The Guard Journal

The summer training season is an excellent time to start a color guard journal focused on the processes of equipment, movement and performance training. There are two ways that a color guard journal is used.

Daily Log

The first use comes when working through new equipment basics or phrases that are taught during summer rehearsals. We all know that the mastery of any equipment basic will not occur within the time confines of a rehearsal. Instead, there needs to be consistent practice outside of rehearsal to fully master it. Most instructors who encourage color guard journals for their teams ask for a running tally of how many times a basic move or equipment phrase is practiced. Once the performers have logged 1,000 cumulative repetitions of a particular spin, toss, carve, etc., into their journals, they are then ready to demonstrate the mastery of the move. An example of how this might look in a color guard journal would be:

Drop Spins:
Date……………….Daily Reps…………. Cumulative Reps
6/5/12………………50……………………… 50
6/8/12………………70……………………… 120
6/10/12…………….55……………………… 175
etc…………………………………………….
6/25/12…………….50……………………… 1,000

Questions?

Another way that the journal can be used is by entering questions you may have for your instructor(s). You may be spinning in your backyard when, all of a sudden, something that was said in rehearsal doesn’t make sense. Write the question down in your journal. This way you won’t forget to ask, and your instructor will be impressed by your attention to detail.

Perspective

Finally, the process of writing your experiences down gives perspective. In December, when you look back to where you were in July, you will be amazed at how far you have come, how you have persevered and worked through the hard times and come out understanding more about yourself and the awesome sport of color guard.

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.

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