Music could help footballers to play better

Scientists have discovered that playing music through headphones at a particular rhythm and synchronously to the whole football team can significantly improve the sporting performance.

Researchers at the Institute for Sports Science at the University of Hanover, Germany, recently presented the findings. They experimented with two five-a-side teams who played three 10-minute games against each other.

The first game was without music. In the second game one team were given wireless headphones and fast-paced electronic music was played to the players synchronously. The other team were also given headphones in the second game, but with each player receiving different pieces of music of differing rhythm. During the third game, the teams switched places, with one hearing music synchronously, the other asynchronously.

Together with professional football coaches, the scientists then analysed the teams' performances according to recognised criteria: the frequency and accuracy of passes and the successful conclusion of a game. Goals were only included in the analysis if they were the result of teamwork.

"We can go so far as to speak of a medium to large effect this had on the footballers' performance," said Gerd Schmitz, one of the study's authors, who presented the findings to the German Football Federation's (DFB) annual science congress in Frankfurt last month.

Schmitz told the conference: "The results are so encouraging, I think it's quite possible they will be implemented in training practice."

Image is credited to havankevin from Flickr.

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