Having trained as a singer, Lisa Smith, STA’s Technical Support Officer knows a thing or two about the voice, and how important it is for swimming teachers to protect their vocal chords.
It is very common for teachers, lecturers or anyone who is required to speak excessively as part of their job to have at some stage in their working life a problem with their voice, and especially for swimming teachers who are projecting their voice in a noisy environment.
Symptoms such as a lack of voice strength and croakiness are typical of vocal abuse, and permanent damage can be caused to the voice unless good habits are adopted:
- Keep the vocal chords hydrated by taking regular sips of water whilst on poolside
- Project the voice, don’t shout, a thumbs up or clapping can motivate learners just as effectively
- Use the voice correctly when speaking, this is aided by good posture, and good breath support
- When speaking to learners, bring them close enough so that a quiet voice can be used
- Warming up the voice with vocal exercises such as humming before lessons can help.
Most importantly, I would advise anyone who suffers from a change in their voice or hoarseness for more than two weeks to visit their GP.
STA Technical Support Officer
- Swimming Teaching