Manage Inner Monologue and Mindset in Color Guard

Killian Weston

As a performer, it’s impossible to go too long without developing an inner voice that tells you when something was really great … or not so great.

That voice can begin to hold a lot of power over your attitude, which in turn will affect how you rehearse and how you perform.

Change Your Mindset

Self-correcting is important; no instructor can catch every mistake that every member of the group makes every time.

Telling yourself, “I need to adjust my release point, so it’s higher and the flag has time to finish that last rotation,” is much more productive than telling yourself, “I can’t do this toss.”

Once you tell yourself you can’t do something, you start slipping into the mindset that your abilities are fixed—you have a certain amount of skill or talent and can never get better. Soon, you’ll start to believe it and stop working to improve.

Between the negative attitude this kind of thinking causes, and the fact that your work will never improve if you don’t think it can, this kind of mindset can quickly derail a team.

Critique Without Attacking

When managed properly, your inner monologue can be a valuable tool to help you improve your technique and performance. The key is to make sure you’re critiquing and correcting without attacking yourself.

When something goes wrong, tell yourself that just because you did something wrong this time doesn’t mean it will go wrong every time. Figure out why it went wrong and adjust, so it doesn’t happen again.

Give Yourself Credit

Just like corrections, your instructors can’t tell you what looked good every single time. When you do get it right, remember how it felt and what you did, so you can repeat your success and also give yourself the credit you deserve. After all, you earned it.

About author

Killian Weston

Killian Weston is a color guard instructor and designer in southeast Michigan. She began performing with her high school marching band in 2002 and continued with college marching band and collegiate winter guard. She has taught several guard units and is a prospective judge in the Michigan Color Guard Circuit.

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