Off-Season Training

If your school does not have winter color guard, you might be facing the next five to six months “off” now that fall marching season has ended. While you might want a break from daily rehearsal, the off-season is a great time to focus on improving skills, so you’re ready for spring auditions and the increased skill level required of veterans and team leaders.

Dance

Beginning ballet technique can help improve both the movement aspects of your fall program as well as your flexibility and coordination. Many dance studios have beginner classes for teenage students. Gather a group from your team and sign up together.

Continue Sectionals

Are there several members hoping to learn a new skill set like how to spin rifle? See if you can organize a series of rehearsals to focus on this new skill to help jumpstart the new season!

Take in a Show

Attending a winter guard competition as a spectator will open your eyes to new skills. Check out the competition schedule for your local winter guard circuit and the WGI Sport of the Arts website (www.wgi.org) for locations of its regional competitions. Better yet, ask your coach to help you organize a team field trip.

Be Independent

Look for local independent winter guards in your area. It may be too late to join their performance team for this season. However, many A-class independent units are hungry for new performers. Try contacting the coach. He or she might be open to allowing you to train with the team for the remainder of the season in hopes that you’ll join them as a performer next season.

These are only a few ways to keep your skill set growing during the off-season. Continue to work on your flexibility and stamina throughout the winter, seek out performance opportunities (is the band performing in any upcoming pep rallies for other sports programs?) and don’t let that equipment sit in the corner. Encourage your teammates to join you in training. Your hard work now will really pay off next fall!

About the Author

Catina Anderson has been involved in the color guard activity, first as a performer and then instructor, for the past 20 years. She is a consultant at Broad Run High School in Ashburn, Va. She is also the founder/editor of www.colorguardeducators.com, a website for color guard coaches. She earned a bachelor’s degree at Towson University and a master’s degree in education from Marymount University.

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