Friday, February 20, 2015

Mid Season

One one hand it feels like we just started this winter guard season....on the other, I realize we are only 5 weeks to Circuit Championships come Saturday. How does it go by so fast?

This Saturday will be the MS Guard's first competition. They are excited and I am really looking forward to seeing them compete! Should be a great morning.

After the MS is finished with their performance the HS will be having camp. We have a lot of adjustments to make but nothing they cant handle. Its 2 weeks until the STL Regional which is what will place us for WGI Championships!

So many thoughts and emotions build up by this time of year. Am I enough.....can I give the kids what they need to be what they can be? Can I fully use their potential and push them to be the absolute best I know they can be? I feel it every day.....that pressure......but I grow and learn....and the season continues.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Stepping up our game!

Last Saturday was the High School's first winter guard competition. The group did not have a very good run and we knew we needed to chat with them about it at practice on Tuesday. The kids were very nervous and scared during warm up and I did not anticipate them being like that! I talked to them about what warm up is for and why there is no need to "freak out!"

To sum up what the staff said - We are stepping up our game!

The biggest thing we need to change is how we rehears! We will be holding all the kids accountable to do every single rep full out! So often they mark through choreography and then when we do run throughs at the end they do things so differently then what they practiced that it really effects them. This was the same thing that happened during their performance.

We jumped right in on Tuesday after our conversation with this more intense and more accountable rehearsal. I wasn't sure how they would react to it.....if they would get mad or frustrated.....but I was very impressed when we kept pushing and pushing and the kids just did it! No one was frustrated when they left rehearsal and everyone really seemed to understand why we were adjusting the way we were doing things.

Very exciting to be able to do something like that and not have a bunch of friction and reluctance from the kids. Means we can keep making them better and they wont make out right away!

Still a long road.....we will keep taking one rehearsal at a time.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Season is Going

2 weeks from tomorrow will be the High School's first competition. I think we are in a good place for their first performance and I think they will do well. Almost the entire show is done....not completely filled in, but ideas are mostly complete and the concept should be clear. We get to complete with one of our biggest competitors right off the bat with this first competition. It should be fun how the 2 stack up against each other.

Next week is our big Spin-A-Thon fundraiser. The girls will stay up all through the night spinning flag, rifle, and/or saber for donations. This will be the first time I have done this type of fundraiser so I hope it goes well. It should be pretty fun!

The Middle School is doing well...they have a little more time before their first show. They have about 2/3 of their show done and the keep improving every practice, which is what we need that group to do. I think they will end up having a great season.

UCM is ahead of schedule with their show so we are really excited for them to perform. Some of them have never done winter guard before so I look forward to seeing them experience their first competition.

I am crazy busy working with the 3 groups as well as now planning a wedding....but its great! Its what I always thought I would be doing. I am lucky to get to work with such a great group of kids and have such a wonderful staff to help me out when I need it.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Performance Night for Spin Clinic

Saturday was such a fun experience. The kids were GREAT and energetic and learned their routine really fast!

There were some giggles.....which really made the morning. Along with dancing and spinning flags they got to have lots of cookies and juice. We played games and had an all around good time. I think the kids were probably really worn out when they went home....which I am sure the parents were happy about!

Tonight they perform at the HS Girls Varsity game.....for half time! A pretty VIP performance slot Id say! : ) They will do great and look cute.....of course!

Ill post a video of the performance this week!

Friday, December 14, 2012

First Ever!

Tomorrow with be the first ever Odessa Color Guard Spin Clinic for students in 3rd - 6th grade!

When I first decided to do this new fundraiser I really didn't know what to expect. Working at both the Upper Elementary I knew I could get the word around well. At OUE I showed the 2008 Odessa Winter Guard show to each of my classes and at the Middle School I put an announcement in. I made the best effort I knew I could....but still didn't know how many kids would actually be interested enough to come in on a Saturday and learn to spin flag.

We ended up with 40 kids signing up for the clinic! A few more than I had anticipated for the very first year. So much so, that there wasn't enough fabric at JoAnn's or Hobby Lobby or Michael's when we went to get poly china silk to make little flags for the kids. Chris had to go down town for me and get full bolts of fabric! But, it was worth it because it was EXACTLY like the High School flag silks and I know the little kids will love that.

The first time is always pretty scary! I am really not sure what to expect tomorrow.....but I know the kids will be excited and CUTE! We have a hand full of High School kids coming to help so that is good. Parents are bringing snacks to make the time even more enjoyable. And my mom will be there! : )

Check back for pics of the clinic!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Glimpse of the 2 Shows

The Middle School show is titled "Birds on a Wire"

And the High School show is titled "Protectors from Above"

Look for more details about the show in the next few days!

A recap about the Fall season

This has been a crazy summer and fall. I wanted to write more about the progression of the Odessa group but things became very hectic very quickly. But it was good! I’ll go through a little bit of what happened this summer and fall and then we can start thinking about the upcoming winter season!

The summer started a little slow. It took some time for the guard staff to really lock into their rolls and get use to each other on an instruction level and not just friends. The girls also had a LOT of adjusting to do. A completely new staff with a director with a very different style and approach than they were use to. Practices were quiet and somewhat tense at first. I wanted to focus a TON on movement, which was something they were not use to and a part they didn't seem to like very much. By the end of June we had probably around 16 different across the floors for the girls to do every day. More than 1/3 of our time was focused on movement and there were some practices that we never even picked up equipment.

The weapon lines had a good start and I made sure to start slow to allow for girls who ever spun weapon to get the basics and try out. Doing that added a couple girls to the line who never would have made it if we had jumped right into triples and quads. The girls who had been on weapon for a year or two had to learn some patience, but I think they saw the benefits. We also had to really look at the technique of the rifle and saber line. Most of the sabers were spinning their sabers just like rifle. So, we broke down the difference between the 2 pieces of equipment which has been very beneficial to both lines. Our “A” lines didn't do anything higher than a triple for the first 2 months and the “B” line focused on doubles. Once we pushed it up a notch the girls were amazed how much easier it was then they originally thought it would be to do the “bigger tosses”. Now, our “B” line is doing pretty well on quads and they never thought they would be able to say that.

Near the end of the summer our band director got an offer at a different school and decided to take the job. The staff all knew it was the best choice for him and his family and we wished him the best of luck! The former assistant at Odessa applied for the new opening and ended up getting the job so there wasn’t much adjustment for that. We just had to push band camp back a week to allow for interviews and all that. But, the transition went really smooth and we headed on into the school year.

Once school started everything started flying by. The guard had Monday and Wednesday sectionals and the full band and guard had Tuesday and Thursday evening rehearsals. We were a little behind on music memorization and drill and we have been playing catch up the entire season. So practices had to move quickly…but luckily the guard was always right on top of things.

Our last competitive performance we were at UCM for the Festival of Champions. I was really looking forward to seeing how the girls would perform after months of practice and training. It was an exciting day and a little bit of a sad one as well. Fortunately I think the girls were very pumped up about the winter season so they weren't real sad to see the fall end. 

Now we are on our way with the Winter Season! The Middle School group has 22 girls on the team and the High School has 15 girls and 1 boy! Tomorrow will be our first camp so I will post more about the shows after that!