This is a special section for all you captains and co-captains! I'm co-captain of my guard
and I've picked up on things that can help you with your guard!
Don't let your head swell up! In other words, don't think that you're a hotshot
or anything JUST because you are section leader. Yes, you need to lead the guard, but that doesn't mean you need to treat
them like they're lower-class citizens.
Don't play favorites. I can't stress this enough! DO NOT ALLOW YOURSELF TO
PLAY FAVORITES! I know there are times where you just want to give that "one person" a hundred pushups just because they did
this or that. There are times where you just want to mouth off to that person. There are times where you're tempted to kick
that person off the guard. THIS IS A BIG NO-NO! Part of the reason why your director picked you as the section leader is that
you should have the patience and the maturity to overlook these things. Don't discriminate against someone just because you
don't like them or they get on your nerves. Playing favorites WILL sever the communication and the closeness of the guard.
It WILL interfere with the practices, the shows, the friendships, EVERYTHING!
Try to understand your guard. If a person
cannot make it to one practice, don't threaten to kick them off. Guard should be fun, not be a duplicate to the Marine Corps.
Sure, the guard members should be at most practices, but things come up. Colorguard should NOT take up your whole life.
let the guard talk about personal problems and such during practice. It will interfere with their concentration on the task
at hand. Sure, it's cool for water breaks and stuff, but not during practice. Another thing is to try to limit excess talk
during practice. Too much talking wastes a LOT of time!
Be strict, but don't be a freaking boot camp general. Being
disciplined and strict is good, but too much will do the opposite effect. Your guard will begin to disrespect you and not
listen to you. Be strict, but have fun.
Do not tolerate back talk or attitude! If a member is giving you attitude
or talking back to your instructions, DO NOT tolerate it! Ask them to stop (nicely) and if it persists, give them a lap around
the track or pushups (50-100). If it keeps going after you resort to laps or pushups, tell them to leave rehearsal right then
and there. If it gets this bad, it's obvious that they have no interest in rehearsal. If you need to tell them to leave, make
sure you tell your instructor and your band director of the problem. Now, don't give attitude to the members yourself! That's
a big NO-NO! Treat them civil, but make sure they know who is in charge!
Get to know everyone in your guard on a personal
level. Know what works for one person and what doesn't. There may be someone who you can yell at and they wouldn't be phased
about it, but the next person may be really sensitive to that.
Don't be too much of a straight-stick. Be strict, but
be silly! Your guard will respond much better to that.
If you are having problems getting along with another person,
another section leader or a member of your guard, don't let it show!! This sounds bad, but it's necessary. Don't openly talk
bad about other people in front of your guard. It'll only reflect bad images on yourself.
Always try and be available
for your guard. Let them know that they can come to you for help whenever they want. If you can't personally be available,
try to have another captain help teach, or set up a time where you can personally be of help. It'll be good for the guard
to know that you are always there to help them.
Look at your organizational skills and see how they are. Being captain
requires a certain amount of organization, and if you're not too strong in this area, see what you can do to improve it!
you have discipline? Can you handle responsibility? Since you're captain, you should already be able to say yes to both of
these questions. Sometimes as captain, you're required to write a parade routine or some kind of routine for something. Don't
put this off! You'll end up rush-writing work, and that'll just come out as pure poo-poo. Don't procrastinate! That's the
main point I'm trying to get across here.
Be careful of the priviledges you give to your guard. It's nice to have
them, but watch carefully how your guard responds to them. For example, if you have a 10-minute break every hour, but lately
you see your guard being late in coming back from that break, maybe it's time to rethink that priviledge and either take it
away or shorten it to 3-5 minutes instead. Be observant!
More to come!