How to Write Drill

DrillMaster Ask DrillMaster, Commentary, Drill Teams, Instructional 1 Comment

Drill is not boring, unless you do the same thing over and over or you execute very simple moves with “dead” time in between.

How can drill be “exciting”? Variation. Variation of:

  • Hand, arm, leg and head movements
  • Body movement
  • Step style
  • Tempo

You can get a sample of some drill movements in Exhibition Drill For The Military Drill Team. This is a great starting point or reference for any drill team, armed or unarmed.

What can a team do to add visual emphasis? (Not a complete list- use your imagination!)

  • Use certain uniform designs
    • Stripe(s) down the outside seam of the trouser leg and cuff of the sleeve
    • Select uniform colors that provide contrast
  • Use uniform additions
    • Two-tone gloves
    • Shoulder cord
    • Ascot
    • Belt
  • Marching
    • Unusual drill
    • drill that moves quickly
    • Tempo contrasts
    • Arm, hand and head movement layered over drill (and/or)
    • Body movement layered over drill
    • Manipulation of a uniform item (i.e. head gear)

How do you start writing a routine?

This is Set 5 (page 5) of part of a routine

This is Set 6 (page 6) of part of a routine

Go to the Downloads page and download a copy of a DrillMaster Routine Mapping Tool (there are different sizes for different applications), print out a few copies and begin by making dots where the team or you, as the soloist, will begin. I recommend using 8 counts as your standard and think of where you want the team (or you) to be in 8 counts and draw a small circle or an “X”. On the next sheet draw a dot where the “X” is on the first sheet and then, using 8 or less counts, put an “X” where you want the team to be. Repeat those steps. Each page you write becomes a set. A set is a formation, even if it is not a complete formation- you have a certain number of Drillers stop at a certain set and others continue marching to form the formation on the next set.

As you write, think of what this looks like from the front, the performance side, where the Head Judge stands, and try to create a routine that will look its best from that side/angle- this is part on which the Overall Effect and Composition Analysis judges will be critiquing and rating. Just writing something without having direction in mind can lead to a visually confusing program.

Routine Mapping Tool Sample

On each sheet you will notice lines where you can create notes about equipment and/or body manipulation or anything else that is pertinent to the routine at that particular point.

I prefer to write the drill book and then create the equipment work and layer it on top of the drill. As I write I sometimes have an idea of what the equipment and/or body work is going to be and make notes on each page. Sometimes the ideas do not work and I rewrite the drill or the equipment work.

Yeah, but what about arm, head, leg, hand and body movement?

It’s up to you, I’ll get you started on your studies:

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  1. Pingback: DrillMaster Routine Mapping Tools Updated! | The DrillMaster

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