How to make the color guard team

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I benefit from the audition season. The season is stuffed with promise, the climate is (normally) stunning, and I get to introduce individuals to considered one of my abiding passions: Throwing issues within the air and catching them whereas additionally dancing.

I imagine everybody ought to attempt shade guard not less than as soon as. I additionally perceive that shade guard just isn’t everybody’s cup of tea. That is what auditions are for.

Studying: Find out how to make the colour guard staff

In the event you’re studying this, you are in all probability serious about making an attempt out for shade guard or winterguard. Possibly you already signed up for auditions and are questioning what you have gotten your self into.

First, breathe. Auditions could be a whole lot of enjoyable, particularly for those who present up ready. Here is what I want all my new and returning members stored in thoughts earlier than Day 1 of tryouts.


Yearly, I’ve individuals come to auditions having performed nothing all summer season besides sit on the sofa. A summer season of lazing round, as good because it feels, is the worst doable preparation for shade guard or winterguard tryouts.

Whether or not you’ve gotten three months or three days left till your audition, make it a degree to rise up and transfer each single day. Go for a stroll, a run, or a swim. Do a strenuous chore like gardening. Placed on some music and dance round your bed room. Lookup “tabata exercises” or “HIIT exercises” on YouTube.

Something you do goes that will help you in tryouts (and your entire season).

In the event you’re fully out of concepts, here is the conditioning program I take advantage of with my guards. We do it in pairs, however you possibly can modify it to your wants.

A Pattern Conditioning Program

On this program, you will alternate cardio train with strength-training workouts.

  • Cardio: Select an area the place you possibly can run laps, bounce rope, do leaping jacks, or run in place – no matter will get your coronary heart price up. Do that for about 2 minutes.
  • Power: You will alternate between push-ups, planks, and squats/lunges (your alternative).

Begin with 2 minutes of cardio. Change to 2 minutes of push-ups. Do two extra minutes of cardio, adopted by two minutes of planking. End with two minutes of cardio, adopted by two minutes of squats/lunges.

Over time, you will discover that your cardio endurance is healthier and that you are able to do extra reps of every power train with shorter relaxation intervals.

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Not all guards have a guard handbook. Mine do. In case your guard has a handbook or a contract or another sort of handout (digital or paper), please, please learn it.

The handbook covers the issues I do not need to must repeat twice for each member of the guard – however that I completely should repeat if y’all do not learn the handbook. Studying the handbook is so essential to me that I truly give bonus factors in auditions if I can inform the members learn it.

If you wish to learn our guard handbook, it is right here: Comstock Colorguard Handbook 2020-2021 [pdf].

I typically give individuals a move on their outfit for the primary tryout, particularly since they have not even seen the handbook but, as a rule. By the second tryout, dressing in a manner that hinders your efficiency is an issue; for those who’re nonetheless doing it by the point you are truly on the staff, I completely will put you behind a prop.

For auditions, costume in clothes that means that you can transfer simply and that’s comfy. Colorguard auditions will demand all of your psychological focus. You don’t want your garments or footwear to distract you in any manner.

I like to recommend:

  • Athletic footwear – sneakers or split-sole dance sneakers, when you’ve got them. No sandals, flip-flops, or costume footwear. You need your foot solely lined, and also you need to have the ability to transfer simply.
  • Leggings or athletic shorts. Denim limits your vary of movement, plus it is gross while you sweat into it. Leggings are sometimes ultimate, however athletic shorts generally is a sensible choice for warmer climate.
  • T-shirt or tank high, plus a long-sleeved high. Outside rehearsals could be topic to bizarre climate, so carry a layer.
  • Sun shades and/or a hat. Each of those can enhance visibility.
  • Sunblock. An absolute should. Do not be the one that flunks out of auditions since you’re in an excessive amount of ache from a sunburn to proceed.
  • Water jug ​​or bottle. Get the most important one yow will discover. Mine is a half-gallon, and I normally refill it twice throughout an 8-hour day of band camp.

In case your program offers you the prospect to amass colorguard gloves earlier than auditions, get them. They make all the things simpler, particularly rifle.

Along with packing alongside your sunblock, a snack, and your water container, I like to recommend bringing a writing utensil. They at all times find yourself being helpful at tryouts and no person ever appears to have one. Further hairties typically make you common as properly.

Your alternative of clothes and objects to carry to band camp aid you keep comfy and focus – however what you give attention to is what is going to result in success at tryouts (or not).

Whereas each guard program prioritizes barely completely different traits in its members, as a rule, you will achieve any guard program for those who:

  • Keep interested by your individual studying. All the pieces you study can at all times be performed higher. The extra engaged you stick with the method of studying, the happier you will be and the higher you will be on the abilities you are taught.
  • Settle for correction and apply it – whether or not or not it is addressed to you. Accepting correction is difficult, but you will do it in your total guard profession. I have been spinning since 1996, and I nonetheless join clinics yearly simply so I can take correction from world-class instructors. Settle for it as your coach’s try that will help you grow to be higher and apply it – even when it is directed on the group typically or one other particular person within the block.
  • Hear greater than you discuss. Hear far more than you discuss. Speaking is usually a waste of time and an annoyance throughout rehearsal; put it aside for breaks.
  • Evaluate your self to your self – and nobody else. Typically talking, the judges at auditions aren’t searching for technical perfection. We’re searching for teachability and enchancment. So long as you spin higher at this time than you probably did yesterday, you are succeeding.

One of many largest secrets and techniques of guard is that “expertise” is not actually a factor in our world. Scratch the floor of any “gifted” guard member and you will find years of onerous work. No one rolls out of their cradle capable of spin a flag; everybody who does it properly has performed it for tons of of hours.

Be mentally current and check out your greatest, and you will be forward of half the individuals on the audition.

New individuals at all times gravitate in direction of the again of the block at tryouts. All the time. You will discover the rookies by going to the final line of the block and watching these individuals spin.

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New individuals hanging out within the again is so frequent that the guard world even has a reputation for them. We name them “Again-Row Bettys.”

Do not be a Again-Row Betty. You do not have to leap into the very entrance line except you need to (some individuals discover it helps their focus), however do attempt to get close to the entrance. Most instructors will make the back and front traces change a number of occasions anyway, so it would not do you any good to cover – you will be up entrance ultimately like everybody else.

As a substitute, give attention to studying the work in addition to you possibly can for your self. Think about that you will have to show it to another person. If you aren’t getting into the behavior of following the individual in entrance of you, you will by no means have to interrupt that behavior.

In the event you’re allowed to take gear residence, or when you’ve got your individual gear, please use it between tryouts.

There’s a distinction between “rehearsal” and “observe” within the guard world. Rehearsal is while you get along with the remainder of the guard and your teacher. You learn the way your particular person half suits with the remainder of the staff and with the band as an entire.

To suit your half in with everybody else’s at rehearsal, you must know what your half is earlier than you arrive. Getting ready your individual half is what you do in observe.

Any proof of enchancment between tryout classes, irrespective of how slight, is like gold to audition instructors and judges. We need to see it. We like to see it. That enchancment tells us that you just care sufficient about guard and about your individual development to work by yourself – which suggests you’ll succeed on this sport.

Even when you do not have gear, observe what you possibly can. Spin a brush or “air flag” the choreography. Do the dance or motion drills you lined in auditions.

In the event you do the six issues listed above, you will be in nice form to make the staff. You will be in even higher form for those who keep away from just a few issues, too.

Here is what to not waste your time on – it will not assist, and it might make issues more durable for you:

  • Watching a whole lot of YouTube movies. Sure, they’re fascinating. However each teacher teaches method a bit completely different, and each factor in guard has a number of completely different names. Take just a few weeks to grasp how your group handles method earlier than you begin evaluating it to different instructors on-line. In any other case, you may find yourself having to un-learn methods to do issues – which takes twice so long as studying it.
  • Shopping for or utilizing your individual gear except you already know precisely how your teacher needs it assembled. I do not see this fairly often, nevertheless it has occurred: A brand new individual will present up having already purchased their very own flag or rifle – or worse, borrowed one from “again when Grandma/Mother/Auntie was in guard.” Chances are high wonderful that you’ve the mistaken merchandise, or it is weighted mistaken, or one thing else is happening that can maintain you again for those who use it. If you’d like your individual gear, ask the instructors for precisely what they advocate, and purchase that.
  • Attempting to be somebody you are not. In auditions, judges are searching for individuals who make good additions to the staff, not simply individuals who spin properly. Being anybody however your self will distract and exhaust you. We are able to inform you’re too insecure to be your self, and we will inform that it hurts your talent growth. That is two strikes within the “no thanks” column.

Present up able to work and check out your greatest, and you will be properly in your strategy to be part of the worldwide guard household.

See you on the sector/ground!

Assist me keep fueled for teaching: purchase me a espresso or share this publish on social media.

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