For Coaches Like how do you not loose your voice?

GYMNASTICS
Parents... Coaches... Judges... Gymnasts...
DON'T LURK... Join The Discussion!

Members See FEWER Ads!
Join for FREE!
Status
Not open for further replies.

Redford

Coach
Gymnast
Judge
Aug 26, 2013
332
28
Hello everybody,

those of you who have read one or two of my previous posts might know that I'm a coach in Germany coaching in what is a typical setting there: non-profit state funded set up gym, low hours, few kids etc. We ususally have 15-30 kids in the gym at the same time and if there are several groups the gym is normally divided (with a mobile wall).
I've moved to Ireland and just startet at a 'real' gym, a proper one with fixed equipment and all. There are usually 4-5 groups going on at the same time and god the noise is KILLING me. In Germany I never scream or yell. Never ever, except for emergencies. Here I feel like I even have to yell just to explain a station, let's not even talk about getting my group to gather....

Is that an issue in your gym? How do you deal with that?
 
  • Like
Reactions: sun

Aussie_coach

Staff member
Gold Membership
Coach
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Club Owner / Manager
Jan 4, 2008
4,013
Well, even if you don't have a noisy group coaching a lot of hours can take a toll on the voice at first. You don't need to yell, but you do need to project your voice. But your voice does become more used to it, and develop its own stamina.

It sounds like a bit more discipline may be needed, if you have to yell to explain a station to gymnasts right near you even with a few hundred kids in the gym there is too much talking going on. The larger the gym, the greater the need to for structure and discipline. What was fine with 15-30 kids in the gym is. It fine with larger amounts.

You need to set these standards from the start. If a coach is explaining things, the. There is no talking everyone is sitting and watching. While usually sitting during training is not acceptable, I find kids listen to instructions better if they sit while they are being explained.

If a coach is leading kids through warms ups, stretches and conditioning, the group needs to be in lines, facing the coach, spread out enough and not talking.

When doing circuits and stations no one should ever be talking when there is a free beam, free bar, free station.

The kids will fall into line with your expectations if you make them clear and consistent.
 

kiwi2406

Coach
Gymnast
Dec 6, 2017
104
20
New Zealand
Firstly, congrats for the change!
I 100% agree with Aussie_coach, you need to set boundaries, then enforce them. If you don't enforce, everything will turn to custard quickly and you will soon find yourself too deep in the rabbit hole and unable to change the habits. After a couple of weeks of making your expectations clear, you will find the gym to be a much quieter, more orderly environment, even during 'noisy' times, such as warmup or routines. This way, you only need to project by directing your voice at the back of the room, and speaking loud, clear, and firmly, instead of yelling. Goodluck
 

coachmolly

Coach
Jan 18, 2009
2,990
VA
Congrats on the move and new job, that must be so exciting!
I don't know that lots of noise is super common, but I've only ever known club gym in the United States, so maybe it's louder than I think. I am super sensitive to excess noise though, so I try to keep it in check. My girls know the expectations as far as talking and if things start to get a little wild usually just a quick reminder will get them back in line. They also know that I don't make a habit of yelling, so it's sort of a given that if I'm giving a correction or instructions they gather around me. If things are particularly crazy in one area of the gym we might move over slightly to a place that is not quite as noisy for formal instructions.
Of course, you can't control the noise coming from other groups in the gym. I have found that some coaches (typically more extroverted ones) absolutely thrive on lots of chatter and noise so their classes end up being on the louder side. We have one coach who is very much like this and despite multiple chats with the gym owner just cannot change. I really struggled working with her and when her scheduled shifted and she moved to working with older girls the class dynamic changed for the better. The really outgoing, excitable, energetic kids love her and don't see it as a problem, but it can be really distracting and overwhelming for other coaches and quieter/more timid children.
My suggestion would be to set clear expectations for your group of girls about noise, listening, and attentiveness to directions. Children will learn that when they are with you, there is a set way they are to behave. They might not love it at first, but it will make a big difference in their productivity at the gym! And then hope the other coaches take note and start to desire the same thing from their groups.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Redford

Redford

Coach
Gymnast
Judge
Aug 26, 2013
332
28
Thank you all so much! It has been crazy and I still can't believe I actually did it. There a lots of new things to take in. (Not just the gym but also a new city, new people, coaching in English...) I also basically doubled my hours but I'm sure I'll get used to it .
Thanks as well for the advice, as coachmolly said I won't be able to change the general gym dynamic and even changing my own groups will be tricky since their previous coach seems to have been more lenient but I'm establishing some general rules and the kids seem to take them in very well just having a hard time remembering them once the action is on. :)
 

CoachS

Coach
Judge
Apr 20, 2013
48
New Jersey
I'm one of those aforementioned energetic and loud coaches but even so I still have problems sometimes with a sore throat at the end of practice. The biggest tool that I use to help mitigate issues with my rec & team groups listening to or hearing me is a white board or piece of paper with the stations/drills that I want them doing on a particular apparatus. It makes my expectations & directions clear, they know what's going on and don't have to ask me 15,000 times on what they are doing on a particular piece of equipment, and I can walk around and talk to athletes more on an individual basis and correct them rather than than yelling out corrections. Our gym is loaded with kids and coaches all being loud at the same time, and I have hearing loss so I could barely hear the kids anyway over them unless they are face to face or screaming. The whiteboard mitigates these issues and I leave at the end of the day most of the time not feeling like I just watched the U.S. Men's Team clinch Gold at Worlds. lol

Also, @Aussie_coach is right with developing vocal stamina - me now vs. me 8 years ago wouldn't even be a match.
 

eucoach

Coach
Judge
Jun 9, 2013
105
I would make sure to assemble the whole group around you when you start an event and explain set-ups and drills only when they are all in close proximity to you. When the gym is really busy and I have to correct a gymnast who is further away, I motion to them to move towards me and then make the correction.

If you have a general problem with discipline, the following might work. It's actually something I picked up when working with a large number of people and have never tried in the gym. If it gets too loud for you, stop working and raise your hand. Everyone in your group has to raise their hand as well and become silent. Once everyone's hands are up and they are quiet, you can address the whole group.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.