The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

Playing to win

The role music plays in athletics across sports and activities
Kaia Yuan
PE Teacher Jeff Thomas works out with earbuds on

EE: As part of Texas’ school requirements, PE teacher Jeff Thomas was first exposed to playing music while he was in his school’s required band. Even though playing trombone was his second choice from the drumset, it taught him the musical knowledge that opened up his love for music.

JT: I think from that point, I really had an appreciation for music and I got pretty good at it pretty quickly. So it was like it’s one of those things where you find out you’re pretty good at something and you just want to keep pursuing it.

EE: His love for music only increased throughout the years. He eventually bought the drumset he always wanted to learn, along with several guitars. In college, he even tried his hand at DJing to earn extra money. Even now, Thomas plays music in his PE classes as a way to motivate his students and expose them to classics — from Green Day to TLC to Nikki Minaj.

JT: I won’t work out without music. Like when I go on a run, if I don’t have music, I don’t have headphones, I won’t even do it because I’ll just be bored out of my mind. So I need something to just listen to to motivate myself. And it always brings me back to a place. Music always brings you back to like a memory or a spot or a thing or person.

EE: For senior and weight lifter Arnav Jadhav, listening to music while working out serves as an escape from the problems inherent to life. By incorporating slower musicians like Lana Del Ray into his playlists, Jadhav believes music helps him calm down and relax.

AJ: I feel like music is such a key thing and like calming you down and helping you disassociate from everything. Because no matter how your environment is, everybody needs time to themselves. Does that make sense? And being able to just disconnect from reality and not have to worry about things — because everyone will have problems right? No matter how happy you are, you will always have problems. And just having that one hour a day where you can disconnect from everything and just forget and just live in that moment, where it’s just you by yourself. And you’re like focusing on trying to get better. It’s really helpful. 

EE: Similarly, for sophomore and track and field member Lauren Moore, music helps her clear her head to be able to focus. She especially enjoys rock music to hype herself up and also enjoys how music is able to help distract herself from any tiredness she feels during exercise.

LM: It lets me forget about the pain that I’m in. Especially for weightlifting, where it hurts a lot sometimes to do weightlifting. It lets me forget about what rep I’m on, it lets me forget about how much weight I’m pressing and it just lets me exercise without any extra thoughts in my head. But then with the music, I’m able to just clear my head, like it just completely wipes all the thoughts away.

EE: Jadhav agrees and believes that it’s important for every student to be able to enjoy a state of calmness while working out. For Jadhav, working out also allows him to get rid of his anger or stress through exercising and music plays a complementary role.

AJ: Whenever I have a problem, instead of getting angry at something or you know taking out my frustration somewhere else, I feel like going to the gym is a very therapeutic thing because the weights can’t hurt anybody. I feel like life, especially as a senior, is so fast paced because everything is moving at light speed, and soon enough I’ll graduate — soon enough I’ll be gone, and then listening to some calmer music will give me a chance to just relax for a bit.

EE: When Thomas plays music, it is a part of his greater mission to make students enjoy athletics. In his opinion, creating positive associations with sports instead of negative associations can affect a person for a lifetime.

JT: As a PE teacher, I want it to be enjoyable. If you enjoy something, you’re going to want to keep doing it. My goal is to get students to find a lifetime activity that you like doing and to keep doing it. I’m just gonna provide the best atmosphere that I can to make you want to keep doing this for the rest of your life. Not just high school, not just for your nine months in a PE class — it is what you want to take on for the rest of your life.”

About the Contributors
Ethan Kellogg
Ethan is currently a Junior and staff writer for El Estoque. He enjoys playing the trombone and playing video games. He is also a webmaster for the Model UN club.
Kaia Yuan
Kaia Yuan, Staff Writer
Kaia Yuan is currently a junior and a staff writer for El Estoque. In her free time, you can find her experimenting with recipes, making music or obsessing over the deliciousness of mochi donuts.
More to Discover