Well behaved and responsible children seem to be a thing of the past. Children today are increasingly more impatient and rude. There are a few ways to teach children how to be a model citizen even at a young age. One of the ways is through winter guard.
Winter guard, in case you don’t know, is an indoor activity where flags, batons, rifles, and sabres are spun to a soundtrack. Performance groups may also dance in their show. The groups go to competitions and compete. Each group has seven minutes to put their floor down (floors are extremely heavy, but I’ll talk about that later), perform their show, and pick their floor back up.
During a season, performers learn many valuable life lessons. Sometimes they do not even realize that they have learned anything. Performers are just focused on performing their show and receiving a high score when it comes time to compete. Often they are oblivious about some of the lessons they learn.
Lesson 1: Sportsmanship
This is probably the most obvious in all of the lessons that winter guard teaches. One learns that winning is not important. When walking down the hallways at a winter guard competition, you often hear “Good luck” traveling across the hall from team to team. I’ve never encountered a team that is rude.
At the awards ceremony, every team congratulates one another. Teams watch other shows and are happy to see the shows they enjoyed score highly. It is genuinely a loving, supportive environment.
Lesson 2: Teamwork
Teamwork is another obvious lesson that is learned from winter guard. Members of the team need to help each other learn work and support each other every step of the way. Teammates become close friends from the long hours of practice. Because of this friendship they learn to rely on each other to do well. When everyone does well in a performance, the team’s overall scores get higher.
I said I would mention the floors later in the article. Well, this is where later comes into play. A floor for winter guard is basically a tarp. Folded up the floors generally weigh in at about 400 pounds. So no one single person can carry the floor. The entire team has to work together to get the floor off fast enough so that they do not get penalized for going over the seven minute mark.
Teams from all different kinds of sports have a bond. Winter guard is no different. The teams spend so much time together, they end up loving each other like a second family.
Lesson 3: Responsibility
Members of a winter guard team learn to be responsible very quickly. Each person on the team has to learn all of the work for themselves. They also need to be responsible for practicing the work outside of practice. If each team member takes equal responsibility than the team will be successful and score higher.
Lesson 4: Punctuality
Winter guards have to know what move goes to what count. Every little movement they make is to a count. It is the members’ responsibility to be on the right move on the correct count. If every member is not moving in sync, points will be deducted from their final score.
Another way a winter guard member learns punctuality is by showing up to practice on time. Like most sports, coaches tend to have penalties for showing up to practice late. Some coaches do laps and others do push-ups. Winter guard is no different, instructors tend to have punishments for not showing up to practice on time.
In conclusion, I would like to say that winter guard is a sport. Winter guard is exhausting work. It also teaches a lot of the same lessons that traditional sports do.