My jams? I have a Spotify playlist full of solid gold excellence to put me in the right mood. There’s songs to pump up my arousal levels, and songs to calm me down if needed. A song can double up as a mental cue to help you control your arousal levels: if you listen to a certain song in specific situations, you can train yourself to associate the song to the needed mood, and just thinking of the song can help you set the right kind of mental mindset, which in turn will improve your performance. All that from a silly little piece of music, eh?
I will now share with you guys actual songs from my playlist. I will put myself out there, and make myself vulnerable, and I’ll do it proudly. Starting from the slightly more guilty pleasure -section (though I do enjoy all of these tunes with no shame), I have songs that speak to me on a personal level: songs that have good memories attached to them, songs I’ve listened to with friends countless of times, songs like Jari ja minä by Tommi Läntinen, Electric by Leila K, Pon de Replay by Rihanna, and All about that bass… These are the songs I start the day with while I eat breakfast, and prepare myself for the day.
Next up we have songs that just kick ass on every possible level, and get my blood flowing: Psycho Killer by The Talking Heads, I’m so excited by Le Tigre, Cool and Bored by LCMDF, Add It Up by Violent Femmes, and Here Come The Drums by Jaya The Cat. These are the ones that build me up, and get me going, make me hungry and push me to try just little bit harder.
And the third section? It’s the songs that I associate with my teams, and the victories we’ve had. There’s Paso by Sak Noel (Porvoo Roller Derby always and forever), Girlfriend by Icona Pop (Vagine Regime Nordic!), Euphoria by Loreen (Long live Darkside of the Mooncup / Malmö Roller Derby Festival 2013!), and well, I’m sure it’s no surprise that most of the songs on the list I attach to my team of heroes in a halfshell, Helsinki Roller Derby All-Stars: Macklemore’s Can’t Hold Us (our warm up song), Leijonakuningas-laulu by Ruudolf (for winning the Suomi Cup 2014), and well, does Lorde’s Team need any explanations? These are the songs that remind me why I do this roller derby thing, and why it matters to me.
All these songs, they might not speak to anyone else, or they might get you in a completely different kind of mood, but that really is the point, isn’t it? You have to find what works for you, and go from there. If you listen to really aggressive music right before a game, get on the track, and end up in the box right away, there might be a connection. Or it could just be a coincidence. But it’s worth experimenting with. And the biggest tip of all: learn to shut out the music DJ’s play during a game. Seriously. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad, and occasionally, it’s so bloody absurd that you lose all focus. Trust me.