“Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right.” If you’re a sports person, which I assume you are since you’re reading this, you’ve probably already heard or read that Henry Ford quote. The quote can be applied to basically everything in life, sports, school, and even music. Athletes use an array of things to motivate them and keep their confidence up: breaking down game footage, reading books, watching documentaries of their favorite athletes, consciously creating positive thoughts, and listening to music.
And if you’re one who uses music to prepare you, get a load of this: There are now studies that show specific sounds can create stimulation in the brain that will help you sleep, heal, meditate, and perform at a high level. What if listening to a specific sound made you a better athlete? Would you try it? We all tried those wrist bands with magnets in them when we thought they’d make us better, why wouldn’t we try listening to sounds?
The way it works is your brain detects something called “binaural beats” on a daily basis, and I’ll leave it to the experts at the Monroe Institute to explain what those are. “The sensation of auditory binaural beats occurs when two coherent sounds of nearly similar frequencies are presented one to each ear with stereo headphones or speakers. The brain integrates the two signals; producing a sensation of a third sound called the binaural beat.” Depending on the brain wave pattern these binaural beats create, certain sounds can help you get into a deep sleep or unlock improved problem solving and increased mental toughness.
This may seem goofy or unrealistic, but think about all the other things we try in hope of becoming better athletes or to improve in all aspects of our lives. Pop, hip hop, and rock music all cause a different reaction in your mind and body, so why couldn’t a specific sound do the same thing?
Try some tracks from these albums to see how binaural beats affect your mindset and your performance:
Originally published in April 2014