- When you are at right shoulder, make sure your flag is straight up and down, not angled.
Keep your left and at your belly button and your fingers together, not spread apart.
- Pop those angles!! You'll know
when you do a good slam or a pop when the flag "snaps" or "pops."
- Keep arm muscles tight! Not so tight your arms
hurts, but tight enough that if someone tried to pull the flag out of your arm, they couldn't.
- When you spin, try
to spin at your belly button, unless you are told to spin somewhere else. Generally, you should not spin at your chest.
To avoid getting your flag caught up on the pole (a sail), keep your flag moving.
- If you do get a sail, DON'T shake
your pole!! Instead, rotate the pole in your hands so it just slips off or gently pull it off.
- Don't wear loose
clothing. Your flag/rifle/sabre will get caught up into your clothes.
- If you have long hair, try putting it up in
a hairstyle so it's out of your face. That way you don't have to worry about wind blowing it around.
- When you do
drop spins or double time, try to keep your elbows still or very little movement. It's not very attractive if you look like
you're trying to fly! :)
- If your flag is rolling or twisting up while you spin, keep your thumbs straight up or
down, depending on which one it is. Also, pinch or grip the flag!!
- For all you sabre people, when you tape up the
sabre, don't start taping from the tip. Start taping about 2 inches from the tip. When you've finished the whole blade, then
do the tip. That way you don't have to unroll the whole thing to replace the tip.
- Have "presence"!!! Keep your head
up and look up!! Try putting your hand into an L shape with your pointer finger and your thumb, and put your pointer finger
under your chin. That should bring your head up to about where it should be when you are performing. Be proud!! Be like the
Marines!! (well, not really...but you get my drift)
- Don't think over and over how bad you might perform the show;
think how GOOD you'll do it!! Before the performance, visualize a perfect show, and then shoot for it!!!
tip to keep sails away: Watch the tip of your pole! If you see that the pole is going to catch, adjust your pole so it doesn't
catch a sail.
- Don't be pessimistic! Always reach for the stars! Do your best and don't be discouraged if you can't
get it the first time. With practice, you'll get it!
- When you perform, keep your head up and smile! I can't stress
this enough! Even if the routine isn't so good, your smile and your face will help it dramatically!
- Put feeling
into your routines! Like if you have a lunge at one point of the show, really LUNGE and put your all into it! EMOTION!!
Whenever you catch a toss (on any piece of equipment), catch it solidly! Attack the toss! It looks really cool!
So you just can't get that solo quint you need to do, huh? When you release the equipment, REACH your hand up to the sky!
Usually, this will dramatically help get height to your toss! This helps with any toss you need to do.
- When you're
on the field or the floor, try really getting into the music that you're performing to. Many people don't do this, they just
concentrate on the counts and what move they need to do next. This produces a technically good routine, but no emotion is
it! Let yourself be affected by the music! Pay attention to the rises and falls of the music and just let it swirl around
- If you have a pitch when you toss, a pitch being a slant at a 45 degree back, try tossing
against a wall (handball courts work really well). By tossing against a wall you can tell if you have that pitch because it
will hit the wall causing your rifle to go out of control practice tossing against a wall and I'll guarantee that your tosses
will look more uniform. =o) To correct a pitch try keeping the palm of your hand pressed forward against
the rifle. Don't bring the palm back on the prep because it will cause that nasty pitch. (Submitted by Jose)
- For Guard Instructors: If you like flowyness in a flag feature (esp. when you toss), put
the bolt on the bottom of the pole instead of the top. So when the guard members toss, the pole tends to slow down in mid
air causing the toss to look slower and much more dramatic. (Submitted by Jose)