Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Voice Training

One of the worst things that can happen to a ref is to lose their voice. Of course it is important to have the skaters be able to hear you, and in a bout filled with screaming fans, screaming skaters, blaring music and other various distractions, a referee often has to resort to yelling. However, there are some tricks to this that can immensely help you not only be heard, but avoid permanently injuring yourself or your voice. These things are only basics, and it is advised that you seek out more informative or in-depth sources, which can be found in resources for professional singers or stage performers.

  • Speak from your diaphragm. This will create a lower pitched voice that not only travels better, but also can be louder without hurting your vocal chords. It should feel like you're speaking out of your chest or stomach, instead of your throat, mouth or head.

  • Warm up! The first thing you say during a bout night shouldn't be a penalty, practice getting louder as you warm up skating, slowly getting louder and louder so that your vocal chords aren't suddenly stressed.

  • Avoid caffeine, drink water. Obviously some caffeine is fine, but caffeine can dehydrate your vocal chords and as with any muscle, dehydration leads to strain. Drink water before the bout as you warm up and during the bout. Even if you don't think you need it, this will keep your vocal chords hydrated and less likely to be hurt.

  • Whistle. Remember that for a fourth minor or a major you should be whistling. Don't just whistle once and then resort to yelling, always alternate: whistle, yell, whistle, yell. A skater should be attuned to listen for a whistle, and this means you shouldn't have to scream at the top of your lungs, since she's already paying attention and making eye contact with you, seeing your hand signals.

Also, I posted them separate, so I'll mention it so no one misses it, we've got a new feature, and the first post was posted like five minutes ago. It's Recommended Reading. Check it out below!

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