By Ben Shantz
Timeouts are integral to most every sporting event. They help synchronize actions between players and allow more intimate interactions between coaches and players. Something seldom considered, however, is the role that sound plays in timeouts. From the auditory cues that precipitate the calling of a timeout, to the various interactions during and immediately after a timeout there is a noticeable change in what sounds are heard and what interactions occur due to those changes in sound. Notable among the aspects of the game that can change during a timeout are momentum, motivation, and performance. Momentum will be a concept that is employed frequently in this paper; Peter Adler describes it in his book Momentum: A Theory of Social Action, as “a state of dynamic intensity marked by an elevated or depressed rate of motion, grace, and success.” Examining the pre-timeout, during timeout, and post-timeout periods will better demonstrate the uniqueness of timeouts to sports interactions as well as how timeouts and sound work together. Initially, however, it is necessary to distinguish between various types of sporting music and what effects they can have on performance.