Reply To: Messing with tradition

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She is not disrespectful, but I have a doubt regarding the word “Psyched up”. If Psyched up is only related to arousal level, the music is not used only for this purpose.
The music can be used to modify the athlete´s emotional state. It is not only arousal. The athletes can use the music to regulate valence (regarding to positive or negative emotions), arousal and other emotional factors associated to optimal performance estate in the mind of the athlete. When the stress is triggered by any stimulus, they can use music to elevate (pick up) the arousal level, but they can use music to reduce it and relax. And sometimes the music is used to reduce a positive emotional response.
If any high and positive emotional state is out of the optimal performance zone, the athlete should need to use a negative emotional music to return to the optimal performance zone.
The music can improve motivation. So in the competition, the athletes have to have several selected music. They have to pay attention to their emotional and motivational state and decide what music to hear in what specific moment.
Additionally, the music can be used to stop paying attention to stressful stimulus, to improve recovery after hard work and improve sleep in the night.
In my opinion, there are three gaps in the knowledge on the use of music in sport psychology. First, if you look into the music therapy field, you find it is used to improve several psychological processes (like thinking, learning, memory, perception, etc) in patients who are not athletes. The athletes need to improve the same psychological processes to raise their sport performance. But the sport psychologists often use music only to regulate emotion, motivation and attention.
The other gap is related to activities joined to music. In sport psychology we often use only passive listening. But music therapy (used to help non-athletes patients) has different kinds of technics. I am talking about active and passive technics of music therapy.
The other gap is the lyrics of the songs. The experts on the use of music in sport psychology have published a lot of scientific articles. But they never talk about the lyrics of the songs and this is an important factor. For example, If you hear a music and the lyrics is saying “Punch, Punch Punch..” you will be aggressive because the lyrics. Some athletes need to be aggressive to win a competition.
I think the sport psychology should pay attention to music therapy and apply the several music therapy technics in sport psychology.