05 October 2007

Music as Performance-Enhancing Drug

Barry Bonds vs. Barry White?

Technology like the mp3 player is revolutionising sports psychology, according to an expert who says these devices are allowing athletes to harness the psychological benefits of music as never before.

"It's certainly going to add a new level to [athletic] potential," says Terry, who has been to seven Olympic Games as a sports psychologist and published widely on the power of music in enhancing athletic performance.

But he says the technology could create a whole new conundrum for sports authorities by making them redefine whether the use of performance enhancing music is cheating.

In 1998 Haile Gebreselasie set an indoor world record for the 2000 metres by synchronising his stride rate to the song Scatman.

The question of cheating may become even more fraught with the prospect of tiny mp3 players that can be worn under the skin.

Seems a little far fetched; I think by the time music technology gets to that point, other performance-enhancing methods will have advanced considerably enough to be far more worrisome. Still interesting, though.

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