Author Archive: Chris Casteel

Chris Casteel is an adjudicator with the Winter Guard Association of Southern California (WGASC). She was an instructor in the activity for approximately 20 years before moving into adjudication. She teaches Language Arts and Writing at a middle school in San Marcos, CA and is also a mentor teacher for the school. She holds a BA degree in Education, a California Teaching Credential and a Masters degree in education. Thanks to Chris Casteel for sharing her ideas and for WGASC for allowing the republication of her articles on this website for instructors outside of the WGASC circuit.

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Pushing Through the Performance Plateau

| April 2, 2009 | 0 Comments

First, let’s take a look back in time….. At the beginning of our season instructors and performers alike are passionate about the concepts that they are working toward.  The music is new, the colors and equipment are new, sometimes the costumes are new as well, and we are engaged and excited by all of these […]

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READY, FIRE, AIM (Re-evaluation and Goal Setting Mid-Season)

| March 16, 2009 | 1 Comment

I realize the actual phrase is ‘ready, aim, fire’, but for the purpose of this article I’ve chosen to manipulate it just a little bit to illustrate a point.  You see, ready, aim, fire suggests that as an instructor you first plan your rehearsal; second, set goals for the rehearsal, and finally decide how you […]

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Between the Door and the Music

| March 5, 2009 | 2 Comments

Do you rehearse the process of what occurs once your guard steps through the doorway of a gymnasium and into the competitive arena?  I’m talking about getting everything through the door and setting it. Sometimes it appears that we spend hours upon hours rehearsing what happens once the music starts, but pay little attention to […]

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Got Goals?

| February 17, 2009 | 0 Comments

“The reason most people never reach their goals is that they don’t define them, or ever seriously consider them as believable or achievable. Winners can tell you where they are going, what they plan to do along the way, and who will be sharing the adventure with them.”   Denis Waitley I stumbled over this […]

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Just Breathe

| January 27, 2009 | 1 Comment

Imagine your performers in this situation… They step onto the gym floor amidst a flurry of pre show excitement, expectations of their team mates and instructors, and last minute show changes.  In the audience are friends, family, instructors, competitors and judges.  They can hear the blood pumping in their ears, hearts are racing, and their […]

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For Better or Worse… Muscle Memory

| January 19, 2009 | 1 Comment

“It’s all about training your kids properly, giving them the tools necessary to do all the wonderful things designers dream up, and it’s TRAINING that will elevate your program from a mere collection of counts, into a wonderful effective masterpiece.”   – Richard Kramer, WGASC V.P. of Adjudication I must start off by stating that Richard […]

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Holiday Reflections

| December 23, 2008 | 1 Comment

Happy Holidays to All!!  As I write this, I am in the midst of Holiday frenzy. Yes, it is getting harder and harder to find a parking spot in front of Target; family traditions are numerous; the last of the Christmas cards have been sent; and suddenly I crave sugary cookies decorated with a man […]

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The Parent Factor

| December 23, 2008 | 1 Comment

Let’s face it; your parent group can either be your greatest benefit or your biggest worry. I am quite sure that, as an instructor, you already have an overwhelming list of program concerns on your proverbial plate; it hardly seems likely that you would want to add another concern to the list.   Probably the last […]

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Money, Money, Money !!!

| December 9, 2008 | 2 Comments

That’s it!  Is anyone else sick and tired of hearing about our ever spiraling economy?!  From late-night comics to the everyday news, there are times when I want to yell “ENOUGH ALREADY!” Not to say that this isn’t a very genuine and trying situation for us all, but – come on already – let’s start […]

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Dress for Success… The Search for the Perfect Costume

| December 3, 2008 | 0 Comments

(Article reprinted with permission of the author – first appeared Dec 2008 on In my last article, I wrote about music selection and the importance of choosing the perfect piece of music as a vehicle for your competitive show.  This week, I am moving on to the next step in the ladder of show […]

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