I am going to change it up a bit in this issue. It seems as if these articles are generally focused toward the processes of training or competitive performance. However, there is value to be found in what happens after the performance and how performers utilize these moments/thoughts.
I am quite sure that we have all marched off a football field or basketball court and had the following thoughts: “If only I had …”; “I should have done better”; or, my very favorite, “What just happened out there?”
Good or bad, the past is the past, and there is nothing that we can do to change what has just occurred. However, we can utilize the past to make ourselves better performers for the next time. As an artist, we are in a constant state of evolution. That being said, evolution or change does not always come from the positive. In fact, the desire to become better most often results from negative experiences. How does the aftermath process look?
First, it’s important to realize that mistakes happen; accept it. If your performance was not all that you wanted it to be, then you have some work to do. The bigger the mistake, the harder you should strive to ensure it doesn’t occur again.
Write down the challenges of your performance as soon as possible. That way, you will not forget the details of your mistakes and will be able to correct them with time spent in practice. Most mistakes are individual in nature, so do not expect ensemble/guard rehearsal to be the time to correct them. On the contrary, your errors are best taken care of during your at-home practice time.
On the flip side, if you have a great performance—that’s awesome! However, the aftermath process is just as important. Your goal should be to make it happen two times in a row, then three times and so on. That is easier said than done. It takes a good amount of time to simply maintain a level of performance, but going beyond requires far more effort.
Every effort makes us better, so let’s not ignore the important opportunities that can be found in the aftermath of a performance.
About the Author
Chris Casteel has been involved in the color guard activity since 1981 as a performer and an instructor. She has a master’s degree in education. She has instructed several medaling guards for the Winter Guard Association of Southern California (WGASC). Currently, Chris is an adjudicator for the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association and the WGASC as well as a guest adjudicator for many other circuits. She also holds the position of education coordinator for the WGASC.