Thanks for all the great answers guys. Some interesting stuff there.
The reason I was asking is actually because I’m considering this topic area for a thesis. I’m still really far off from actually doing it, but the topic seems to constantly comp up in relation to compeditive pinball (maybe not in actual conversation, but its something I think about a lot).
What I mean is, I think that there is more to having music on than simply blocking outside distractions, and I’m interested to see what others think.
Many players, in all sports, talk about a high level of focus commonly reffered to as being “in the zone”. I’m sure you all know it. It’s that feeling when you just can’t get it wrong. The ball just doesn’t seem to want to drain.
I also tend to think of it as a cognitive congruency. As in, there are no other thoughts going through your mind and you are completely focused on and in the moment.
Thoughts appear to be a really important part of the entire picture here. It seems that, as soon as you start thinking thats when you lose that high level of focus.
For example, ever had that moment when the ball is coming down the return lane and you think “im gonna go ramp,… no ill go loop”. You change your mind on what shot your going for, and you miss, every fucking time! haha.
So this is where the music comes in. I think that by listening to music you occupy party of your mind. It’s a part that isn’t nessisarily being used for pinball, but it stops the dialogue in your head. Stops you thinking.
Research shows that any distraction is detrimental to our focus. But my theory is, that if you listen to something consistenly in a particular situation it brings your mind closer to that mode of behaviour that is appropriate for that situation. Which is why I was interested to know if people listen to the same music every time, or if they always listen to different music.