By Dave Crampton, Swimming World contributor. 

Every swimmer wants to get well prepared before meets and races. Invariably that involves a pair of headphones. Just like good sets, and good results, swimmers need good songs that provide a good body beat.

If you are looking for some good songs other than Black Eyed Peas (which is already in your iPod – right?) – and Justin Timberlake – to get into the zone or to blast through the speakers at a national meet, here is a start.

Some of these songs are so good, you’ve probably never heard of them.

1. “Not Giving In” – Rudimental

This time, I’m gonna be stronger, I’m not giving in / This time, I’m gonna be stronger, I’m not giving in / This time, I’m gonna be stronger, I’m not giving in…

This one is inspirational and on a lot of elite athlete’s playlists. It builds well and has a stonking drum and bass riff – beats everywhere. The vocals from John Newman and Alex Clare are excellent, and the lyrics are perfect for a swimming pump-up or an entrance song for the top swim of the meet.

2. “In the End” – Linkin Park

This song has real energy and grunt, as well as a good piano riff, vocals and rapping. It’s intense. It starts like a swimming race, quiet, peaceful – and then the grunt of the rapping and guitars kick in. Helps you push through, as far as you can go, and get your heart pumping.

3. “How we do” – Hardwell and Showtek

The song is four year’s old, and short, at less than 2:50 – unless you have the extended mix. This one really crashes. It’s a banger, it’s not for the fainthearted – which no swimming champion is. A great track to start listening to before you walk out of the ready room – and finish when you get to the blocks. When you win, you can say ‘that’s how we do’.

4. “Home Again” – Shihad

As a New Zealander, I couldn’t resist adding in some local music. This song starts strong and goes. And goes. And goes. It has energy, raw power, and passion; there are things that are required for winning swimming events. A great song, especially if you are returning to your home country or town after competing elsewhere.

5. “Silence” – Massive DJs ( Steve Hill v Technical mix)

This is one to listen to before you go to marshalling. Anything by DJ Steve Hill is good to pump you up, especially if hard trance is your thing as much as swimming is. Pumping multiple-beats-per-minute, sweet uplifting vocals and rhythm variation sounds great as you down your last mouthful, and get your goggles and cap ready.

6. “Show Me The Stars” – Temple One and Sarah Lynn

This track has variety, and the vocals from Irish singer-songwriter Sarah Lynn are as angelic and uplifting as you`ll ever hear. Amazing 2015 tune for any aspect of swimming. Another one for those that like a good build-up. A great aerobic track. It is a 138 beats per minute driving euphoric song of freedom – intense in places – but hardly anybody has heard of it.

7. “Sandstorm” – Darude

Just play Darude’s Sandstorm and you will swim much better. A great anthem to play anytime – and a good one to play through the speakers during 800m or 1500m events. Great tempo and a staple for swimming fast and used a lot by sports as warm up music before big games.

8. “Perfect Strangers” – Jonas Blue

While not a motivational track, this is a good track to listen to in the car on the way to the meet to get you to relax. A huge summer song, this dance anthem has great vocals by JP Cooper to get you in the zone. Maybe you`ll win your race after listening to it ….c’mon, c’mon, c’mon.

9. “It’s A Fine Day” – Opus III.

This is like a chilled version of the Black Eyed Peas “I Gotta Feeling” – except the lyrics here are “It’s going to be a fine night tonight/It’s going to be a fine day tomorrow”. The kids probably won’t get this track, but older swimmers may. Good one to listen to if you want to be calm, after you have got your first PB in the heat of a weekend meet and you are in the final. Also a good track to use over the speakers during a quiet time of the meet.

10. “Ready 2 Go” – Martin Solveig feat. Kele.

“I turn it on, I set the tone, and I know I’m ready to go”

Not only is this grinding track a good pump up song before you are ready to go and stand on the blocks, the video is also excellent, filmed at France’s national football stadium. It was the also the Official Club Anthem of the Copa America Football Championship 2011. Essential i-Pod material, both when you travel to a meet, and in the ready room, ready to go.

All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.