A routine is like a document that contains words, sentences, paragraphs and, finally, a “story.” We communicate through writing and we communicate through our actions as well. One aspect of exhibition drill is clear communication. Here we take a look at how to effectively communicate.
Grammar Rules and Exhibition Drill “Rule” Equivalents
Above, the word, “Rule” is in quotes because, in this context, we don’t necessarily have strict rules like the rules listed in a drill meet standard operating procedure (SOP), this is more like guidance. However, this guidance can really help you understand the concepts of creating a more effective routine for your drill team or yourself.
You may not realize how spelling can work here, but let’s take a look the words, their, there and they’re. While these words have completely different definitions, it is the sound on which I want to concentrate. What is the exhibition drill parallel? The same type of move that can be performed in slightly different ways, for instance, the Ninja. Today’s known variations are the . Here is a video of a Driller performing.
Variations of different moves are great! Variation keeps a routine alive and fresh.
I see this in many Drillers who are new to exhibition drill. While some people seem to speak without finishing their words, no one would ever want to write like this:
“Thi natio, unde God, sha ha a ne birt o freedo.”
This is actually a line from President Lincoln’s Gettybserg Address, “This nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom.” But it is unrecognizable; communication is lost. Exhibition drill is about communication: clear, effective communication.
Many new armed and unarmed Drillers fall into this mistake in their drill. While performing one move, their concentration shifts to the next move and they never complete the current move and the same with the next move and the next, etc.
Again, some people tend to speak this way and it is extremely difficult to understand them, but it is virtually impossible to understand the following sentence.
This is very similar to the unfinished words, above, but speed takes over here. The Driller does not complete the movements and articulation is non-existent. The sequence of moves becomes ‘unreadable,’ the performance looks sloppy and visual communication is degraded considerably. You even need a certain level of articulation in flow sequences.
For military drill we can define articulation as:
clarity in the production of successive movements.
Punctuation (i.e. periods, commas and exclamation points)
This is similar to Unfinished Words, above. This problem is when move after move after move is performed without appropriate transitions. You need to have visual pauses and breaks. These come in the form of stops (foot, arm or any other part of the body) and also. This is different from what we call “flow.” Flow, is a segment in a routine that is smooth with the rifle passing from one side of the body to the other, up and down, back to front, etc. with smooth, clean effortless movement without stopping.
When we write effectively, one paragraph needs to seamlessly transition into the next by having the last sentence of a paragraph contain the idea that creates a bridge to that next paragraph. When transitions don’t exist or they do not fit very well, then reading becomes difficult. The same goes for exhibition drill. (<—that’s the transition sentence to the next paragraph.)
A big culprit in destroying a routine’s effectiveness is the lack of appropriate transitions as I mentioned above. But, what is an “appropriate transition”? Let’s take a look.
Facing movements are some of the worst moves one can perform in a routine. Field coverage is part of the score, yes. But relying on a facing movement to move to another part of the field shows a lack of creativity. Now, when a Driller/team is first beginning, basic movement is expected, but with experience, should come growth as well. Let the rifle guide you around the field. Which way are your shoulders facing when you finish that toss or flow segment? That is your new direction. Don’t want to go that way? Change your entrance into the move or during the move if you are able or even create a way to move that does not include a basic facing movement to change the direction in which your body is facing.