What Coaches and Consultants Should Know about Music and Rhythm in Sport Performance

Copy of DSC_6895 WEB Marc Fisher's drive 2006

Podium’s Podcast of the Week: Dr. Lois Butcher-Poffley’s research on music & tempo in Sport

by Stephen E. Walker, PhD, CC-AASP

I remember when we used to watch cartoons on TV every Saturday morning.  We’d watch Loony Tunes and Road Runner, but the room would come alive when Bugs Bunny started doing the Rumba with a “1-2-3-kick.”  My sisters and me would love it and have a blast as we’d try to kick each others’ butt right on beat.   Anyway you look at it – the image is as fresh on my mind today – as any song, music or rhythm I’ve ever played with.   I’ve been a musician pretty much since 10 years of age and so tempo has guided these endeavors for many years.

I knew when I attended Lois’ workshop at AASP last year that it would be a treat and it was.  Not only did it provide me with some new tools for my work with athletes and coaches, it completely altered the way I would look at teaching motor skills.  

The applications are everywhere and you’ve got to look hard to find exceptions.  Open sports, closed sports, whether initiating a serve or teeing off in golf…the use of rhythm and music is pervasive…if we know what to pay attention to…and how to use it properly.  Music can calm us – hype us up – help us heal – give our team an identity – and do it all in a manner of ways likely to help us master a great many challenges when faced with complex motor skills…all the while making it fun!

Enjoy Podium’s podcast of the week – a few lessons with a former professional dancer turned certified sport psychology consultant.  Dr. Lois Butcher-Poffley is a professor at the City University of New York and director of SportsLogic, a consulting firm she operates out of  Philadelphia, PA.  She’s worked with a number of Division I teams in sports you wouldn’t expect, including football.  Take a listen to this podcast and you’ll begin thinking of rhythm and music in every sporting endeavor you engage in.


Click Here to listen to the Podcast

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