The Competition Playlists

Photo by: BJJPix

If you have ever set foot inside a jiu-jitsu competition, surely you have seen that almost every competitor is listening to music.

Music serves so many purposes for competitors and can be a vital tool in helping us get ready to step out on the competition mats.

There are a multitude of different types of music people listen too when getting ready to compete and it does have to do with the type of music we like in general. For example, someone who enjoys rap or hip hop will be more likely to listen to this before competition.

I want to talk about the different styles of music and how they can be used to help specific individuals perform better. Please keep in mind that the music is not tied directly to performance, but rather can impact your performance indirectly. Someone who listens to calming music can still push the pace and someone who listens to hard rock can still go slow and smooth.

Hard Rock/Old School Rock– These songs tend to be set at a faster pace and with less beat . Instead of necessarily putting you into a flow type of state, rock tends to be better suited to get you pumped up. For some athletes who have a problem turning up the pace and bringing the fire, rock may be your best pre-competition music. However , it is important not to get too fired up, as the Adrenalin may kick in and dump.

Rap, Hip-Hop, and Electronic– I grouped all of these together because, while different genres of music, they all share a common element. That common element is the flow and beat portion of the music. Because the beat is the main element in these genres, they tend to be better suited for putting you in a flow type zone where you can have energy, but they use it in waves. This tends to be the medium range on the pump factor.

Reggae–  This one can be a little more controversial, but in general this is more calming music. So for some athletes who get too nervous or get too much Adrenalin, reggae can be great.

Motivational and Self Talk– This one is more complex and isn’t really music per se.  This can be in the form of speeches, compilations, and self-recorded audio. For some people who deal with personal doubt or internal conflict, these can be very helpful. This does not necessarily get you in the zone, but serves to affirm that you are there for a reason and you can accomplish your goal.

Obviously there are many other forms of music, but most can fall into one of these four categories.

What do you listen to before you compete and how does it serve you?


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