Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Relaxing before the big race


From a NY Times article on research about music and exercise:

Just how music impacts the body during exercise, however, is only slowly being teased out by scientists. One study published last year found that basketball players prone to performing poorly under pressure during games were significantly better during high-pressure free-throw shooting if they first listened to catchy, upbeat music and lyrics (in this case, the Monty Python classic “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”). The music seemed to distract the players from themselves, from their audience and from thinking about the physical process of shooting, said Christopher Mesagno, a lecturer at the University of Ballarat in Victoria, Australia, and the study’s lead author. It freed the body to do what it knew how to do without interference from the brain. “The music was occupying attention that might have been misdirected otherwise,” Mr. Mesagno said.

It reminds me a bit of Carl Waaler Kaas' description of his pre-race smile:

The smile. A lot of people have commented my smile at the start line. I have been told that when they saw the smile they knew I would perform well. That the smile and my attitude made me look confident and calm. But was it planned? Yes, the smile was planned. This race was my most important individual race this year, the one race I had been training for for a long, long time. When entering such a race you have (in my opinion) two possibilities: To be afraid of spoiling this single opportunity or to enjoy the race and the opportunity that you have been given. In my mind this choice was quite simple. I knew that if I did not manage to enjoy the race, I would not be calm enough to take the right choices during the race. If the word mistake came to my mind the most possible outcome was me doing a mistake. By “forcing” myself to smile at the start I gave myself the signal I needed: I am here to enjoy a race for which I have prepared for and dreamed of for (at least) 4 years!

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 8:46 PM


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