Ep. 99: #HowDoesThatWork: Behind the scenes of professional boxing entrance music, with Adam Gallenberg, PhD, LP

Photo by Attentie Attentie on Unsplash

Sport psychologist, musician, and USA Boxing certified coach Adam Gallenberg takes us behind the curtain of the boxing ring walk. We discuss how entrance music is selected; the meaning it has for athletes; and its psychological implications.

Adam Gallenberg, PhD, LP


My guest today is right here in the Twin Cities – Dr. Adam Gallenberg is a Licensed Psychologist with Premier Sport Psychology, a sport and performance practice that works with professional, Olympic, collegiate, high school, and youth athletes, as well as musicians, performers, and business professionals. In addition to his psychology practice, Dr. Adam is also a musician AND a USA Boxing certified coach. He has trained a range of boxers and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters from youth amateur fighters to world champion boxers in California, Illinois, Iowa, and now Minnesota.


We discuss all things at the intersection of music and boxing, including:

  • How Adam first connected with the world of boxing and was introduced to music’s use in the boxing context.
  • The context of the walk to the ring.
  • The purpose of entrance music (e.g., amp up the contestant who chose it; create a persona; connect with fans; personal meaning; intimidate the opponent; get the crowd excited; create cultural meaning; honor people and/or current events).
  • What does the process of entrance music selection look like?
  • The emotional and psychological implications of entrance music.
  • Entrance music as a pre-performance ritual.
  • George Foreman said, “The moments before the fight, the killer quietness of the dressing room and that deadly walk through the crowd into the ring, were always like an out of body experience for me. It was like putting my life on ice for a moment. No way to prepare for that walk. Each one was life-changing, for me.” (see “The evolution of the ring walk: Key moments that changed boxing introductions forever”)

Connect/Other Resources

  • Dr. Adam Gallenberg is a Licensed Psychologist with Premier Sport Psychology. Dr. Adam specializes in helping athletes and performers unlock their full potential when it comes to peak performance and personal growth needs. Virtual appointments are available.
  • Adam’s Premier Sports Psychology profile page
  • Adam offers boxing coaching & training at Title Boxing Club in Edina, MN.
  • Instagram: @premier.sport.psychology and @dr.adam_sportpsych
  • Email: agallenberg@premiersportpsychology.com
  • We mention the book, Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why it Matters and How to Harness It, by Ethan Kross
  • If you enjoyed this conversation, you may also enjoy:
    • Ep. 66: Olympic trainer Daniel Stewart on enhancing motivation and performance with music
    • Ep. 52: In honor of the “2020” Olympics: The MUSICAL Olympic event, with champion equestrian Betsy Van Dyke
    • Ep. 30: Baseball & organ – the sound of spring fever, with MN Twins organist Sue Nelson
    • Ep. 23: Enhance Athletic Performance by up to 15% with the Legal Doping of MUSIC, with Power Music’s Dan Hubbert
    • Ep. 10: NHL Season Begins Tomorrow: Gloria! (role of music in hockey, with hockey editor Josh Gold-Smith)

 In-Episode Promo

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Adam explains why he struggled to come up with a Coda!

Closing Words

Thanks so much to Adam for sharing with us today! If you’ve listened to this show for long, you know I love exploring the myriad ways music shows up and influences our lives – the obvious and the not-so-obvious ways, and whether we consider ourselves musicians or not. You never know what you’re going to get on this show, which is one reason I love creating it and never get bored! New this week: Enhance Life with Music is now available on Pandora. Pandora is a little tricky to get into, but we are now there. Also, remember that If you have a smart speaker, you can listen to the show by saying, “Alexa [or Hey Google], play Enhance Life with Music podcast.” If you haven’t already done so, be sure to hit the Follow/+ button on whatever podcast app you use. This is FREE and conveniently delivers each new episode to your device each week when it releases, so you don’t have to search for it. As always, you’ll find a transcription of this episode and lots of links in the show notes. And you’ll find me on email (mindy@mpetersonmusic.com), Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. All links are on my website and in the episode details right in your podcast app. Thank you so much for joining me today. Until next week, may your life be enhanced with music.

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