I am consistently asked about last-minute advice whether it be for a competition the next day the next week or even the next month. Most of the time the request for advice comes a bit too late to fix any major issues.
What what a team can work on at the last minute is uniforms and haircuts, etc, but teams and individuals are really looking for ways to make improvements in in their performance right before they go to a competition. But that’s really not possible. Muscle memory is the culprit.
Muscle memory is part of what creates a great performance and, when there is poor or incorrect muscle memory, it is the problem with last-minute changes. You are most likely not going to change a certain “fault” the night before a competition, although it is possible. Repetition with the new technique to change the muscle memory is the key.
Nothing replaces proper training and consistent long-tern practice to prepare for a performance.
Where to Concentrate
The Mistake. Make sure that everyone on the team looks like they know what they are doing 100% of the time. Every answer to a question and every movement while marching the regulation, color guard, and exhibition routines must have a look of complete knowledge and authority. If not, the judges will see the kink in the armor and start looking deeper. Did a team member make a mistake? Odds are that if he or she did not “broadcast” the mistake, no one noticed it.
Warm up. Going into a performance, especially an armed solo,
Focus. Leave out everything else. Concentrate on what you are doing right here, right now.
Envision your Performance. Close your eyes and see yourself going through the performance. Click here to read The Seven Parts of an Exhibition Drill Routine. Go through each segment and picture how you are performing.
Release Tension. Put your energy into positive Focus.
Have a plan. Ultimately, being prepared is best, but there are some things that one can do.