Forum: Guard / Color Guard

First time dealing with Flag corp...help!
By Majorettecoach09
On Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:20 AM

I just found out that I am now the Auxillary coach at a new high school in our county. I get to coach majorettes and flags. I've been a majorette my whole life and haven't twirled flags a lot. Any tips on how to improve enough to coach a team of flag girls? Also, I have to cut a few girls from my middle school majorette squad and we haven't ever had a middle school flag corp before. Do you thik I should give them the option of starting a flag corp or let them go back to mini-majorettes? Thank you!

14 Replies to First time dealing with Flag corp...help!

re: First time dealing with Flag corp...help!
By buckeye2
On Sat Jan 08, 2011 08:34 PM
Flags have a lot of different things from twirling, so don't try to give the flags baton routines. I recommend finding someone who can come in and teach technique and choreograph routines for you. Or attend a FJM Clinic. They can also send out staff to you for assistance. I have met many new flag coaches at that clinic who are there to learn the technique.

If you want to grow your flag program, I would reccommend starting it at the middle school level. It's never easy to cut girls. I would hold your flag try outs after majorette try outs so anyone who is cut will have the option of attending those as well.

Are middle schoolers currently a part of the mini - majorettes program? If you want them to continue to build up skill to possibly make the squad the following year, you could use them as assistants or demonstrators in mini majorettes.
re: First time dealing with Flag corp...help!
By Majorettecoach09
On Sun Jan 09, 2011 04:01 PM
Most of the girls are just old enough to try out for middle school so theyre part of Mini-majorettes this year. I've twirled flag a little bit my senior year in high school because we had to do an Auxillary. We don't have flags for middle school so I wasn't really going to have a try outs I don't think.
re: First time dealing with Flag corp...help!
By panicmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Jan 10, 2011 12:13 PM
OK, we need to start with some basic teminology. The word is "corps." including the s and the period. In informal writing, people omit the period, but never the s. Second, all the major color guards prefer the word "spin" instead of "twirl". Third, color guard has (yet again) become a co-ed activity in much of the country, so I would advise against calling them "flag girls".

Also, I have to cut a few girls from my middle school majorette squad and we haven't ever had a middle school flag corp before. Do you thik I should give them the option of starting a flag corp or let them go back to mini-majorettes?
Yikes, you want to start a corps with the majorette rejects? That's a terrible idea. If you want to start a new group, fine - but start from scratch. You're already thinking about the flags as girls who aren't good enough to make the majo team, and that attitude sucks.

I would hold your flag try outs after majorette try outs so anyone who is cut will have the option of attending those as well.
Again, I'm going to assume you've never actually built an auxiliary program, because this is TERRIBLE advice.

Any tips on how to improve enough to coach a team of flag girls?
You can be a good coach, but obviously you can't be a good choreographer with absolutely no experience. Either hire someone to write your equipment book or send your kids to camp.
re: First time dealing with Flag corp...help!
By Majorettecoach09
On Mon Jan 10, 2011 02:36 PM
ok look, I'm not saying that my girls that don't my squad are rejects in any way. We're not even having a try outs for flags. In our town the girls at the high school are flag girls. It's what they've been called for years. And the girls who have some experience with majorettes are going to know how count music etc. Also, we don't have any money for camps and things like that and I can figure out how to twirl a flag just fine, and we say twirl not spin.
re: First time dealing with Flag corp...help!
By buckeye2
On Tue Jan 11, 2011 09:50 AM
I don't think the OP meant that her Flag Corps would become a line of second rate twirlers. She is simpily trying to find a way to keep the possibilities of being part of a group and performing open to more girls than she is able to accept for the majorette line.

Are baton twirling and flags the same thing? No. Is one better than the other? That's a matter of personal opinion.

You try out for soccer and get cut. Does that mean you can't go try out for track? If so, does that mean that the track team is nothing more than all the rejected soccer players? No. It's just another opportunity for students to become involved in. Running is required for soccer and is also a part of track. Just like understsanding musicality and 8 counts are a part of both Baton and Flags. I believe the OP plans to have her group open to everyone, not just the ones who didn't make the cut.

Let's help encourage our new coaches so they can grow and keep these sports alive. I've seen them die off in areas all too often because they do not have the leadership to keep the programs strong.
re: First time dealing with Flag corp...help! (karma: 1)
By TboltTwirler21
On Sun Jan 16, 2011 07:16 PM
I actually just went through this two years ago. I have been a twirler and never touched a flag before I was asked to step in and coach the guard at my high school. My first year I leaned on the knowledge of the older girls on the squad. I learned quite a lot from them alone. I also found that as a twirler, it isn't too difficult to figure out most flag movements. I've been to a few Tournament of Bands indoor competitions, which feature guard, twirlers and dance teams. I have found watching other squads has been very helpful in picking up new ideas. There are some videos I've found on youtube as well that were very helpful, as the instructors are teaching the routine. I also looked up some winterguard or indoor guard videos to begin getting new ideas about skills. I am still learning quite a bit, but I found those as decent places to start if you don't have the resources to attend camps and things of that sort. Hope this helps!
re: First time dealing with Flag corp...help!
By Majorettecoach09
On Mon Jan 17, 2011 08:55 PM
Thanks for your post, I think I can figure it out enough to at least look decent. Our programs kind of died off in the past few years because our band director quit, so we don't have any Flags at all right now, but our schools consolidating with the rest of the county so I'll have all new members.
re: First time dealing with Flag corp...help!
By louisa
On Tue Jan 18, 2011 08:28 PM
I had only instructed baton and was asked to help with the flags at school. I request a new instructional video every year to help learn the different equipment. It has been very helpful even with my baton judging since occasionally a team will use guard technique for their extra equipment.

My flag routines tend to look "twirly." Since I do choreograph both twirlers and flags, I can coordinate routines to work together.

Don't fret too much with the flags. Even newbies can learn drill and swoop once in a while their first year. Keep in mind the flags are much more visual.

Have fun!
re: First time dealing with Flag corp...help!
By buckeye2
On Wed Jan 19, 2011 09:18 AM
I do highly suggest that you not let the kids know that you are unfamiliar with the flag. Go into each practice with confidence and know what you are going to teach. I have seen several coaches get eaten alive by kids who are given the freedom to teach the coach as opposed to learning from them.
re: First time dealing with Flag corp...help!
By panicmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Jan 21, 2011 02:15 AM
On the other hand, confidence generally comes from experience. So when you try to teach flags but you have no experience with flags, it's probably kinda normal to be nervous.
re: First time dealing with Flag corp...help!
By Majorettecoach09
On Sun Jan 23, 2011 10:24 PM
Actually I'm not nervous at all..I think I can catch on just from the videos, and none of the girls are going have experience either, so nothing to worry about.
re: First time dealing with Flag corp...help!
By Ayokamember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sun Jan 23, 2011 10:49 PM
I'm not sure if this is applicable to your area but this is what I would do in your situation. Are you aware of any marching bands in the area? University, high school, even middle school level, contact the band director to see if they know of any auxiliary people that could help you out. Even if they only give you advice or come and work with you once or twice someone whose focus is on flags will be very valuable.

I second the confidence thing. Don't let the students know you're unfamiliar with flags but don't act as if you're infallible either.
re: First time dealing with Flag corp...help!
By Flitzcgcg06member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Mon Jan 24, 2011 02:05 PM
Refer to www.colorguardeducator.com and make it your new best friend. I usually use it for reference when I get stuck with issues but it would be great for someone who knows nothing about it. It's a great resource.

Also, look at WGI.org to see what is going on out there right now in the guard world. There are so many different aspects of it but that is the direction guard is heading. This is the world of guard that Panic is referring to. Not to push you to make your new color guard be that but just for a perspective and maybe some good ideas of where you can take it. Check out some videos on youtube also and see what people have done.

Flag is very easy to pick up. I have seen kids learn the basics in a day so you should have no issues once you figure it all out.

Good luck! :)
re: First time dealing with Flag corp...help!
By Majorettecoach09
On Mon Jan 24, 2011 08:52 PM
Thanks! I have a friend that I graduated with that can come to some practices. I twirled last year at college but the Color guard girls from there I wouldn't want around my squad because of attitude reasons. I think I'll get it figured out. The most important thing is that the kids are involved in something.

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