Color Guard Rehearsal Structure for Success!

Instructors often tell me that they don't have enough time in rehearsal to really max out their students. They often wish for longer rehearsal blocks, more togetherness time with the team, and more control over the schedule. Every type of rehearsal schedule has its pros and cons, so here is a little bit about what we do at Spintronix that helps us out.

Location

We are one of the luckiest guards in the world because we have our own personal space. We can set up our rehearsal times without worrying about anyone else's practice schedule besides our own. That being said, this is an incredibly rare situation and you will need to be ready for all kinds of things when booking a rehearsal location. Chances are, it will be very difficult to get into a gym for every single rehearsal. Even when you do book a gym, a lot of times basketball teams are not terribly organized about recording their bookings and you will have a team come in anyway. Make sure you know and are on friendly terms with your coaches so that if this does happen, you can smooth over the situation with as few hurt feelings as possible.

What to teach...

Once you have location(s) booked, figure out what will be the best parts of your program to teach in the spaces that you have. Maybe you can get some dance studio time and only work on dance technique and choreography during those rehearsals. Maybe you can get some time in a local community center where you can spin, but the ceilings aren't quite high enough for tossing. Deciding ahead of time what you will teach during the rehearsal time is paramount to getting it done.

Block length vs. Breaks

Keeping students engaged for long stretches of time can be tough; they are young and full of energy, their minds wander, and they have an insatiable need for social time! If you get a long amount of time for a rehearsal (like an 8-hour Saturday) keep the breaks no more than two hours apart. However, getting students prepared and having a full rehearsal can take some time, so if you have to have shorter rehearsals daily during the week 1.5-2 hours is a good time frame to work with.

Planning Ahead

This is the number one downfall of SO MANY instructors I know, and the number one best quality of so many OTHER instructors I know... It's the thing that separates the good instructors from the great ones. Plan ahead. The best way that I have personally found I can do this is by making measurable goals. Example: my goal for this weekend's rehearsal is to teach the entire flag feature. Then maybe my goal for next weekend's rehearsal will be to get the entire flag feature clean. This will help you with timing everything in your rehearsals so that you aren't rushing to cram education into your students' brains but you also aren't experiencing a lot of down time.

Inform the Staff

If you have multiple people on your staff, make sure they all know the plan for each rehearsal as well. Things like what time to be there, what they are teaching, how much time they have to teach it, and especially what your goal for the rehearsal is. If you have your entire staff communicating well and planning ahead together, you will become an unstoppable force and a great example for your team.

Good skill and good luck to all of you and your teams this season!

<3 Jackie

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