Motivational Voice -- Coach Alex Merrill

Everyone has different perceptions of various sounds and voices. If a voice fascinates an individual, it does not always mean that everyone else will be attracted to it. However, captivating voices are described in similar ways. They have unique qualities and provoke many emotions within the individuals. The type of voice that I find most captivating is motivational voices. As part of the Duke Women’s Golf Team at Duke University, motivation is a common force that guides me to become a better student-athlete.

The voice that I found captivating to record was our team’s strength and conditioning coach named, Alex Merrill. During our team’s workout sessions, he frequently motivates us, which pushes us to work harder. As a result, my teammates and I are able to put all our effort into every workout and become physically stronger. This exhibit focuses on different characteristics that make voices motivational, and compare/contrast two different motivational voices.

As a strength and conditioning coach, Alex must be confident with his words and guide the players to perform many physical exercises correctly. If a platform on a stage is a place for singers to express their voice, the weight room serves as a stage for Alex. In other words, he must know what he is doing in the weight room since he is the one in charge of each player’s strength and health. During every workout session, he projects his voice to fill up the entire training room, motivating us to work harder. When he focuses on a player, his voice becomes very calm at first but gradually increases in loudness and intensity as a player completes each repetition. Moreover, the pitch of his voice becomes higher to show the enthusiasm when he sees a player perform a perfect movement. However, when he tries to motivate the entire team, his voice starts at a louder volume and is very precise. Since every player has different exercise routines, we are all working on our own things in the weight room. Alex simply unifies the team by frequently encouraging all of us at the same time. It provides a sense of verbal support from each and every player.

Another motivational voice that I used was a portion of a speech by Eric Thomas called “How Bad Do You Want It? (Success).” His voice was very different from Alex’s voice. Even though his voice also increased in sound, unlike Alex, he started off in a very stern and thick manner, which gradually turned into a shout. Usually when a person is speaking in a very loud voice, they clearly want to be heard. Since Eric Thomas’ speech is to a bigger audience, the louder the sound, the greater the impact it would have. He tries to clearly express a motivating message to his audience. The content of his speech is very strict as if he is scolding the listeners for their lack of effort. His method of motivating people is to shout to the audience to make them realize that they are not working hard enough. His toughness provokes a sense of authority and power, encouraging the audience to get motivated.

A voice is a gift that everyone treasures because they are able to express their uniqueness to others who find a particular sound appealing. My trainer, Alex Merrill and the motivational speaker, Eric Thomas, are both very influential people who have the ability to use their motivational voices to captivate everyone’s attention. Each of these following entries provide an understanding of how motivational voices are captivating to athletes from the influential effect it has on them.