Music for Competition

Music for competition isn’t just a fluffy topic. It can actually be a serious part of your preparation. Various sports psychologists have researched the effects of music prior to competition. Research has shown how it can increase confidence, alter arousal level and prevent pre competition anxiety as well as improving your focus and performance (improved reactions and reduced perceived fatigue). If you want to explore more on the psychology side of things a couple of easy articles to start you off are here and here.

Although one thing the research did indicate is that there is an element of personal preference. You need to find the music motivating or inspiring. Its about your own music tastes, about songs the remind you of a particular time of your life and a whole host of other things. But when your on holiday and traveling for a competition its the sort of thing you play about with whilst in your hotel room!

A lot of threads on competition music and training motivation tend to have a lot of high energy or aggressive suggestions on them. I have to admit similar to the research I craft my comp playlist into chunks. Getting changed, warming up, psyching myself up, calming myself down and everything in between. You don’t just want songs that’s about going for the kill! So a little peek of what’s on my playlist for this weekends competition?

Katie Perry RoarKatie Perry – Roar

Its light, its fluffy and its one of my favourite pick me songs. Its great for reminding me of how far I’ve come just to get to this point as well as appealing to my underdog psychology (I perform better when the odds are against me!). Plus how can any song with the lyrics “I got the eye of the tiger”. Not help you get in the mood to compete!

Music covers

Kayne West – Ni**as in Paris

Another cheer me up, psych me up type song. It reminds me of so many things. Training with my Thai boxing instructor Rick, one of my hen parties and just generally having a good time, training hard and playing hard! Life is bigger than 5 minutes on the mat!

Music covers2 Chainz & Wiz Khalifa – We Own it

I love warming up to this track. Its great to stick my headphones on and to use it for my jogging and dynamic warm up stuff. Its the right length and tempo so I don’t need to look at the clock. Plus the lyrics kinda work for me.

Music coversRick Ross feat Jay Z – Hustlin

Thing are starting to get serious when this is on. It’s a new addition to my play list and its been added for a very specific reason – its one of the tunes played weekly during comp class at the gym. It’s simply time to step up, get your grips and bring your A game!

Music covers

Titanium Tiger

This is my old thai boxing walkout tune. I’m a massive rocky fan so was over the moon to get the go ahead from my Kru to have it as a walkout. There is something very centring and almost calming about it. If I’m a little too nervous or wound up its great for closing your eyes, taking a deep breath and remember the hard work is done, everything is in the back, your ready and its time to go out there, perform and enjoy the experience.

Music coversBob Marley – 3 Little Birds

Sometimes you get off the mat and things haven’t gone to plan. Every time I train for a competition I intend on leaving everything on the mat but I keep this song on my playlist for one single reason. It reminds me of one of my earliest BJJ privates. An empty gym, a good friend, some good rolling and a lot of giggles. After all no matter how good winning feels there is more to BJJ even if it doesn’t feel that way sometimes as you come of the mat!

So there you have a snippet. Its a bit an eclectic mix but hopefully it reminds you of a track you might have forgot! As well as giving you an insight into my rather random psychology and thought processes around BJJ competition.

Feel to share any of your competition must have tunes or your own experiences.


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