On Super Bowl Sunday, Rapzilla found it timely to release a list of top pregame-inspiration songs in Christian hip hop.
However, this is not a list of “pump-up” songs, even though the term is typically used without fail to describe the music that athletes listen to before a competition. The term fails to describe why the majority — if not the vast majority — of professional athletes listen to music pregame.
They do not do it for the turn up.
Dr. Michael Gervais, a sports psychologist who has worked with the Seattle Seahawks, as well as numerous Olympians, told Rapzilla that music is indeed scientifically proven to improve athletic performance.
“It’s well understood and relatively well-researched that music has a direct impact on mood, energy levels and mindset,” Gervais said, “which all have a direct impact on performance.”
While music has the ability to prepare athletes to perform, though, they can also be ill-prepared by it.
“Music can have a debilitative effect on performance as well,” Gervais said. “If a person is already highly activated prior to a competition or an event and they listen to highly-stimulating or activating music, there’s a good chance that it could push them over their optimal performance zone.
“Really, we need to be thoughtful about which type of music effects our mindset, our energetic or activation level and our overall mood. There is an art and a science to music as it impacts our performance.”
In other words, listening to “You Can’t Stop Me” by Andy Mineo or “Snap Off” by Thi’sl when the adrenaline is already pumping is a recipe for a burnout. Which makes sense: How many Seahawks and New England Patriots will need music to be pumped up to play in the Super Bowl?
“Most athletes that I know on the world stage are working to be calmer and more smooth, rather than more pumped up,” Gervais said. “They’re looking to have better control rather than having more energy and activation.”
On that note, Rapzilla presents a tamer pregame playlist than most online. These songs are inspirational but not designed to make listeners want to punch a hole in the wall.