Creating an Enviroment for Young People to Achieve Excellence

I know it’s the middle of marching band season, and there is lots of good stuff going on out there to talk about, but I am really excited about the number and the quality of the young people that have approached me the past couple of weekends in regards to participating in a summer program which I am a part of.

The Open House is about 3 weeks away, and I would like to get some thoughts down and mentally chew on them before then. I have a reputation of always being well prepared for a reason 😀

I reviewed my notes from last season and during the Open House/Workshops/Auditions process I had worked with the battery and the brass doing different exercises at the same time. I would put the battery into some curvilinear exercise and the brass into something very linear, then switch it up the next week. I am going to put both sections in the Windows exercise for the Open House 😀

Two years ago I had a 40+ year Pageantry instructor vet coming out when he could. He taught an exercise he called Windows. Without going into detail I added to that exercise with a 16 count box/pass through exercise. The combined exercise I now refer to as the windows exercise. I added more counts to it and had them going back and forth across the field with it. I think I wore out its welcome as I remember the last time I had them do it that season, at the start of the competitive season, their brains were full and it didn’t look too good 😀 Sometimes it is going to SUCK

Wasn’t planning on using it at all with the corps last season when after a visual block a snare vet, center snare, asked if we were going to do that Windows exercise this (last) season. He told me he and the battery really liked it. Sure, I said 😀 and put it into the lesson plan for the following rehearsal. Only did it that one time. We didn’t have a lot of basics time last season.

So the idea, from the vets at the vet meeting a couple of weeks ago, is for us, staff, to push them and the newcomers, but not kill. So I will be putting them on the move. I will front load the newbies with some concepts before we move. Concepts I want them to ingrain on their souls.

Emotional Commitment:
I will speak of the Idaho show, how it might have been the dirtiest show all season, but there was an emotional commitment to give the audience a performance and that energy overshadowed any level of technical execution that was or wasn’t happening.

Physical Strength: They HAVE to get stronger between rehearsals and have more stamina. On their own or with friends they need to find some way to work out, get sweaty, and make the stuff we do get easier. By the way, get stronger. I did 75 pushups, 150 leg lifts, 300 sit-ups almost every day the last two years I was in drum corps

Practice, Practice, Practice!: What information we give them, they need to go over it and over it and over it. When someone asks them a question, any question I want their answer to be IMPULSE!!! And practice some more. IT WORKS!!!! YOU WILL GET BETTER 😀

Ask Questions: The more I talk the less you do, having said that ask questions if you are ever not sure about anything. I would rather answer a question rather than waste a rep because you were not absolutely certain what I or any instructor wants you to do.

Visual Excellence: You have to see yourself as being perfect before you can achieve that excellence. You have to believe, you have to practice, you have to go to sleep seeing and believing you can achieve the goals you set for yourself

Fundamental Concepts: Do not move at a halt or end of and exercise, set, chunk, run. Maintain visual silence before beginning an exercise, set, chunk, run.

22 ½ in., 45 in., 67 1/2 in., 90 in.: Know what this looks like and demonstrate it when asked 😀

I expect to be impressed with who shows up and expect to see a certain level of desire to achieve/experience excellence even at Open House.

I need to talk to them about how you can “feel” a stare. It’s about intensity and the root word of that is intent. What is their intent. I do not ever want to question that.

T-Shirt ideas:
Move with a purpose!
The faster you move, the more we get done
MAKE IT HAPPEN

Do not waste reps. Each rep is ANOTHER CHANCE TO PERFORM!

Consistency is hard I understand, but that is the mental challenge.

Do not let me know when you make a mistake. RECOVER!

I am going to cut the newbies a little early and talk to the vets. I noted in the survey that things din’t get detailed in some areas visually; I will address that. I want them to demand more from staff and to verbalize that privately. We can always be better. I want to see/witness/experience more positive, supportive, encouraging behaviors between them and the new members. Also, I would like to see more informal/formal vet meeting and I will assit with that if they would like.

Okay, I think this is a good start. Definitely some things for me to chew on between now and Nov. 24. See you at Marina HS, Surf CIty 😀

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