Pregame playlists pump up athletes

by Student Writer Xavier Wherry

The final moments before an athlete steps onto the field or court before game time is the time to find determination.

Athletes tend to use music to get pumped up and get the adrenaline going before a game, to celebrate after a game or to get motivated in the weight room.

UNA strength and conditioning coach Ryan Wood said he keeps the speakers in the weight room on full blast for the benefit of the athletes.

Certain athletes need motivation, and usually, music is the way to get them going,” Wood said. “I try to put on something that will get them going, since we usually lift early in the morning. However, sometimes I put on something I know they don’t like just as a mental challenge for them.”

Wood said music becomes a distraction at times, especially when athletes are concerned about the playlist selection rather than the task at hand.

“One of my biggest pet peeves is hearing the athletes complain about the music or whining about what music is on,” he said. “Once the music gets going, I’m just focused on technique and (athletes) doing what they are supposed to do.”

Wood said he recognizes music helps some players get going, but more importantly helps the players adapt to communicating with loud noises overshadowing them.

Adrien Coffey, a sophomore volleyball player, said pregame music helps her and her teammates emotionally invest in the upcoming game.

“(Music) plays with your emotions,” Coffey said. “We listen to a lot of rap music, and it gets us fired up. Before we played our last home game, we all got in (the locker room) and danced. Before the game, we were already warmed up, so it got our emotions going. It definitely helps.”

Some athletes have a go-to song they use to achieve the right state of mind.

“One of (the volleyball team’s) go-to songs is ‘I Like to Cha-Cha,’” Coffey said. “It reminds us of an old teammate. It’s a fast-paced song, so it gets us in rhythm and pumped up.”

Senior football and rugby player Darnell Dothard said his favorite song to listen to before a rugby match or football game is “Rollin’” by Lil Wayne, while using headphones that reinforce a strong focus.

“Music is a getaway,” Dothard said. “In (the locker room), there is a whole bunch of noise going on, so I use my Dr. Dre Beats that have the sound cancellation. In my mind, I just go through what I have to do and my responsibilities on the field.”

While many athletes enjoy the camaraderie of yelling with teammates to get pumped up, Dothard prefers to get in his zone alone.

“I’m just in my own world, locking in on the task at hand,” he said. “I’m not one of those “rah-rah” guys that gets super hyped. I’d rather be off by myself because I’m a quiet pump up person.”