All in the Journey

The rush of a fantastic performance is one of the most amazing things about color guard, but performance only accounts for a small part of the experience. No matter what level you spin at, the minutes you spend in competition are preceded by hours of conditioning, training and rehearsal to make those performances the best they can be.

You may remember those minutes performing your “big show” for the rest of your life, but without the journey—one that can be difficult, painful and sometimes tedious—the performance disappoints.

Love the Process. If you learn to love the process of working toward your performance, your end result will be more impressive, and you’ll have even more memories to look back on. I say “learn” because it is rare for someone to come into color guard 100% enthralled with the constant corrections and seemingly endless repetition that are an innate part of what we do. As a performer, you must train your mind to maintain focus through everything, your body to execute choreography and, most importantly, yourself to enjoy it all.

Many performers, especially those who are young or just starting out, don’t push themselves to enjoy the process of practicing.

Remind yourself that you want to be the best you can be, and that practice is part of getting there. Tell yourself that corrections are a tool you can use and that you always have something you can fix or make even better. Don’t let challenges deter you.

Focus on Growth. The key to success is to avoid focusing on a score or on beating everyone else as you work toward your final competition or performance.

Rather, try to focus on your own growth and the growth of your team. Only you know where you started, and only your team knows where the team started.

If you grow throughout the season and take pride in that growth, you’ll make the memories that matter.


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.