on the bus all the way until we are going to the start line. It helps me stay out of my own head and lets me focus in,” senior Colby Cryer, who competes in cross country and track, said. 

“For me music is helpful, and it keeps me relaxed and focused,” sophomore John Ferguson said. 

A lot of people like to listen to music, but others do not. 

“I like to just stay calm and talk with people before the race. I like to calm myself with just positive thinking and deep breaths. I normally do not listen to music before my race,” junior Luke Hartman said. 

There are many different ways that athletes prepare for their events. Some stay calm, and others like to listen to music and get fired up. 

As for rituals, some people have a certain playlist they listen to or they eat lunch a certain amount of time before they compete or maybe they also have their lucky food that helps them compete better. 

“Normally, I like to eat granola bars a few hours before I race. I tend to have one bar around every 45 minutes from when we get on the bus, all the way up until 45 minutes before the event. It keeps my stomach full, but not too full and it helps me stick to the structure and what I know works for my body,” senior Colin Johnson said. 

Some athletes have certain things that they do before every competition, but others just go with the flow and don’t have any certain things that they do before their race. 

“For me, I just try to eat something healthy and filling about three hours before my race, and then I jam out to some music and I keep drinking water until I compete, but I don’t really have any rituals that I follow before I compete. I just go with the flow,” junior Anna Becker stated. 

There are many different ways to prepare for a sporting event, but everyone does it differently. Some people try to relax and stay calm, while others like to listen to music and get fired up and ready to compete and win.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.