Build a brighter future with our music-based therapy
Offer proven neuroscience-based music listening therapy in your practice
Get started by discovering solutions and benefits for you
The Listening Program®
Improve your brain health and functioning
Connect brain and body using rhythm
The Movement Program
Maximize your learning ability
Your personalized brain fitness program
The world's most scientifically advanced sleep program
Solutions for active military, their families, and veterans
Books & Music
A wealth of resources for you
What you need to access our scientifically designed music
Are you ready to say goodbye to fatigue, lack of coordination, and burnout during your training and athletic performance? Did you know that something as simple as listening to music could revolutionize how you train, compete and recover? The right music can stimulate the brain, enhance quick decision-making, and improve coordination and reaction time.
In this article, we’ll show you how incorporating music into your daily routine can help you perform better, avoid injury, and reach your full potential. From pump-up songs to scientifically designed music therapy, we’ll guide you through the benefits of music in sports and daily life.
For those wondering, “can music improve my athletic performance?” The answer is YES! With a basic understanding of the power of music, any athlete can improve their athletic capabilities and enjoy their time doing it with the right music.
Trainers, therapists, and athletes use The Listening Program® (TLP), a music listening therapy program, to enhance focus, motivation, and endurance during training and competition. Following a routine of just 15 minutes daily can lead to improved performance and heightened mental and physical discipline.
So, grab your headphones and get ready to take your athletic performance to the next level!
Athletes face challenges balancing daily life, athletic training, and competition, requiring a strong work ethic and unwavering dedication as they deal with:
Incorporating music into an athlete’s routine can help relieve many stressors and challenges, leading to improved performance, enhanced overall health, and greater well-being.
Auditory processing is the athlete’s ability to hear a sound relevant to their sport, such as instructions from a coach or trainer or the sound and location of the ball or other players.
When an athlete struggles to accurately and instantly distinguish, understand, analyze, and respond to sounds or auditory cues, it can lead to confusion and affect response time, reflexes, and communication with teammates. Poor auditory processing can significantly impact their performance and focus, resulting in missed opportunities.
To understand auditory processing, we provide essential skills that can be trained and honed with The Listening Program.
Auditory Sequential Processing: The ability to process and understand sequences of auditory information, such as following instructions or recognizing a musical rhythm. Poor auditory sequential processing can result in difficulty following play sequences or adapting to changing game situations.
Auditory Memory: The ability to remember and recall auditory information, such as a play call, script, or sequence of movements. Poor auditory memory can lead to difficulty following game plans or adapting to an opponent’s play changes.
Sound Localization: The ability to accurately locate the source of a sound. Poor sound localization can result in difficulty determining the direction of a play or identifying where a ball is coming from in a sport like a basketball or soccer.
Auditory Discrimination: The ability to differentiate between similar sounds, such as the difference between two different speech sounds or the sound of two balls bouncing. Poor auditory discrimination can lead to difficulty understanding speech or mistaking one play for another in a noisy stadium.
Temporal Processing: The ability to accurately process and respond to the timing of auditory stimuli, such as a starting gun in a race or a referee’s whistle in a game. Poor temporal processing can result in slower reaction times or false starts.
Athletes with slow or delayed auditory processing might appear forgetful, unfocused, or unable to comply with instructions. Poor processing does not reflect their abilities or intelligence, and they can work to overcome these challenges with the proper support and intervention, such as The Listening Program.
Aside from the physical and mental demands of sports, many emotional pressures can also negatively affect athletes in the long term. Music can be a great tool in overcoming many obstacles caused by the emotional stresses of athletes.
Music can set the tone during warm-ups and cool-downs, adding motivation to a challenging workout. For this result, upbeat, energetic music is best. “One study by Costas Karageorghis found that listening to music enhanced treadmill runners’ overall endurance by fifteen percent.”
Campbell and Doman, authors of Healing at the Speed of Sound, further explain that “for strength-training routines at the gym or at home, hard rock or other upbeat music with a strong beat is best. Weightlifters are probably right to insist that hard-driving music such as heavy metal works best for them as a motivator, particularly since slow, soothing tunes have been shown to decrease individuals’ muscular fitness potential over time. It can help athletes get pumped up and ready to perform, while slower, more relaxing music can help them wind down and recover after a workout or game.”
Using upbeat music is likely the most common way for athletes to use music to benefit their overall performance, but the possibilities don’t stop there.
Brain training with The Listening Program can profoundly impact an athlete’s motivation levels by targeting their cognitive abilities and overall mental well-being. TLP enhances memory, focus, and problem-solving skills by stimulating the brain with scientifically designed music.
These improvements can increase their confidence and reduce stress and anxiety, allowing them to approach challenges with a more positive and motivated outlook. Additionally, TLP training can help individuals develop better habits and routines, leading to improved organization and time management.
The result is a stronger sense of control over their thoughts and actions, which can further boost motivation and drive toward success. Athletes can create a virtuous cycle of continuous mental growth and improvement by prioritizing this type of brain training.
Neurologists and therapists conducted a study on The Listening Program and found that its rhythm-based music listening therapy boosts brain function and physical coordination.
Athletic success often relies on mastering key physical skills such as:
Music can help enhance each of these skills. For example, the repetitive and rhythmic elements in the music activate the motor cortex, leading to better control of fine motor skills. Utilizing the consistent beat in certain music can also stimulate the brain’s ability to process sensory information and respond more effectively, resulting in improved coordination and overall cognitive performance.
In addition to physical performance being enhanced, emotions can be improved as well, which directly impacts an athlete’s ability to perform at a peak level. Music with a strong beat stimulates the release of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and norepinephrine, which aids in this process to improve mood, motivation, and attention, further enhancing physical performance.
The National Association for Child Development conducted a TLP inTime Pilot Study with 37 subjects, which further supports these claims of music improving emotional and physical performance. After eight weeks of listening to TLP, participants reported their experiences and benefits, including:
All of these benefits would have a positive impact on an athlete’s performance. By incorporating music into their training and performance routines, athletes can tap into the power of the brain-body connection and elevate their game to new heights.
Athletics and the pressure to excel can result in high-stress levels for athletes of all ages. If not properly managed, this stress can have a negative impact on an individual’s quality of life and recovery outside of sports over an extended period.
Studies have shown that prolonged stress might have various adverse effects on athletes, including:
Therapists extensively recommend the Listening Program as an essential means of promoting the mental well-being of athletes. April Christopherson, founder of Exploration Kids Therapy and a TLP Certified Provider since 2010, shares this story:
Drew, a high school baseball player, was being actively recruited by pro teams in his junior year of high school. He had great athletic prowess but struggled with anxiety and had trouble focusing if recruiters were at his games. He completed five months of TLP before his senior season started. The outcome was obvious. Drew was able to overcome his anxiety and pitch with authority during games. His team won second place in the state that year, and he was awarded a full-ride scholarship to play in college! Drew admitted he felt more in control and could focus on each batter, thanks to the added calmness and emotional regulation he felt because of The Listening Program.
The Listening Program naturally promotes a sense of grounding and calm feelings. Athletes who create time to enjoy this music regularly find that they’re better able to fully relax during their rest periods during the day and avoid the long-term downfalls of stress or anxiety, just like Drew did.
Better motor control, agility, timing, and precision can help an athlete avoid many injuries, but the possibility of injury always exists.
April shares a story of a client with a concussion:
Tanner is a high school athlete who enjoys skateboarding, skiing, baseball, and football with very high pain tolerance. When injured, he often continued play, such as a time when he broke his wrist in the morning while skiing and didn’t report it until the lifts had closed.
Over time, Tanner experienced multiple minor concussions and at least three major ones, leading to symptoms lasting more than a month. As a result, he struggled academically, had trouble with light sensitivity and headaches, and experienced changes in his sleep patterns.
After another concussion in football during his junior year, April recommended The Listening Program while relaxing in a dark, cool room. Tanner started with two 15-minutes sessions daily for two weeks and reported improvement in symptoms, including better sleep and fewer headaches. Light sensitivity also decreased after four weeks.
As a result of his improved state, Tanner was able to perform well academically and score in the top 25% of his class on the SAT college entrance exam!
In this article, Cathy Fisher, M.S., CCC-SLP and founder of Neuro Rehab Associates, describes how The Listening Program is used to help her patients navigate the road to recovery following concussions. It complements her treatments and supports their cognitive, emotional, and physical needs. Therapeutic music can increase recovery time and overall brain function afterward.
Concussions are prevalent in many sports. If an athlete does not recover within two weeks after a concussion, they may develop Post Concussion Syndrome (PCS), which can cause headaches, dizziness, and difficulties with concentration and memory.
According to Headway, the brain injury association of Great Britain, “Music therapy is often used to aid improvement in multiple areas of brain function deficit and to improve quality of life, as well as to facilitate physical healing… simply listening to music is thought to be a potential tool in the control of pain, which is notoriously problematic to treat in some cases.”
Current research has brought about a more prominent awareness of the effects of injuries like concussions. Biomedical researchers have discovered that music is a complex form of auditory language that engages the brain in perception, cognition, and motor control. As a result, music can be effectively utilized to rehabilitate and retrain an injured brain.
Evidence continues to grow for using music in rehabilitation, leading therapists and physicians to embrace it. Today, music is used in rehabilitation based on clinical research findings and an understanding of the mechanisms of music and brain function. Read More
ABT’s Clinical Director, Allen T. Lewis, MD, expressed that stress overload is a significant issue in brain impairment and a substantial roadblock to healing. Use The Listening Program to quiet the body’s natural alarm system, and reduce mental, emotional, and physical stress so the body can rest and recover.
Music can uplift our spirits, motivate us, and boost our physical performance. It can play an integral role in enhancing our athletic performance, whether it’s getting us pumped up during warm-ups, pushing us through tough workouts, or helping us recover during cool-downs. Let The Listening Program and the power of music guide you to a new level of strength, endurance, and success.
Tags Athlete, attention, auditory processing, Brain Injury, Concussion, Healthy Habits, Motivation, Performance, Sports, stress, TheListeningProgram
May 06, 2023 by Advanced Brain
The Listening Program is a game-changer for students struggling with reading difficulties. Its music trains the brain's language centers, improving auditory processing and phonemic awareness. By enhancing…
April 13, 2023 by Advanced Brain
Discover a natural way to help your brain integrate, synchronize, and regulate its functions with TLP inTime. This unique and enjoyable rhythm-based music listening therapy benefits people…
March 21, 2023 by Advanced Brain
Discover how The Listening Program, a game-changing tool used by Occupational Therapist Pinky Parekh for 15 years, has become a school-wide phenomenon by driving academic success and…