Fiercely Supportive

A photo of Killian Weston.

The competitive winter guard season is picking up, and guards are debuting their 2020 productions. While we often focus on the impressions that we make on the judges and the audience, I want to focus on the ones we make on each other as participants.

Keep it Positive

Don’t speak negatively about other shows, groups, or individuals. Ever. Not only is criticizing others an awful way to represent yourself, your teammates, your staff, and your school or organization, but it’s hurtful to others. You wouldn’t want others speaking negatively about you, your show, or your team. Give others the same respect.

Make a Lasting Impact

What you say matters. What you say to people will stick with them well beyond their final performance.

Since our audition clinics in November, my returning members have been talking about past show days. The thing they talk about most is the support that guards show each other, how every time they walked through the halls, other groups wished them luck or complimented them.

Their favorite story to tell is about the time they were walking back to watch finals at a regional, and members of the World Class group, which they had just seen for the first time and admired, complimented their makeup as they passed by on their way to their rehearsal site. My guard members light up when they reminisce about the interaction because the praise meant so much.

Pay it Forward

I sincerely hope that these interactions happen in every circuit and at every show. Be the one to make someone’s day. Take the time to wish good luck to other groups before they perform. If you see groups you watched in the hallways or concessions line, tell them how much you loved their show.

Our ability to be fiercely competitive and support our competition just as fiercely is truly one of the most special characteristics of our sport.

Here are some additional suggestions on building a positive guard culture.

About the author

Killian Weston

Killian Weston is a color guard instructor and designer in southeast Michigan. She began performing with her high school marching band in 2002 and continued with college marching band and collegiate winter guard. She has taught several guard units and is a prospective judge in the Michigan Color Guard Circuit.