When it comes to the sport of hockey, there are many physical aspects of the game. Positioning, systems, skills, etc. One thing that is often overlooked is the mental aspect of the game. Personally, I believe that the mental part of the game starts the minute you walk into the rink. If you ever watch the pre-game before any major sporting event you will usually see the athletes with headphones on. This is mainly because they are getting into a mindset that only few of us can imagine.
Music has always played a role in sports and with the various different ways and forms of media, it has never been easier to listen to just about anything, anywhere, at any time. When I played, someone had to be responsible for carrying in a large CD player and two speakers to play, while another was responsible for ‘burning’ a CD to play in the locker room. Now kids can listen to their own music via a smartphone and wireless speakers, or a smartphone and small speaker that plays louder than the system my friends dad had to cart into the locker room.
As the way music is played has changed, so has the music itself. In my opinion from what I have witnessed in the last couple of years is that more locker rooms and smartphones are being filled with rap and pop music. Huh? I don’t know about you, but I need some good old fashioned rock to get me in the mood. A guy talking about being in a club over a generic beat does not do it for me. With that said, I decided that I would dedicate this post to my top 10 warm-up songs of All-Time. These are songs that I have personally used to get me mentally prepared for more than just hockey and would be a good asset to your warm-up mix.
NOTE: Though several of these artists have multiple songs, that could have made the list, I only included my top choice as to keep a nice variety.
10 – Final Countdown by Europe
You may think this is a cheesy selection, but you cannot knock this 80’s classic as a song that lifts up everyone’s mood. This comes in at number 10 because this would be a song that would be played early when the team gets to the rink, usually not right before a game.
9 – Black Betty by Ram Jam
One of the staples of the locker room for many years growing up, I can’t think of a time when this song was played and 75% or more of the guys were singing along to it. Like the #10 selection, this isn’t all about actually pumping you up, but more or less getting the team to come together and prepare as one.
8 – Theme Song, Last of the Mohicans Movie
Seriously. I was thinking the same thing as you probably are when the song was first suggested to me, but I have listened to this countless times to get me in a calm, yet determined mood. There are no vocals, but I guarantee you will get jacked listening to it.
7 – The Zoo by the Scorpions
What better song to transition into the heart and heaviness of the lineup? Whether you need a pick me up at the rink, the gym, or work, this song speaks to your soul and you can make it through the zoo. Unfortunately from the zoo, you step into the…..
6 – Welcome to the Jungle by Guns N Roses
Whether you listen the live or album version, the adrenaline is really pumping now. You feel like the Lion in the Jungle, ready to take on whatever the task may be.
5 – Bulls on Parade by Rage Against the Time
What other band would you really start kicking it into high gear with? RATM brings grit, some head-banging beats and brash vocals to this hit song. Sure to get you and your crew in the mood for the grand finale.
4 – Du Hast by Rammstein
You have now met the part of the song list where you are in all out rage. Not aggression, but in a state where you feel mentally prepared for the journey you are about to embark on. There is only one little thing standing in your way, the Sandman.
3 – Enter Sandman by Metallica
“Hush little baby, don’t say a word. And nevermind that noise you heard. It’s just a beast under your bed, in your closet, in your head. Exit light, enter night” – If those lyrics and this song don’t send chills up your spine. Check your pulse. If you have one, it’s time to get to know the Beautiful People.
2 – The Beautiful People by Marilyn Manson
This song would make the list regardless, but it sits so high because I will never forget how it made me feel in the locker room. Imagine this, my Bantam A year our team was pretty dominant. I think we only lost a dozen or so games (out of 60) that season and we always were playing excellent competition. We got along great as a team and the camaraderie was nothing short of fantastic. This was a team that beat opponents 17-0 and showed no mercy. How did we stay competitive each and every game. This song. One time it came on, everyone was dressed and waiting for the coach to come in and give us our pregame speech. One of my teammates began beating on the pads of his pants to the beat of the song. About 10 seconds later, 18 players were pounding their hands on their pads and getting absolutely jacked up for the game. If I remember correctly, the coach came in, smiled, watched and never said a word. This continued for the rest of the season and is a memory I will always carry with me.
1 – Thunderstruck (Live) by AC/DC
When you listen to this song from the Live album it makes it one million times better. The crowd chanting, cheering and going crazy. You feel every ounce of energy through the music. I always start or end my mental preparation with this song.
I challenge you to take a listen to these songs in the order listed and see what you think. Over the course of the hour or so it takes to listen to them all, I doubt you will be in a relaxed state. Instead I think you will be excited, have a burst of energy and tackle whatever life throws at you.
Do have some favorites you think I left out? Maybe a different song from one of the artists mentioned? If so, leave a comment and as always please feel free to share with friends, family and co-workers.