When gametime rolls around, music is a classic part of athletes’ pre game routine to get themselves in the zone to compete. Music can enhance emotions, muscle control, help build muscle memory, and lower stress levels. With music’s bodily benefits in mind, we talked to athletes to hear their go-to medley before games.
Imani Wyatt – Dons women’s track and field
Imani Wyatt is a second-year international business major and sprinter and hurdler for the USF Dons women’s track and field team. In an interview with the Foghorn, Wyatt said that listening to her favorite music before a game “can help ease the tension and nerves that come with competing at the collegiate level.” She listens to a lot of Afrobeats, Reggae, and Reggaeton to give her energy and help her focus on a meet day.
Marshall Bush -Dons men’s track and field
Marshall Bush is a second-year business marketing major and distance runner for the USF Dons men’s track and field team. Bush prioritizes music in his pregame ritual to help him get physically and mentally ready for a meet. He told the Foghorn, “At times, music can help, but sometimes it can [add to] nerves, so I definitely have to get used to it and learn how to control my emotions with it.” Bush looks for songs to pump him up before a race. “I’m definitely playing some rap music to get the blood flowing,” he said. Go to’s include “Location” by Playboi Carti and “Love Sosa” by Chief Keef.
Nina Konidaris – Dons women’s soccer
Nina Konidaris is a first-year marketing major and plays forward for the USF Dons women’s soccer team. For Konidaris, listening to music before a game keeps her in her element to perform to the best of her ability. “I think pregame music has a huge impact on my success on the field. It can put me in the right mood, boost my energy, remove any bad thoughts, calm me down, and makes me imagine that I’m in a familiar environment so I’m not too anxious or stressed,” she said. Konidaris usually listens to rap and house music to keep her afloat in the right headspace before a game. When asked about her favorite songs, Konidaris said she has a few that she plays on repeat before games until she’s “sick of them.” “Sandman” by ASAP Rocky, “Sonnentanz” by Klangkarussell, and “Take It Easy” by The Eagles are just a few of Konidaris’ favorites.
Jasmine Gayles – Dons women’s basketball
Jasmine Gayles is a third-year business finance major and a guard for the USF Dons women’s basketball team. She said the whole team listens to music together before games. “With everyone’s personalities and different preferences there’s definitely a wide range, but I’d say we usually lean on what most everyone knows,” she said. She shared how the team usually bumps classics from the early 2000s to get their heads right for a game. “I’m usually really superstitious, so I always thought if I listened to a song and our team won, it had to do at least a little bit with the song, but I’ve tried to disconnect the two since I’ve been in college,” she said.
John Paolo contributed to the reporting of this story.