Peter McKeown
 
Peter McKeown
 
 
Men's Soccer Blog #2

Sept. 12, 2012

The pregame playlist.

It is one of the sacred parts of the sporting world. The few hours leading up to a game where athletes get into their own zone. What ever that may be. The type of music an athlete listens to in these crucial moments can make or break a performance.

Well, not really, but don't mess with the ritual.

Music is personally a large part of my pregame routine, and it's one I have down to a bit of a science. I listen to the same three songs in the same order at about the same time every game.

I know from being around the guys on the team that it is a large part for them too, and I started to wonder what my teammates philosophies around their pregame playlist was--so I interviewed them.

First, I'll bare my pregame soul to you all, and then let you in on the secrets some other players have. My own pregame playlist has taken me years to perfect. It has gone through many shapes, and many songs have made the cut for some time. Here is what I'll listen to before playing. Feel free to judge me.

1. Audioslave "Cochise"

This song gets my blood going. It lets me know, "it's time to amp up, forget the daily life, and get into pumped up to run through people to stop goals mode.

2. Mychael & Jeff Danna "The Blood of Cuchulainn"

This song has been with me ever since my freshman year of college. As we walked out of the locker room at the Hoyne, this song greeted me as I made my first steps onto the pitch. Ever since, I've been in love with it. It is a very cinematic song. When I hear it, I visualize in a montage type style all the best plays I've ever made, and all the ones I hope to make in the game ahead. It fills me with the emotions of the game, and helps my mind realize how large of a moment game time is.

3. The Swell Season "I Have Loved You Wrong"

The Swell Season is my favorite band. This song wasn't a natural one to the list, but once, before a game I forgot my iPod and only had an old style Walkman CD player, with this CD in it. This song came on before I took the field, I played extremely well that game, and it has stayed in a spot on the list ever since. At this point of the list, this song is to get me into a relaxed mode. The final words of the song repeat "in my mind" over and over. It helps remind me that a large part of the game is played in my mind, and that I need to be focused intently for 90 minutes. I get shivers when the song finishes, and it lets me know, it's time to go.

Andrew Raymonds

If Raymonds is wearing headphones, you almost have to punch him in the face to get his attention. I always thought he was blaring some huge pump up tunes. After all, the man was averaging a goal a game this season, so I was surprised to find his answers when I interviewed him.

"It's really just a clutter box of really random things," said Raymonds.

Ranging from house music, to Elvis, to Dave Matthew's Band, to what Raymonds calls "some really girly things." Katy Perry, Celine Dion, etc.

"I've actually had Celine Dion going before the last three games, so I'm hesitant to switch it up, because I've been scoring, but we haven't been winning, so I don't know," said Raymonds.

Raymonds' pregame music philosophy is well thought out.

"It's just a game in the end so it just lets me get relaxed and get my mind off of things and help focus on the game," said Raymonds. "It relieves the stress, and some pre game jitters. It takes my mind of things before I have to start. Basically it's a last minute relaxation thing."

Here are three songs you are bound to find in Andrew's list. He calls it: Relaxin'

1. Elvis Presley "All Shook Up"

2. Celine Dion "It's All Coming Back to Me Now"

3. BoDeans "Closer to Free"

Brian Bement

If you catch Bement listening to his music before a game, it's often confusing. You aren't sure if he is getting pumped up, or going to a dance party. He sits back with a wide Bement style grin on his face with arms and feet bouncing around in all directions. Whatever it is he is listening to, you know he is enjoying it--and as last years leading scorer, you can't hate on him for it.

"The pregame playlist is extremely important to me. If we are on a run and winning, I won't change it," said Bement.

He has, what he describes, two different moods. There is the "normal" playlist, which has lots of rap and hip-hop, and the Brazilian style one, where he listens to lots of different "Samba-y type songs."

In the end he looks for anything that can just let him have fun with the game.

"A lot of the time I just like to get something that I can dance to. It gives me some ideas for goal celebrations, which are soon to come," said Bement.

Bement's play list consists a lot from two main Pandora Stations.

1. Pandora Station Stack$

2. Jay-Z "Dirt off Your Shoulder"

3. Anything by 2chainz, or Tyga, of whose concert Bement will be attending this Sunday.