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Mind over matter in sportsFeatured science projectScience project video

Conclusion

The hypothesis that participants who were pre-conditioned that they can run faster will actually complete the race in a shorter time is proven to be true.

Obviously the water had no particular properties and all of the athletes were given the same water to drink. However,  by mentally preconditioning the athletes that the water would  alter their performance in a certain manner, we were able to produce interesting alterations in the performance of the athletes..
 

Also consider

The experiment can also be done by informing the participants that music will alter their running performance and then a similar test can be conducted. However, music has indeed been shown to have an actual impact on an athlete's performance.

This experiment can also be repeated to compare cycling instead of running speeds.
 

References

The effects of music on athletic performance - http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/2474

The science of sport – mind over matter? - http://www.sportsscientists.com/2009/01/mind-over-matter.html

Mind over matter - http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2007/jul/27/triathlon.seaningle1
 

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Complexity level:
6
Project cost ($):
20
Time required:
1 hour to prepare, 2 days for experiment
Material availability:
Easily available
Safety concerns:

None