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Shoulder injuries can be devastating to color guard performers. Shoulder dislocation, impingement, and labral tears are just a few examples of common injuries. The good news is that many of these injuries are caused by a weak rotator cuff, which can be fixed by strengthening it.

So, what is the rotator cuff and how does it help keep the shoulder joint stable? The rotator cuff is a collection of tendons and muscles that connect the upper arm bone (humerus) to the shoulder blade (scapula). These muscles and tendons are essential for stabilizing the shoulder joint and allowing you to move your arm in different directions.

The great thing about rotator cuff exercises is that they can be done with weights or resistance bands, making them accessible for people of all fitness levels. Here's how to do the exercises using resistance bands:

1. External Rotation: Anchor a resistance band to a door handle or sturdy post at hip height. Hold the other end of the band in your hand and keep your elbow at your side. Rotate your arm out to the side and then back to the starting position. Repeat for 12-15 reps on each arm.

2. Internal Rotation: This exercise is similar to the external rotation, but instead of rotating your arm out to the side, you rotate it towards your body. Repeat for 12-15 reps on each arm.

3. Reverse Fly: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the ends of a resistance band in each hand. Bend forward at the waist and lift your arms out to the side. Make sure to keep your arms straight and your shoulders relaxed. Repeat for 8-12 reps.

4. Arm Raises: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the ends of a resistance band in each hand. Raise your arms straight out to the side, then lower them back down to the starting position. Repeat for 8-12 reps.

It's important to choose a resistance band with enough resistance to challenge your muscles but not so much that you can't perform the exercises correctly. Start with a lighter band and gradually increase the resistance as you get stronger. Always fight for strict form and focus on slow, controlled movements to get the most benefit from these exercises.

Incorporating these exercises into your regular fitness routine can help improve rotator cuff strength and stability. This will not only help prevent shoulder injuries, but it will also contribute to better color guard performance. When your rotator cuff is strong, you will have more control over your arm movements and will be able to perform better.

Whether you're a seasoned color guard performer or just getting started, incorporating these exercises into your fitness routine can help keep your shoulders healthy and your performance up. Remember that a little time and effort can go a long way toward preventing shoulder injuries and improving color guard performance!

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It's hard to imagine anything more devastating than getting cut from a drum corps audition. You've spent months preparing, honing your skills, and dreaming of the day when you'll be a member of one of the most elite marching ensembles in the world. And then, it doesn't happen. You're left feeling sad, disappointed, and maybe even a little lost. Many of us have been there, including myself.

But it's important to remember that getting cut from a drum corps audition is not the end of the world. It's not even the end of your marching career. It's just a setback. And like any setback, it's something that you can overcome.

First and foremost, it's important to allow yourself to feel your emotions. It's okay to be sad, disappointed, and even angry. These are normal reactions to a difficult situation. Give yourself permission to feel whatever you're feeling. Cry if you need to, or scream into a pillow. But don't let those emotions consume you. These emotions are temporary.

Once you've given yourself permission to feel your emotions, it's time to start looking ahead. Think about what you can do to improve your chances of making the cut next time. Maybe you need to work on your marching technique, or your stamina, or your musicianship. Make a plan to address those areas, and then start working on them right away.

Another way to overcome sadness is to find a new opportunity. Many other ensembles are trying to fill spots, and you could be the perfect fit for them! These groups can be just as rewarding, and they may offer you a chance to perform in front of similar audiences in a similar setting!

Finally, don't forget to surround yourself with a supportive community. Talk to friends, family, or a trusted mentor about your disappointment. Share your feelings, listen to their advice, and take comfort in knowing that you are not alone.

Remember, getting cut from a drum corps audition is not the end of the world. It's just a setback. And like any setback, it's something that you can overcome. With hard work, determination, and a positive attitude, you'll be back on that field before you know it.

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Due to the high physical demands of marching band, proper nutrition is essential. Here are some recommendations for what to eat to maximize your performance on the field:

Consume a large quantity of carbohydrates before to your performance, as they are the body's primary fuel source. Bread, pasta, and rice made from whole grains, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables, are all excellent choices.

Protein: Consuming enough protein is crucial for maintaining muscular mass and healing damaged muscle tissue. White fish, chicken without the skin, eggs, tofu, and beans are all excellent protein choices.

Consuming healthy fats like those found in avocados, almonds, and egg yolks will keep you feeling full and content for longer, which can help you avoid snacking too heavily before a big performance.

Drink plenty of water before and after your performance to avoid being dehydrated, which can lead to fatigue and poor athletic performance.

Iron, zinc, and vitamin C are just a few of the vitamins and minerals that contribute to good health and increased vitality. Consuming a wide range of colorful produce is one of the best ways to assure adequate intake of all of these vital elements.

Avoid eating processed or high-fat items before performing, as these will only serve to slow you down and make you feel lethargic.

Carbohydrates, protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals are all essential for optimal bodily function, and so is limiting your intake of processed and high-fat foods. In particular, before a performance, it's important to drink plenty of water and eat lightly.


Below, is a sample meal plan that can be used for a performance day. Please note that one diet is not ideal for all athletes as everyone has unique individual needs. This list serves a guide in which you can expand or condense to suit your needs. Consult with a dietician to determine your nutritional needs.

Breakfast (6:30 AM)

  • Whole grain toast with peanut butter and banana

  • Greek yogurt with berries and a drizzle of honey

  • Glass of orange juice

Rehearsal snack (10:00 AM)

  • Whole wheat crackers with hummus

  • Small apple or pear

  • Water or sports drink

Lunch (12:30 PM)

  • Grilled chicken or fish with brown rice and steamed veggies

  • Small serving of mixed nuts or seeds

  • Water or sports drink

Bus Snack (3:00 PM)

  • Energy Bar made with whole grains and nuts

  • Small banana or handful of grapes

  • Water or sports drink

Post performance Dinner (6:00 PM)

  • Whole grain pasta with lean protein (chicken, turkey, fish, or tofu) and marinara sauce

  • Side salad with mixed greens and vinaigrette

  • Water or sports drink

Snack (9:00 PM)

  • Small serving of whole grain crackers

  • Greek Yogurt with honey and mixed berries.

  • Water or sports drink.

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