Mind over matter in sports
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..
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.
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