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Midweek Roundtable: What's Your Favorite Pump-Up Song?

2:04 PM, Oct. 24, 2012 EDT

We wonder what gets Allyson Felix hype before a race. / US PRESSWIRE

We here at USA TODAY High School Sports love a good-natured debate. Every Wednesday, we'll invite you into our sometimes serious, sometimes light-hearted (but always passionate) takes on various topics that pertain to high school sports, and feature commentary from high school athletes. We invite everyone to sound off in the comments and on Twitter and Facebook. Go ahead, tell us why we're wrong. We'll try not to take it personally.

QUESTION: What's your favorite pump-up song?

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Jim Halley, Reporter

This changes all the time for me. You can't keep the same pump-up song for the same reason you can't keep the same workout routine. It gets old. The chorus to "We Ready" by Archie Eversole is perfect from a team perspective. I'm Irish, and if the beat to "Jump Around" by House of Pain can't get you going, you're asleep. If you're talking really old school, AC/DC's "TNT" has plenty of adrenaline to go around. Ask me next week, though, and I'll have three different answers.

Jason Jordan, Reporter

I know I’m kind of taking it back with this one, but I’d have to say "Lose Yourself" by Eminem. Just hearing ‘You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow, cause opportunity comes once in a lifetime’ gets me hype. I actually listened to that song before winning three intramural basketball championships in college. Shameless plug there.

Sarah Gearhart, Reporter

This question, as simple as it is, overwhelms me--I'm overzealous about my playlists. Every genre of every song ever made (minus country) seems to pump me up (or maybe that's because I drink too much coffee). This is impossible to accurately answer, so I'll list a few from a recent mix: "Television Rules the Nations/Crescendolls" by Daft Punk. The lyrics are minimal, but I listen to it for the beat when I want to run really fast. I also like "Yelle" by the Safari Disco Club. Sure, it's in French, and I only understand a few words, but the beat is ill. Calvin Harris is always good, along with Jay-Z and The Cure for overall artists. I also like "Kiara" by Bonobo and "Dog Days" by Florence + the Machine. I'm just gonna stop typing before I increase this wordcount to an unreadable limit.

Scott Allen, Content Producer

I'll take it back even farther, Jason, and say "When I Come Around" by Green Day. There's just something about that song that gets me fired up. It's the 'Power Song' on my iPod and it's always the answer I give when the conversation at a baseball game inevitably leads to someone asking, "What would you choose as your walk-up song?" I almost want to learn guitar just so I can play this song.

David Scott, Content Manager

This one is easy -- "Hells Bells" by AC/DC. I mean the opening with the bell and then the guitar?!?!?! Now if that song doesn’t get you going then you are not a sports fan. I am partial to this song because they always play the bells on third down at Ohio State football games and it instantly gets the crowd on their feet as soon as they hear the first bell.


Tyus Jones, Basketball Apple Valley (Apple Valley, Minn.)

I’d probably have to say "No Worries" by Lil Wayne. It just gets my adrenaline going. I’m ready to play after that.

Michaela Dooley, Soccer, Xavier College Prep (Phoenix, Ariz.)

"No Faith in Brooklyn" by Hoodie Allen is a good one. I also like "'Till I Collapse" by Eminem. The lyrics talk about someone who's working hard and exerting themselves until they physically have nothing left to give. That's how I want to go into every game.

Nigel Williams-Goss, Basketball, Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.)

Definitely "Public Service Announcement" by Jay-Z. When the song starts it’s slow and then Jay just comes out so hard with what he’s saying. The lyrics just get me going and ready to play.

Anna Maxwell, Cross Country, San Lorenzo Valley (Felton, Calif.)

"Stronger" by Kelly Clarkson. It has good beats to run to and keeps your heart rate up. You get really inspired and ready to go. The messages are good, and it's fun to listen to.

Peter Kalambayi, Football, Butler (Matthews, N.C.)

"O Let's Do It" by Waka Flocka Flame. It just gets you ready. Before a game, you have a task to perform and (the song) has a good beat and is lively and gets you ready.

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Brian Hales, Butler (Matthews, N.C.) Football Coach 

"Bullet with Butterfly Wings" by The Smashing Pumpkins from my Kent State days (he was an offensive lineman there).

Cord Sandberg, Football, Manatee (Bradenton, Fla.)

It doesn't matter. Whatever is playing in the locker room.



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