Coach Doaty on Muscle Memory Music in Basketball


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Randal S. Doaty
Focus & Attitude Coach

Music and sports may seem like two completely different worlds, but in reality they share a very natural symbiosis. Sports require specific muscle memory motion to develop great athletic motor skills. Music acts like a blueprint for our muscles to follow and accurately replicate the muscle motion. In my Focus & Attitude Coaching curriculum, “muscle memory music” is a secret ingredient for certain skill development. However, before you grab your I-Pod and headphones and sprint for the gym, you need to understand that this trick doesn’t work with all types of music!

Most of today’s modern music is memorized by listening to the same song again and again. We now have the luxury of recorded music that can be played over and over until our brain remembers the melody, the rhythm and the words. It hasn’t always been that way! Once upon a time music needed to be written so that our recollection of the words would help us remember the melody, or the melody would remind us of the words. Music that was written before recording technology was written to be more easily remembered. This is still the best music for developing muscle memory.

The notion of the symbiotic relationship between our muscles and music is really nothing new. If you have ever seen a figure skater perform a lengthy routine, they are always doing so to music. The music provides a blueprint for the skater’s muscles to follow. The same is true in gymnastic floor routines. These athletes also depend upon the music telling the muscles exactly what to do and where they should be as the song and routine proceeds. Our muscles naturally enjoy following the music. It’s a phenomenon that we call dance.

In the sport of basketball we have certain skills that require precise tempo and muscle movement replication, like foul shooting. A foul shot is always executed toward a basket of the same height and distance. It would be possible to build a machine that could make 100% of the foul shots because it is a purely mechanical function. The use of muscle memory music is the very best tool to perfect a player’s foul shot as long as the player is getting proper instruction on shooting form. The music used in conjunction with Focus & Attitude Coaching practices will help make you the very best foul shooter on the team!

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About Coach Doaty

Coach Doaty is a sports performance quantification system pioneer and a mental coaching innovator. He has been researching, developing and implementing new tools and training programs for the sport of basketball for nearly two decades. He has spent the past 18 years studying data he has collected with his trademark intensity measurement point system called BIMPS. The term BIMPS is an acronym for Basketball Intensity Measurement Point System.
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