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Whether you’re in need of an energy boost, want to push yourself at the gym, or just looking for a way to wind down at the end of a long day, the right music can do the trick.
So, what tunes do pro footy players use in the dressing rooms pre-game and to relax after a heavy training session?
We spoke with nib Newcastle Knights players Pauli Pauli and Pat Mata’utia to get the low-down on the beats that keep them going.
R&B is at the top of the list for Pat Mata’utia, who played his junior rugby league at South Newcastle before joining the Knights in 2012. Pat loves tuning in to the beat of African music when he’s warming up, including Nigerian R&B kings Praiz and Iyanya, as well as reggae from Jamaican singer-songwriter Diana King. He also has Kiwi rapper Savage on his playlist.
However, lately the 23-year-old centre/second rower has been branching out into country music.
He’s become a huge fan of American stars Alan Jackson ('Chattahoochee' is one of his favourite songs) and the Grammy Award-winning Zac Brown Band, whose best-known hit is 'Chicken Fried'.
He also loves the music of Chris Brown, as well as rapper superstars Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West and Drake, whose newest album More Life was released in March.
Pat usually plugs in his headphones and gets onto YouTube to settle nerves in the dressing room before a game, although he has been known to connect his iPhone through speakers to gee up his teammates too.
Pat is the second youngest of the four Mata’utia brothers (Peter, Chanel and Sione are his siblings) who all play for Newcastle. Although all four are signed with the club, they haven’t yet taken to the field in the same match.
“I’ll have to think of a special song for that day,” says Pat. “And I won’t be sitting in the corner listening on my headphones. I’ll be conducting the whole crowd at McDonald Jones Stadium!” says Pat.
Keen to listen to some of Pat's favourite tunes? We've got his playlist live now!
Knights forward Pauli has similar music tastes to Pat – he loves listening to reggae to relax before a big game and is a huge fan of the late Bob Marley and his youngest son Damian. British reggae and pop band UB40 is another favourite.
Pauli, who joined the Knights at the beginning of last season after his first two NRL seasons at Parramatta, listens to his favourite songs on Spotify.
The 22 year old is also a fan of American gospel music such as Grammy Award-winning artists Donnie McClurkin, Kirk Franklin and the late Andraé Crouch.
However, one song both Pat and Pauli would love to hear a lot more of this season is the Newcastle Knights’ victory song 'Go Hard, Go Knights'.
“We’ve had some really close results this season and have been playing much better final 40 minutes. We are really confident we can turn that into some positive results for the rest of the season,” he says.
Hopefully that will be ‘Very Soon’, to borrow the hit song title by Andraé Crouch!
If you're keen to find out what health apps the Knights use to get themselves game-ready, check out our article, nib Newcastle Knights stars share their top fitness apps.