“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” – Bob Marley
One of my favorite things about coaching is the bus trip to a big away game. While we want our guys to treat every game like a big one, it’s pretty obvious that the magnitude of some outweighs others. On these trips, I can’t wait to get on the bus because I can almost immediately get a sense for how we’re going to play that day. When I hear nothing, and see a bunch of focused stares with headphones in/on ears, I know it’s going to be a good day.
When I was playing out my last couple years of summer ball as a teenager, we had rituals involving music that we never stayed from. Snoop Dogg was in the CD player on every road trip. When I was a cross country runner in high school, I had a playlist that I listened to before each race, and I asked teammates not running in my race to play Bob Marley at certain race points for motivation.
The son of parents deeply influenced by music, and the grandson of an accomplished pianist, music has always been a huge part of my life. It’s not just something that I enjoy, it is an integral part of my life. I’ve tried playing guitar and piano, but my patience wore out before I could become even slightly adept at two or three chords. Even so, it has always played a role in my life.
What I have found is that music works to affect us on many levels. I’ve espoused the mood-healing powers of Bob Marley on numerous occasions. When I was actively competing in sports, I liked to prepare with something a little heavier: Deftones, Korn, Limp Bizkit, Metallica. Call it a distraction, but music has the innate ability to move us both mentally, spiritually, and physically. That’s right, physically: “…one study showed music’s anti-anxiety properties, another found music was associated with higher levels of immunoglobin A, an antibody linked to immunity.” (Landau, 2013)
Music has the ability to take us away when we need to get away. It has a way of speaking to us when we are less than okay. It is the perfect complement to a great experience. It is a motivator when we need to be pushed.
So, when I hop on that bus and see the iPods lit up and headphones in place, I take comfort in the fact that my guys are focusing in their own ways. The music may be different, but the idea is the same.
Have an awesome Monday,