The Black & White

Keep the beat going: song lyrics should remain in warm ups

Graphic by Charlotte Alden.

Graphic by Charlotte Alden.

Graphic by Charlotte Alden.

By Aiden Lesley

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For many people, music serves as an outlet, a way to tune out everyday distractions. Athletes, specifically, find comfort in tuning out while listening to music because the loss of distraction leads to an increase in focus. But without lyrics, music can lose its power to inspire, energize and intensify an athlete’s performance.

Due to controversy surrounding music with explicit lyrics being played earlier this year at a Damascus boys basketball game, MCPS suggested that all sports teams remove lyrics from warm up music. This decision was implemented at Whitman, but it unnecessarily punishes Whitman athletes who have gone above and beyond to abide by all regulations involved with music, including having administration pre-approve playlists before every season begins.

Although it is reasonable for the county to react to explicit lyrics that would noticeably upset an audience, as they did with Damascus, actions shouldn’t be in response to mistakes by students who aren’t even a part of Whitman. They should be focused on matters within our own school.

As an athlete, listening to music energizes me and focuses my attention while playing sports. But lyricless music is only background noise—it doesn’t help. Artists pour their energy into a song via their lyrics and those lyrics allow athletes to tap into the artist’s intensity and improve their workout or warm up.

Moreover, I have been watching Whitman sports for years, and the songs that play before each game have become synonymous with Whitman sports for me. Two notable examples are Jay-Z’s “Blueprint 2” and Nelly’s “Heart of a Champion.” “Heart of a Champion” doesn’t even have explicit lyrics, and “Blueprint 2,” has a non-explicit option that I find to be better because it was a part of my experience watching Whitman sports. This year, football came out to AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck,” and the song got the entire student section cheering as the team came out.

If administration decides to continue keeping lyrics out of warm-up music, fans and future athletes won’t be able to connect to these songs in the same way that myself and many others have. Though they might have a catchy tune, instrumental songs simply lack the power to inspire athletes to greatness in the same way a song with lyrics can. We want our athletes to perform to the best of their abilities, and keeping lyrics in their warm-ups helps them focus and do that.

1 Comment

One Response to “Keep the beat going: song lyrics should remain in warm ups”

  1. Quavo on April 29th, 2017 1:20 pm

    treat yo self during warm-ups with some bad and boujee


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