While I’m driving around in the car this summer to and from various places, my kids always seem to take control of the radio station selection or the music connected from various mobile devices. I can’t help but wonder which of the summer songs of 2015 is going to outlive its popularity, and make it on to the hockey playlist for the 2015-2016 hockey season.
No matter what kind of hockey you’re watching – minor hockey league, NHL game, video games, sports news highlights – music is always in the background. And this music must be very loud. I never much got involved in my boys’ pre-game music playlists, mostly because of their persistent use of ear buds and the fact that moms weren’t allowed in the dressing room.
As a den mom for my daughter’s girls hockey teams though, I know I’m going to have to listen to the playlist for eight solid months, so I tend to ask ahead of time, “Should we put together a hockey playlist soon?” Not that my help is especially needed, except of course when it’s time to input the iTunes password.
Our hockey playlists have been as varied as my kids’ personalities, and sometimes radically different depending on the hockey occasion (regular season games, tournament road trips, the playoffs or maybe for a year-end party slideshow). Don’t worry, I don’t intend to suggest songs for your player’s hockey playlist, that would just get me into treble and would ‘B’ flat major (see what I did there?)!
Sometimes these playlists drive me crazy. I admit I’m not always fond of the music selections – nor the artists. The lyrics and certainly the volume at which the music is played sometimes make me cringe. However, it has been proven that pre-game rituals – and music in particular - plays a pretty big role in preparing athletes for competition.
Yes, even if your child is not a professional or Olympic-level athlete, pre-game music has been found to block out distractions and help achieve mental focus. Music has been proven to improve the mood of the player (maybe even for early Saturday morning practices) and involving the entire team in creating a compilation of music has been shown to boost team unity (Sorenson, Czech, Gonzalez, Klein, Lachowetz (2008); Listen Up! The Experience of Music in Sport – A Phenomenal Investigation; Athletic Insight-The Online Journal of Sport Psychology).
So as much as I like to complain about the music my kids choose to listen to - and not just before hockey games, come to think of it - I realize it serves a valuable and practical purpose. I just need to create my own soothing post-pre-game hockey playlist to recover from the traumatic experience my ears have endured!
Furthermore, I think it’s time for me to encourage them to create more playlists; maybe a pre-laundry playlist, pre-clean-up-your-room playlist, pre-dishwashing playlist and certainly the pre-mow-the-lawn playlist. There’s definitely room for improvement in those domestic competitions. Let’s turn up that music!
Three cheers for the music that motivates our players – and for the ear buds they hopefully use.
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