Official Student Newspaper of Henry M. Gunn High School

The Oracle

Official Student Newspaper of Henry M. Gunn High School

The Oracle

Official Student Newspaper of Henry M. Gunn High School

The Oracle

Pregame music primes student-athletes for peak performance


Freshman Kaila Chen: Cheerleading

Cheerleading’s complex choreographies can stir worries about stumbles, memory blanks and potential errors. Freshman Kaila Chen calms her pregame nerves by listening to her favorite songs.

It can get stressful at times, and everyone has nerves,” Chen said. “So (music) is a good way to take one’s mind off of worries.”

Chen noted that music has helped the cheer team change the way they approach their performances.

“(Music) brings us together by basically taking our minds off of what may happen in the future and promotes communication,” she said. “Usually our minds are clouded with thoughts about what may go wrong or what if one of us makes an error, so by playing music, it kind of shifts our mindsets. Instead of being worried, we become excited to promote our school spirit.”

The team also relies upon music when choreographing. According to Chen, these tunes keep the cheerleaders united in their goals.

“It definitely brings everyone together and prepares us for what’s ahead,” she said. “Without music to motivate us, it’s quite difficult to find something to push us forward.”

Although Chen does not create a specific playlist for pregame listening, she shuffles her liked songs: 21 Savage’s “Runnin,” Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble” and other rap songs that energize her.


Sophomore Hannah Casale: Soccer

Sophomore Hannah Casale enjoys listening to music while warming up for soccer matches. As she jogs, stretches and does various passing drills with her teammates, she listens to songs like Shakira’s “Hips Don’t Lie.”

“I really (only listen to music) during soccer season,” she said. “It just pumps me up, in case I’m tired, or (I listen) to have more fun.”

Casale prefers songs that are easy to run to, and she has a pregame music playlist that she shares with her team. These shared songs have allowed for moments of team bonding.

“We argue over music that we like and dislike,” Casale said. “The arguing (was) a good way to break the ice for me (because) when I just joined the team, it was mainly upperclassmen.”


Junior Sidhant Lochan: Wrestling

Lightly jogging around the wrestling room, junior Sidhant Lochan stretches with headphones on. Tapping his phone, he sees the screen light up with the album cover of Kendrick Lamar’s “Money Trees.”

By listening to music, Lochan mentally prepares himself for his matches.

“Pregame songs are either to get you really hyped up, or to get you relaxed and cancel out the nerves,” he said. “I think a lot of sports need that crazy hype in their head to get the adrenaline pumping, but for wrestling, it’s more about keeping a cool head and controlling the match in all the ways that you can.”

Lochan specifically listens to “Money Trees” because the song’s mellower and softer tones, compared to Lamar’s other works, calms him.

“While I’m listening, I try to block out all my inner distractions and just visualize the match in my mind,” he said. “It gets me in the zone because for me, it gets me calm but also ready for the upcoming match.”

Other than “Money Trees,” Lochan switches things up by listening to Benson Boone’s “GHOST TOWN,” David Kushner’s “Daylight” and Bastille’s “Oblivion.”


Senior James Ford: Basketball

“One thousand on my feet, stacks spreaded on my seat / Ten thousand on my eyes.” With Travis Scott’s “MY EYES” playing through his earbuds, senior James Ford enters the basketball court to warm up for the game, ball in hand as he begins dribbling exercises.

Music helps Ford enter his “game mindset,” and he chooses from an array of upbeat tunes that energize him for the game — specifically rap and hip-hop songs.

“I don’t have a particular song I listen to, pregame,” he said. “(Instead), I usually listen to a playlist.” Ford updates his pregame playlist often, adding new music that he knows will keep him focused.

Ford also listens to Future, Kanye West and Young Thug, whose songs’ uplifting beats mentally prepare him for basketball games. His favorite tracks include Young Thug’s “Check” and Future’s “Solo.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Oracle
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Henry M. Gunn High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

Navigate Left
Navigate Right
About the Contributor
Michelle Koo
Michelle Koo, News Editor, Graphics Artist
Senior Michelle Koo is a news editor and graphic artist for The Oracle. Outside of school, she loves to play viola, learn taekwondo and watch Disney.
Donate to The Oracle
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Oracle Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *