The Relationship Between Music and Sports

The Relationship Between Music and Sports

At first glance, there might not seem to be much crossover between music and sports. When you are transferring over your own personal playlists there might not be too much sports-related content – unless you are a particularly big fan of Shaq’s rapping career.

Even when we are younger, it is often believed that there is a barrier between the worlds of music and sport. Athletes stereotypically have no musical taste and music fans are not supposed to be gifted when it comes to sports. But the reality is that the two worlds are much more closely aligned than it has been made out.

You might not see much mention of music in the sports news or on the betting sites featured on but there is an ongoing and multi-faceted relationship between the two.

Working Together to Be the Best

Even the ways that music and sports both work have their similarities. Sports athletes may strive for individual success or work as part of a team to win in their field, depending on the sport. In fact, even solo sports stars need to have a good backup team to keep them going.

Those ideas of collaboration and competitiveness will be familiar to anyone involved in the music world. Musicians need to work together to produce compelling pieces of art. Add to that a sense of competition – whether it is in record sales or just something to spur them on – and music and sports seem to be cut from the same cloth.

Educationally Complementary

The life lessons that are learned through sports are, very much of the time, the same that are picked up by learning about music. There are other links between the two broad disciplines that we will go into in a moment. But there is a lot of work that suggests that having both in your life is a positive move.

That is why it is believed that children should keep involved in sports and music as long as possible. This should only be if the child in question shows an aptitude or interest, of course. But both cognitive and physical skills can be developed, which can continue to help into later life.

Special Events

So we have already discovered that, actually, sports and music combined are good for a child’s development and that there are definite similarities between the two. But we can also identify many ways in which music plays an integral part in sports – and vice versa.

What would a sports game be without the national anthem, or a major international event such as the Olympics be without some kind of music accompaniment? When we want to be entertained, we naturally reach for music and sports – and are able to be inspired best by them both together.

Discipline and Training

Another example of how much sports athletes rely on music is by observing the way that they prepare for events. You will commonly see players turning up for a game listening to music on their headphones. Every routine is a personal choice but athletes have learned what type of music puts them in the right frame of mind.

But this kind of music soundtrack is not limited to the hours before a big game. Many athletes will continually and consistently listen to music while training. Many have specialist playlists to help them achieve personal goals throughout their training regimes to get them to where they want to be mentally.

The Calm Before the Storm

The idea of music helping as a motivational tool looms large in the world of sports. Although we have named this section “the calm before the storm”, the music can many times be anything but calm. That personal choice is once again on show and rousing music might work much better for some athletes.

There is also evidence that this practice of using music as motivation can be both individual and collective. Some athletes may prefer to be alone with their music and their thoughts. But there are some very well-known examples of team locker rooms booming with music before games.

For the Fans

But it is not just the sports athletes that listen to music before, during, and after games. Sports fans also have a very close relationship with music. Soccer fans might be the most well known for singing while the game is being played but other fan bases also use music to inspire, support, and even intimidate.

There seems to be no one type of music that works for fans either. Rousing songs and genres will obviously always be favored. But there are also examples of other types of songs being used depending on the occasion and the reason for using the music in the first place.

Why Not Both?

We started by saying that the assumption that music and sports are two very distinct and isolated areas of our existence was false and we think that we have shown that they are, in fact, remarkably closely linked. They are both a way of humans expressing talent and emotion and seem to work well together.

So, there is no need for anyone – but children especially – to think that they cannot bridge the divide between sports and music. The fact is that there is no divide and much can be achieved by exploring both disciplines in a complementary fashion.