2018 NASSS Annual Conference
Sport Soundtrack: Sport, Music, & Culture

Samuel T. Twito

The University of Texas at Austin
Turning Up the Volume: Strength Coaches’ Weight Room Music Selection

A silent gym or weight room is an uncommon and, more-often, uncomfortable setting. Hearing only the clink of weights, whirring of machines, heavy breathing, and grunts from lifters is absent in all but the most zealous of weight training environments.  Music is yet another tool used by college strength and conditioning coaches to create an environment in which athletes’ focus can be sharpened, energy can be increased, and team cohesion can be strengthened.  The effect of music on motivation and performance are well-studied (Brooks & Brooks, 2010; Hallett & Lemont, 2016; Ochiai, et al., 2018; Jarraya, et al. 2012; Barrett, 2015) as are athlete’s responses to soundtracks for practice and workouts (Laukka & Quick, 2011; Yeats, et al. 2014).  How and why coaches use music is unexplored as are the social rather than psychological dimensions of music in the weight room.  This paper is the result of interviews with current and former college strength and conditioning coaches on how they use music to shape their athletes’ performance.  Analysis focuses on how coaches view their athletes as a team and as individuals, differences in men’s and women’s teams, and the weight room environment of revenue-generating and non-revenue-generating sports.