Pump up the jams

A sports nut discovers top athletes’ secret musical weapons.

Pump up songs are well known sources offer motivation and there are countless studies into the effects of music on exercise. There is even a website called www.jog.fm which finds the perfect songs for people to run to. It does this by syncing beats per minute of a song with the time and pace it takes you to run a kilometre. Around the world supporters sing songs at stadiums to inspire and celebrate their heroes. So, let’s take a look at some of the different kinds of music different kinds of athletes listen to in order to get them in the zone!


New Zealand All Blacks – Rugby Union – The Haka

The haka is the traditional war dance performed most famously by the New Zealand national rugby team. It has been performed before games since 1905 and sends shivers down opposition player’s spines. While this one probably won’t be on your iPod, it’s a great example of how culturally interlinked music and sport can be.

LeBron James – Cleveland Cavillers/NBA – Four Kicks by Kings of Leon

The NBA has 82 games in a regular season plus playoffs. Playoffs are made up by three best of seven series before you reach the finals. These means on top of the 82 regular games, there can be at most 27 playoff games before another four to seven finals games.  This is a lot of games for anyone! So it’s no wonder that “The King” LeBron James listens to fast and up tempo music to get him in the zone before leading his team out.  This year LeBron has the chance of forming his own legacy of greatness, and can often be seen getting into the zone with his headphones on before games start.

Ana Ivanovic – Tennis Player – Memories by David Guetta

Singles tennis can be a very solitary game with countless hours alone working the courts. There are no time limits on games. The longest ever being eleven hours and five minutes was at Wimbledon in 2010. The shortest was 25 minutes. This shows the resilience required for being a true title contender; it also highlights the mental strength of lone athletes going out with no teams to support them.  With its rapid bass line and easy lyrics, David Guetta and Kid Cudi’s song Memories helps get Serbian superstar Ana Ivanovic ready to take on the best in the world. Currently ranked number seven in the world, Ivanovic will be hoping this banger can get her back to the form that saw her take out the French Open in 2008.

Nick Riewoldt – St. Kilda Saints/AFL – England by The National

Australian Rules Football is like no other sport in the world requiring elite cardio ability combined with incredible body strength. Normally excelling at one sees the other decline. The game also requires courage, awareness, elite skill, work ethic, and physicality. Nick Riewoldt is known to uphold all of the qualities considered to be a star of the game. With a game requiring such a range of ability and concentration it’s no wonder his pre-game pump up ritual includes listening to American Indie band The National. England is progressive rock song that starts off slowly building towards a blistering end. Ideal for when you are psyching yourself up to a physically demanding challenge.


What do you think? Will any of these amazing athletes secret songs inspire you to hit the ground running?

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