Calling all the Sports and Fitness Coaches out there… 📢
A pilot study looking into the vocal health of football coaches in 2015 by Buckley et al. (see my stories) revealed that ALL its participants reported experiencing voice problems. It showed they were largely previously unaware of the impact of their job on voice and how to protect voice.
Some of the vocal challenges I’ve encountered from sports/fitness coach patients are : large spaces, poor acoustics (eg. swimming), large teams, dry atmosphere (sports halls), stress levels, noisy environments (gyms), poor vocal health, tendencies to shout, and poor knowledge and insight.
Thinking practically about what might help a sports coach protect their voice, whether coaching children, adults, indoors, outdoors, groups, individuals or whatever sport it may be….
🔹Huddle your team together as often as possible to communicate with them so you can avoid speaking across large spaces
🔹Use a whistle or a clap or other means of attracting attention. Coach your team about your method of getting their attention so that they know not to wait for you to call out.
🔹If you need to call out indoors and acoustics are poor, is there any suitable means of amplification you could use? Very relevant for fitness instructors
🔹Always have a bottle of water with you that you can sip from regularly.
🔹Breath in first before calling out and keep to maximum of 5 words on each breath e.g ‘John move into goal’ pause and breath in ‘and Tyler pass to James’
🔹Wrap a scarf around your neck on cold winter days during outdoor training, keep the throat warm.
🔹Keep an eye and ear out for my vocal warm up videos on Instagram and consider a good upper body stretch and vocal warm up before coaching and cool down after.
🔹If you are a professional voice user in your day job and a volunteer coach for the local team on evenings and weekends carefully consider your vocal load and whether you have capacity for the vocal demand this requires.
Any specific questions or worries I would love to hear from you…