Upbeat music before matches may give World Cup teams an edge: Study
London, Jun 18 (PTI) Playing popular music by Rihanna or Kanye West in the changing rooms could give FIFA World Cup players the crucial psychological edge over rival teams, a study suggests.
The right music can supercharge team spirit among elite players helping heighten bonding and strengthen feelings of togetherness, according to researchers from Brunel University London in the UK.
Scientists have long thought that music has performance boosting powers in sport. For the first time they have studied its pre-match effect in premiership football.
The study tracked 34 academy players at a Premiership team, aged 16-23 over a season. Upbeat tunes players knew gave the most positive vibes before a match.
Post To Be by Omarion, Pour It Up by Rihanna, Blood On The Leaves by Kanye West, and The Catch Up by Drake were players' top tunes for feeling totally in the zone.
"Our study illustrated how music plays a pivotal role in enhancing group cohesion in elite football," said psycho-physiologist Marcelo Bigliassi.
"Managers could use pre-match music to boost feelings of unity, increase group cohesion and create a positive team atmosphere," Bigliassi said.
Pre-match prep without music can put players on the back foot by making them feel under-prepared nevermind how much they've trained, researchers found. The game-changing positive emotions from the right pre-match sounds last long after the players walk out of the tunnel.
The same positive effects of musical prep might stretch to other team sports such as basketball, rugby and hockey, Bigliassi said.
"I believe that a similar cluster of psychological responses would be identified for players in other team sports," he said.
"Our findings provide a vista into the emotional, behavioural and cognitive responses to music in young elite players," said Costas Karageorghis, who led the study published in the journal Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology.
"The role of music in soccer is perhaps more symbolic, imaginative and figurative than thought," Karageorghis added.
"Music appears to intersect with the narrative of players' lives and the way in which bonds are formed among players both on and off the pitch," he said