BOURBONNAIS – The sound was ear-splitting when it started with heavy metal music blaring from a speaker that was more than 50 yards away from the nearest fan. But it was serving a purpose.
The blasting music during selected practice sessions, primarily individual work, is intended to develop focus and concentration based on research reportedly costing six figures. Blasting music has been used as a torture technique, of course, but the Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles and myriad of other teams using the sound approach believe it has benefits for their on-field operations.
“I just wanted to bring something to practice, just a little more energy to practice,” coach Marc Trestman said. “Talking to the players about it, that we would do some work in ‘individual’ when we can coach them close up and still get our job done and still get our job done, but have a little fun as well with just getting them going.
“And it translates to games because there’s music before games. So because they’re working with music before games, why shouldn’t we have music during that same kind of warm-up period, that individual period that we have in practice.”
The Bears also introduced a second practice to run simultaneously with the regular one, so that twice the number of players are getting live action running selected plays.
“You saw two practices actually going on on two different fields,” Trestman said, “so we get more reps, more opportunity to get guys on tape and give them a chance to perform and to run plays.”