Volleyball Athletes Perceptions of Pre-Competition Warm-up Music

Thursday, April 3, 2014: 3:15 PM
125126 (Convention Center)
Jeremy T. Yeats1, Michael Rhoads2, Mark A. Smith2 and Lauren O. White2, (1)Adams State University, Alamosa, CO, (2)University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO

Research has demonstrated psychological, psychophysical, physical, and ergogenic effects of music in sport (Bateman & Bale, 2009). Additionally, Bateman and Bale (2009) stated music has received very little attention among sport scholars, even though the sense of sound has been central in sports. Researchers have studied the impact of music on perceived exertion, motivation, flow and performance; however very few studies have examined warm-up music in connection to sports performance. The purpose of this study is to examine high school varsity volleyball players’ perceptions of the effects of creating and using a musical warm-up play list.


The participants were 12 female high school varsity volleyball athletes who created and utilized pre-competition warm-up music. Another interview was conducted with a player’s mom who hosted the creation of the musical warm-up playlist at her house. The players’ perceptions of the effects of pre-competition music were primarily examined through formal in-depth interviews (minimum 20 minutes). Additionally, artifacts (warm-up CD, original play-lists, and a video of the pre-competition warm-up routine/music) were collected. All interview transcripts were transcribed and analyzed using open and axial coding (Corbin & Strauss, 2008).


Analysis illustrated a clear connection between the use of music and increased athletic performance across four themes, increased motivation, mood, cohesion, and performance enhancement. All 12 players believed that being able to create and play pre-competition music play-lists increasingly motivates them as athletes to perform to their maximal potential and provides a maximal motivational climate for successful performance. Linked with the motivation is the second theme mood.  Athletes feel comfortable with the stability and consistency of developing established pre-competition routines. Players expressed that being able to develop pre-competition music play-lists as an instructional strategy in pre-season helps teams develop team cohesion. Players also believe that having self-selected music enhances performance and focus. Athletes elaborated on how performance is enhanced in a mental and physical capacity.  Increased focus and players perceiving being able to jump higher after the warm-up demonstrates how music gives them autonomy and competence.



Athletes have increasingly incorporated music into pre-competition routines and they believe that music positively impacts their performance. All 12 players interviewed outlined specific psychological benefits of being able to create and play their own pre-competition warm-up play-lists and CDs. Music and sports performance is a neglected construct in sports coaching research, although coaches perceive music as an instructional strategy that enhances performance (Yeats & Smith, 2011).