“I would never want to teach guard. There’s too much drama.”
I’ve heard this comment from band staff who work with other sections more times than I can count. If you’re struggling with drama in your guard, here are some tips to end it.
Don’t Bring It with You
Drama within a guard commonly stems from problems that have been brought in from outside the unit. Take a moment before rehearsals, practices, and meetings to set aside all issues that are not related to your organization. Focus on the tasks at hand rather than fixating on external situations.
Keep Your Cool
Frustration can cause arguments and anger among members of the guard. Performers and instructors alike can get frustrated by people’s negative attitudes, having to repeat the same thing over and over and over, decisions about special roles in a show, or almost anything else. Don’t let frustration get the better of you, and don’t let frustration from others affect you. Remember that you’re all working for the same goal in the end.
Cut Out Gossip
Possibly the main culprit for drama within the guard, gossip can tear down a team faster than anything else. The simple solution is not to gossip, but that’s easier said than done. Think about what you’re saying and how you’re saying it. Is what you’re saying meant to hurt someone? Is it unnecessary? Is it false or exaggerated? If the answer to any of these questions is “Yes,” you probably shouldn’t say it. If something really must be stated, say it to someone who can help solve the problem or to the person with whom you have a problem, not someone who is going to spread the gossip.
Remember that we all love this activity and want to see each other grow and succeed. Feeding into the idea that color guards are full of drama only tears us all down.
Killian offers great advice for guard leadership. Read more of her articles here.