It’s Show Time!

| February 12, 2009 | 1 Comment

For many performers the hardest part of the performance is controlling the nerves you feel prior to and during the performance.  Here are ten tricks of the trade for preparing yourself for the best possible performance and keeping your nerves “in check”.


10.  Do your homework… for color guard that is. You know best which parts of the show you need to improve.  Even just 10 minutes a day can make a big difference in getting more comfortable with the choreography.

9. Be prepared! If you have academic obligations tend to them prior to the show day. Pack your bag the night before, get plenty of rest, set 2 alarms, and stretch before you go to sleep. This will help you relax prior to turning the lights out.

8. Conserve your energy.  Show days are long and while the time may fly by, don’t underestimate the toll it can take on you mentally & physically.  Choose wisely how you spend your time prior to the performance because in the end the main event is all that matters.

7. Hydrate the right way. Even though you may be craving a sugary sweet, caffeinated coffee or energy drink; opt for an iced half café with sugar free flavoring or forego it all together and grab a big bottle of water that will last all day.

6. Time is of the essence.  Arrive at the show site with plenty of time spare and use it wisely to prepare.

5. Visit the venue. If permitted by the show host, enter the venue and get comfortable with your surroundings. Watch another unit perform and familiarize yourself with entrance and exit locations, timing lines, lighting, and bleacher height.

4.  Revel in the rituals. Many guards have a cheer or pre-performance tradition that allows members a moment to bond and get excited prior to performing. Make it fun, friendly, & fast so you don’t lose focus.

3. Visualize & mentally prepare.  Your costume is on, your show hair is done, & your makeup is flawless. Now it is time to get your head in the game. Find a quiet corner, play your show music, and visualize yourself performing. Take a series of long, deep breaths and imagine yourself releasing all of your nerves and tension.

2. Follow the flow. Most competitions will have the same warm-up progression (body, equipment, & on deck). Allow your instructors to coordinate volunteers so you can stay focused. Don’t allow one specific toss consume your time. If you make mistakes in warm-up brush them off and move on to another part.

1. Stay cool, calm, & collected! Move with purpose as you set your equipment and survey the crowd. Take long deep breaths to steady yourself, stand tall, and get your game face on… it’s show time!


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Category: For Performers, Performance, Preparation & Travel

About the Author (Author Profile)

Meghan McCourt has taught color guard & dance in Virginia & Tennessee for the past 11 years. McCourt was a member of the Carolina Crown Drum & Bugle Corp & the Dominion Winter Guard as well as a dancer at George Mason University. She is also a judge with the Atlantic Indoor Association & the USSBA.

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