The Summer Insurance Policy
By Chris Casteel
Let’s face it: In the activity of color guard, it all boils down to good, solid technique.
When mastering this technique, summer training is the best insurance policy to invest in. I guess performers can consider it a sort of “pay it forward” concept.
As you toil through the heat of summer in basics block after basics block after basics block, it is important to think of every repetition, every across the floor, every detailed breakdown of a carve, spin, toss, etc., as valuable insurance that you will need come performance time.
But wait—there’s more! Performers, you need to invest at home too! Yeah, I know that means standing in your backyard while your neighbors watch you and wonder what in the world you are doing. Believe me, we have all been there. Just ask any performer on a successful color guard, and they will tell you that they regularly work out at home.
Since I’m a visual person, I like to think of things in terms of mind pictures. Picture this: Every time you enter into a performance, you have your insurance policy with you. When you beautifully jazz run for 10 yards while precisely and expertly delivering every count of equipment choreography, consider it a payoff on that insurance policy you invested in over the summer. The list can go on and on when thinking this way because every single thing you work on in summer will be utilized in performance—I guarantee it!
Here’s the bottom line: There is going to come a day very soon when you are waiting to perform your first show of the season. At that moment, one of the many things that will race through your head is: “Am I prepared for this? Did I work hard enough?”
Even though you may have butterflies in your stomach, that is when you take out that insurance policy and say, “It’s Pay Day!!”
Practice hard, prepare hard, and be passionate!
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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