Depending where you live in the country, it may be the middle to end of winter guard season. Circuit championships are rapidly approaching, and the push to make your show the best it can possibly be is at a fever pitch.
Because of this reality, it’s easy to overlook the warm-up block. Why would you need to spend time doing warm-ups that you could probably perform in your sleep anyways? Wouldn’t rehearsal time be better spent perfecting set entrances and exits, detailing the show and fine-tuning the choreography?
When time is precious, it would seem that the warm-up is the one thing that can be skipped over in rehearsal. This could not be further from the truth! In fact, it is just the opposite! In this final segment of the season, it is so very important to keep it warm, both in body and equipment.
Did you know that the majority of guard-related injuries occur late in the season? This fact is probably due to decreased or sacrificed warm-ups during this time. Anatomically, the action of stretching and motion during a warm-up increases the temperature in your muscles, allowing for greater extensibility and elasticity. This benefit will significantly decrease your chance of injury late in the season. Who really wants to spend the final performances on the gym bleachers due to a sprained ankle, wrist or even worse?
Did you also know that a renewed commitment to efforts in the warm-up block could actually increase your success in the competition arena? Performers that spend time in a dedicated warm-up prior to entering a competitive atmosphere have greater focusing abilities toward the performance. Warm-ups create a mindset and a level of comfort that will inevitably help performers overcome the distractions of competition and focus on the task at hand. This benefit is also known as a competitive edge.
Best wishes to all as the winter guard season comes to a close and … keep it warm.
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 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.