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Conditioning in Color Guard

I've noticed that a lot of guards have the opinion that strength and flexibility should be worked on outside of practice. And, I sort of agree. But, I'm coming in with a different perspective. I'm also a gymnastics coach and in a 3 hour team practice we spend 30 minutes to an hour on just conditioning, exercising, and flexibility. We also have 3 of these practices a week. I know many guards practice schedules vary, and many times these practices are spent with the marching band and learning drill.

I also understand that students, especially high schoolers have so much to do. They have other interests, sports, hobbies, homework, and even jobs. But I think that if we focus a little more on training some of these habits within our practices, the students will retain it even when they go home. They won't just sit on their couch and look longingly at their equipment. They'll remember the stretches and the exercises we teach them and be more equipped to continue on their own.

Many times students don't work out because they're not sure what to do besides pushups and sit-ups. I was just like that in high school. My suggestion is that for every hour of practice you devote 10-20 minutes to strength and flexibility. Now, this is a totally radical idea in the guard world! I get it! But how many times have you had a student who just couldn't quite get that last rotation on their rifle toss? Or have you heard judges say your guard looks tired halfway through a show?

I promise, we're one of the only sports that doesn't devote hardly any in practice to strength and flexibility. Gymnastics, cheer, heck even football spends time conditioning. It's the time to begin a new season. So seriously, try it out.

And if you're at a loss on where to even start, I'll post some things in the future. Good luck!

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