Listening To Music Before A Competition Can Boost Your Performance

Listening To Music Before A Competition Can Boost Your Performance

If you exercise regularly, you may have noticed that background music increases your workload. This is what researchers call the ergogenic effect; Good music relaxes and triggers a positive stress response in the body.

“Music is known to enhance performance during exercise, but athletes are not allowed to wear headphones while competing. We wanted to understand what would happen if they listened to the music before the competition and not during the competition," said University Professor Aaron Laksdal. Block (MAU).

It took him and his colleagues forty young soldiers and two versions of a techno track he composed to get to the bottom of it.

“We recruited test subjects to take part in an experiment among recruits. It was a conscious decision because they were the same age, had more or less the same tastes in music and were relatively well educated," Laksdal explained.

It was important for the researchers to control for factors that might have influenced the results. So it was also important to choose the music carefully.

“If someone has a special connection with 'Eye of the Tiger', they play it very well when they hear it. Others may develop a negative attitude towards the song and this may affect the performance," Laksdal said.

The researchers had to find music that none of them had ever heard before. The solution was found by an electronic music student from the UIA Faculty of Arts.

Specially composed music

"To our knowledge, this is the first time that anyone has used their own music to study performance before a competition," said UIA Associate Professor Andreas Waller Roscholl.

As part of a university electronic music degree, students are tasked with assembling a musical ensemble suitable for teaching and time management.

“The challenge was to create music that fit the search while still having the same character as what was on the subject's playlist,” he says.

The best solution came from student Martin Brudevol Voseteg. His techno tracks are designed to be played fast or slow without sacrificing the quality of the music.

“Our research is empowered by the fact that we can create music at a higher level. We need music that the target group can understand even without audio and that encourages them to exercise," says Röshol.

Previous UIA research has shown that people physically respond to electronic dance music (EDM), whether they like it or not.

Better get ready with music

In one series of experiments, 40 young soldiers - 23 men and 17 women - were given a fast version, a slow version, or no music. Then they were asked how they felt. And finally they ring the bell for thirty seconds.

The researchers measured the influence of music in two areas.

A domain was a state of mind. It's about how the participants felt. The second direction concerns the degree of preparation of the participants, the "enthusiasm".

“In both cases, the participants performed better after listening to the music. Whether the music was fast or slow, the player had a positive conditioning effect compared to not listening to music,” says Laksdal.

Those who listened to fast music before training also exerted more effort during rowing.

"This shows that people who listen to music before a race have psychological benefits," says Laksdal.

The study was published in the journal Music and Science .

Further information: Christopher Gary Pusey et al. Music Overlay: Effects of pre-activity music on arousal time, emotional state, perceived exertion, and anaerobic performance, music and science (2023). doi: 10.1177/20592043231174388

Presented by the University of Agder

Quote : Listening to music before a competition can improve your performance (Aug 15, 2023). Retrieved August 21, 2023 from

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