Colorguard Corner

Q and A
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Embarrassing Stories
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Q and A

You've Got Questions, We've Got Answers


I'm going to try out for colorgaurd... I want to make it SO bad. Do you have any tips for me?
-Just be yourself and stay focused on what the instructor tells you to do.
-number one pay attention to the
instructor or the captains whomever is conducting the tryouts. Never use the
words " I can't ". If I learned anything in my 8 years is that I could a lot
more than I thought I could. And above all be yourself. I have seen people
make the guard strictly because the refused to give up trying.

How do I keep my silk from raveling up when I'm doing drop spins?
- When drop spinning, keep your thumbs along the seam where the silk and the sleeve meet. This should help you to keep the flag spinning straight.
- When you're doing dropspins make sure you turn your left wrist (assuming your doing right handed dropspins) all the way around so that your hand is perpendicular to the floor. If your hand isn't turned all the way around, you'll twist your wrist as you're trying to pull the flag back up to the point where it's straight up. If you need to, turn your left wrist so that your hand is a little more than perpendicular for a while til you get used to the feeling. It takes a while but with practice, you'll stip doing it... trust me, I had the same problem!!!
-Don't turn your wrists. Doing drop spins are alot like pouring a glass of water, if you turn your wrists when you are pouring the water is going to spill.

I was newly appointed Captain and next year!  I'm nervous about the position, but I also think I will do a good job. Point being I would like any comments, suggestions, or advice any current or former guard officers could give me.
- I was guard captian at my highschool. It is a hard thing to be. You have to remember to be respectfull of the other guard members. You can't just walk all over them. But, you must also earn their trust. Don't let them push you around. If you have to be the bad guard captain, do. Remeber to have fun and let them have fun. Cause that is what guard is all about.
-In regards to the question about being a captain: Last year as a Junior, I
was voted for one of 6 captains (we had a huge guard--40 members.) and I
wasn't sure about it either. I thought if I was to be bossy everyone would
hate me! Now I'm a Senior and I was appointed (by our band director) to be
one of only 2 captains. I became more aggressive as time went by and I
learned that yes the other members will hate me at some time but only for a
short while--they'll get over it! The key to getting something done is
ALWAYS BE NICE! Never, I repeat NEVER yell at them. That will definitely
bring a guard down! Always discuss things with your fellow co-captains
before making a decision. Do not be afraid to be a little bossy just not a
lot! I hope this helps you and good luck, you'll be great!

I have been to everysingle girl on our corps and none of us can figure it out so we were hoping that you could let us know... what in the WORLD is "folding the floor"?
-Folding the floor is another term for folding up the tarp. In case you haven't been exposed to indoor guard (winterguard), most guards have a tarp they put over the gym floor. After your performance you have to fold it back up.
-"Folding the Floor" is basically just what it sounds like, except the floor is not the actual floor of the gym. If you've even been to a winterguard show, you might have seen some guards that have floor mats (or tarps) that cover the gym floor. Some of them have designs on them; some are plain. Either way, they have to be folded after the performance so that they can be transported and stored easily... it's a real pain in the butt!!
-Folding the floor refers to folding a floor that is used in winter guard (you know those colored tarps put on the floor)

My highschool guard is not happening now. Everyone quit cause we don't get any respect and just get made fun of even from the band. Actually probably more from there than from any were else. What can I do?
-Before colorguard or winterguard starts put posters advertising guard and how great it is on the school walls. This helped us get more people.
-What guard isn't? Make it fun
and try to give the guard its own identity away from the band if necessary.
Do things together as just the guard. Have your own fun. Create your own
inside jokes. It worked for us. We even ended up becoming larger than we
could "legally" march in winter guard and had alternates. We also became a
much tighter guard.

When you toss a rifle do you wrap your thumb?
-Don't wrap your thumb! press it against the side, like your hitch-hiking... its good technique and it'll help your gun from wobbling, and rolling around in the air!!

How do you impress your instructor?
-When I first started guard I used to get yelled at for everything,
our main instructor is moody and very anal. He'd teaches us things then gets
mad because we couldn't do it the very first time perfectly. But this is the
3rd year I've been working with him, and we're best friends now, it got a
little easier every year. The best advice I can give is to get to know your
instructor on a personal level, try and be friends with them. It's a little
easier if you get to see them outside of practice. I don't know if that would
be a problem for you. My instructor helps out with bingo for drum corps every
week so we get to hang out outside of a practice / competition setting.
Whatever you do don't suck up, that makes it seem like your desperate. The
other big no no is don't ever talk back. If they yell at just say ok bitch
them out in your head, that's what I do, like I said, he's very anal so he
thinks he's always right. If you talk back they lose respect for you because
they interpret that as disrespect toward them. I hoped I helped out some.
good luck.
-As an instructor I can tell you that the best thing to do is to be yourself.
The one thing that I hate the most it when one of the girls is sweet to my
face and an absolute b**** behind my back. Believe it or not, what you say
outside of guard/band practice does get back to your instructor. They're not
oblivious to all you think they are. The more you try to impress your
instructor, the less you're going to. Nothing takes the place of a hard
worker! (i.e.- practice and perform your best all the time)
-Do what they ask, ask good questions(ex. is your foot like this or like
this), be polite, offer to do things for them, respect others, keep your
personal problems out of guard, dont yell, dont get an attitude, and perform
- There are two things that impress instructors; talent, and attitude. Of these two, I think attitude is more important to focus on, because you can't change talent, you either have it or you don't. But if you don't (like me!) your attitude towards guard can take you farther than someone with lots of talent, but a bad attitude. (For exaple, I'm on an Independent World Class guard, and its because of my attitude, NOT my talent) The best way to show your instructor that you have a great attitude is to WORK HARD! Your instructor may notice you struggling with some new work, but working hard. Then if you practice at home, and get better, your instructor will probably notice your improvement and dedication. Another way to get far is to always be polite, smiling, cheerful, and respectful, not only to your instructor, but to everybody. Even if you disagree with what someone is saying, try to bring up your point in a respectful way...Nobody likes to be treated rudely. Also, help whenever you can! If there are flags left on the field, pick them up. If there are new members who are struggling, help them! Your instructors are very observant, and usually know about everything that goes on in the guard.(So NEVER talk about ANYONE behind their back, because your instructor WILL find out!) Finally, always come to practice EARLY, always apply the corrections your instructor asks you to make, and thank them for helping you fix that problem. (I know it may not feel to you like you are doing anything wrong, but they have lots of experience, and can see you from a different point-of -view).......P.S. These tips also work in the "Real World!"

How high can you throw the rifle? 5,6,7.....etc.?
-Well it was really hard for me to get out the higher tosses because I broke
my arm in '96 and so I stuggled the most. What you gotta do though is push
yourself. Dont settle at a 3 or 4 always push yourself. Like when you are
practicing on your own instead of practicing 4s constantly try for a five..
and for me after I get a 5 the 6 was just there. But, if you are having a
hard time you might want to try standing in 2nd, it gives you more support
and force under your toss than standing in first position would.Oh and
another thing. Have someone else count your toss when you are trying for
something higher at first because I thought I was only tossing a 4 1/2 and it
turns out that it was a 5 1/2! Hehehehe!!!!
-I'm a Sophomore and can throw at 5 1/2 I'm trying hard
to get a 6 but still can't.