If you work as a sports coach, either full or part-time, your voice is an essential part of your training toolkit. Your class or team requires that the message being delivered should be loud, clear and interesting. Here’s how to achieve that:
- Consider the number of people you need to reach and the space you need to cover.
- Mentally focus on throwing the voice from the body core (not the throat).
- DO NOT FORCE (i.e. shout) as this will result in a harsh tone and weaken your vocal cords.
- Project your voice by expanding your lungs. Focus on the belly button and imagine blowing up a balloon above this point. If you think about what is happening physically, you will find that the stomach relaxes out and the ribs expand a little as you breathe in. The diaphragm also flattens downwards so that the lungs have more space to take in air. The sequence reverses as you breathe out.
- The abdominal muscles pull in gently as you breathe out to control the outflow.
- The strong column of air which result enables the vocal cords to vibrate safely and create a good initial note.
- Feel the power of the note resonate in your upper chest (men) and head, (women).
- OPEN YOUR MOUTH to release the sound.
- Make sure the muscles in your mouth, i.e. the lips and the tongue, are strong and flexible. You can strengthen them with tongue twisters.
- Improve your clarity by taking your time and making all consonants firmly.
- DON’T RUSH – BE ACCURATE.
- Complete all of your words and keep control with pauses.
- THINK MUSICAL
- Practice scales – singing or speaking.
- Emphasise key words to point the important part of your message.
- Aim not to repeat the vocal note patterns as this is boring.
- Vary the pace but never go faster than your team/class can process the information.
If you get even some of this right you will be more effective as a sports coach.
Speak Loud & Clear!