Finding the melody in sports

How music helps athletes focus at MVHS and the role it plays in their lives.


Aditya Dash and Carol Lei

As sophomore Charlie Yi puts on his headphones and starts conditioning for volleyball, his teammates see a rhythmic pattern in his movement. With every drill, Yi uses his music to motivate himself, pacing himself with the beat of the music.

It just helps me work faster because as I said I want to move with the beat,” Yi said. “I play volleyball and it is really technical, so I think music just helps me get motivated.”

Similar to Yi, sophomore Chris Moon believes that music helps him get more focused with the task at hand. Moon uses music as a way to get into his zone before his soccer games, regardless of where he plays.

“While listening to music, you can really focus on what you are going to do during the game,” Moon said. “Because you don’t really have to listen to other people [distractions] and focus on your own game.”

Sophomore Chris Moon’s go-to playlist. Music from Spotify.


However, for senior Nathan Ang, he separates music from his sport, tennis. Ang uses music as a way to pump himself up during his workouts.

“If I could listen to music while I play tennis, I would, but […] you have to hear [your opponent] call your shots out or in and call the score.” Ang said. “It is a little bit different because when you workout you are just focusing on yourself, and it is not really a game.”

At the gym, whether he is conditioning for tennis or building body muscle, Ang finds different reasons to listen to music. Music allows Ang to escape his surroundings and to take his mind off his surroundings.

“I can’t workout without music. No way,” Ang said. “It is just a really essential part of the workout because without it it gets really boring […] and I could hear people breathing and grunting.“It takes your mind of how much time you are spending at the gym – time passes much faster.”

Senior Nathan Ang’s go-to playlist. Music from Spotify.


For all three MVHS students, their music preference is generally dependant on the pace of the genre of music. For Ang, energy in hip hop and other upbeat music motivate him through his exercises. For Moon, his teammates and friends have instilled in him an understanding on how music helps them concentrate. However for Yi, his experience with the clarinet helps him understand how to match the pace of any music that he ends up listening to because the clarinet required him to follow a metronome.

“Most of it’s just either EDM or rap, anything that has a fast-paced beat to it,” Yi said. “Typically I like to move with the beat. It’s like playing the clarinet, you follow the metronome you always want to go with a beat so when you listen to something that’s very high-paced you want to match that pace and then you want to go faster which typically helps with conditioning and things like running or jogging.”

Yi acknowledges that music doesn’t help him improve at volleyball, because according to him, volleyball is a technical based sport compared to  others. However, Yi believes that athletes can use music in order to give them emotional support.

“It can definitely help in terms of emotional support,” Yi said,  “Some people may have like pre-game jitters. I think listening to music help[s] you calm down and a get rid of all other thoughts because you’re so wrapped into that music so you won’t really be focused on other things,” Yi said.

Sophomore Charlie Yi’s go-to playlist. Music from Spotify.


Unlike Yi, Moon states that music helped the MVHS varsity soccer team put on a better performance during the season. Music played a large role in helping the players get into a competitive  and active state of mind during warm-ups.

“Personally for me and my whole soccer team at MVHS, it was helpful because it really hyped us up before the game,” Moon said. “[During the game] we used all that energy up to play on the field and hopefully get better results.”

No matter what type of music students at MVHS choose to listen, they all do it to get focused on the next task ahead of them, using it at times to take a break from the stress around them.