How music affects your sports performances
How music affects your sports performances

Do you know that feeling? You are going for a run, you put on a song and the energy starts running through your body. Music can be seen as a legal drug that improves sports performance, says Dr. Karageorghis. Although legal? In 2007, the USA Track & Field (National Athletics Association) banned the use of headphones to prevent runners from competing unfairly with each other. Many did not agree with the verdict because music had a positive effect on their sports performance for many athletes. And that is indeed true: listening to music before, during and after exercise can contribute to motivation, performance and increased sports-related skills.

Music and sport

We already know what the psychological effects of music are. And in addition you can use music to your advantage in various ways: you can boost your own mood and the right music also increases your ability to concentrate. When it comes to music in relation to sports, what exactly happens?

Music has the following abilities:

  • Dissociation: dissociation is a state where sensations, emotions and thoughts are temporarily disabled. When you start to get tired or feel pain while exercising, music can be a distraction from your pain. Because music makes it less likely for you to perceive symptoms such as pain or tiredness. In addition, music reduces the feeling that you are making an effort to exercise. It also increases your stamina: it seems that you are making less effort for a better result in the end.
  • Improve your workouts. The tempo of the music determines how you perform your exercise: if the goal is that you repeatedly make fast movements, then a high tempo is desired. Your body responds to the rhythm of the music.
  • An increased feeling of happiness. Through music you experience more pleasure in your workout. Music stimulates dopamine production. More dopamine also produces more noradrenaline, which increases motivation to exercise.

We can conclude that music has a positive effect on your motivation, stamina and pleasure in sports. What effect does music have on you during exercise?


You can schedule activities in NiceDay. For example, schedule a workout and find out if music helps you with working out. Compare your state of mind before and after listening! Follow our NiceDay Spotify workout playlist to listen to the music that our coaches have selected for you!

Tags: sport Music
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Sarah Goslinga

My name is Sarah Goslinga, psychologist and coach at NiceDay. It's important to me that you have a real connection with your coach and that you feel you can discuss anything. There are many different things I like to do, such as making music, roller skating or dancing!

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