2016 Impulse April 17

Marina HS, Huntington Beach California


Spent Saturday night in Anaheim after Grand Prix and rolled in Sunday morning with HotCakes. We each did a breakfast burrito then went to the field to paint a grid.


As we were finishing up, Amy arrived to the field. Alexis was next, then Tim. (Stacey had a rehearsal for her band and Jorge was in Long Beach doing fundraising.)


Since the plan for the day had been established several days prior, I shared my thoughts with my staff about what to do next camp, first. Then we discussed how Tim and Amy would lead what through the course of the morning vizh block.


Very concerned at this point with the overall physical conditioning of both the brass and battery sections. I had planned a slightly longer warm-up/PT to start the day, 45 minutes as opposed to 30, but I ended it after a little less than 30 minutes because quite honestly, they were looking a bit beat up and 6 really needed to take a break. I told them all at that point to grab their water and take 10 minutes in the shade.


At about 10 minutes they had seemed to recover and be ready for some visual basics, but wanting to make sure they were at their best, for that moment, I gave them 5 more minutes to refresh and recharge. When I called them back to start our next segment, I first shared some thoughts with the members.


My intent, my staff’s intent that morning was not intended to be a punishment or be a situation to call out to them on their shortcomings. It did, however seem to punish some of them and our expectations seemed to be far ahead of their current capacities. Hopefully they will now take that experience and see it as an opportunity to be honest with themselves.


Drum corps is a highly physical activity, combining both music and athletics. Camps are going to be much longer and more mentally and physically demanding as we progress through the season. My staff and I hope that between now and the next time we see them they look for ways to improve their physical conditioning, just as they have dedicated themselves to be solid musicians.


Make better health choices. Eat better. Take rest and sleep seriously. Hydrate and spend small increments of time improving their strength and stamina everyday. The most visually impressive groups perform physically challenging drill with ease and apparent comfort. I would like to be able to challenge them with performance and achievement goals that they may think are beyond their ability, but show them if they are dedicated to the process and prepare themselves, they will gain the skill and confidence to achieve at levels beyond their current comprehension.


…but, back to the current reality…


The rest of the morning was divided into 3 parts. During the next segment, they performed with consistency, mostly, with a slight dimish of energy and intensity in the end. The next chunk was helter skelter. Energy, intensity, and worst of all FOCUS was all over the place.


I pulled them in and shared those observations with them. Lunch was a mere 30+ minutes away. They were going to get their full hour, but it was my hope they would reapply the energy, intensity, and focus they had earlier and raise it up a few clicks. Every block, every camp, every performance needs to end stronger than it starts…but it is completely in their hands.


Thank goodness the block ended well. So much more work ahead. My challenge is find the right words of encouragement for them to understand they will ultimately determine how far and at what level they achieve this season. The lessons they learn these next few weeks and months will not only impact the quality of the experience they have this summer, but can potentially positively impact the quality of experiences they have the rest of their life.

Share, please 🙂

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