Tuesday 12 June 2012

The Art of Choking

My musical month has revolved around events common to many of us, not least the Jubilee celebrations. There have also been the usual assortment of more personal experiences, one or two of which I'd like to share now. A couple of radio items caught my ear. The first was a "Thought For The Day" considering the amount of training and concentrated effort that goes into making a top athlete. Even with everything in place, it sometimes happens that an athlete will then "choke" on the day, will lose focus, rhythm, concentration. The reason may be simply trying too hard, allowing the chattering uncertainties of the mind to get in the way of the body's instinctive ability, programmed in by long months of training.  Now simply substitute "music" for "athletics" and "practice" for "training" and the equivalence is complete. The solution to choking, according to "Thought For The Day", is to let go and allow an inner grace to hold sway.

The athletic theme was taken up by another R4 programme describing how athletes use music as an integral part of training, for warming up, for working out and for event preparation. Rhythm plays a major part in this, the magic 120-140 beats per minute holding the key.  Red Bull have this year sponsored the composition of a piece of music written, or should I say designed, for all the different components in the training and performance potential of one of our top Olympic athletes.