Band Camp - A Strategist's Guide

As we start approaching Band Camp season, I'm sure you've heard the following advice when it comes to being ready for the long, intensive and taxing rehearsals ahead:

- Bring/Drink lots of water

- Wear Sunscreen and a Hat

- Make sure you have your dot books and music (if applicable)

- Don't lock your knees or you might pass out

- Be ready to learn and have a positive attitude

So, aside from the typical advice you would get, I wanted to look at things a little bit more strategically so you can take fully advantage of the advice you've been given and perhaps give you some things to think about, so that not only will you simply survive Band Camp, but you will thrive!

For example, when someone says, "drink lots of water," do you know exactly WHY you need to drink lots of water?  Well look at it this way, the normal average everyday non-active person should be drinking about 2 liters per day. 

Yup, so imagine that crap drink you call Soda in a 2 litter need to be drinking one of those bottles filled with water every single day and that is if you are not active! But as a Marching Band member, you are now a physical active person and even (dare I say) an athlete, so you need to be drinking more than 2 liters.

The reason why you need to drink so much water is because you lose so much of it as you go through the physical rigors of a typical Band Camp rehearsal.  Also, in order for you to avoid injury, water keeps your muscles, tendons and ligaments loose and pliable so they don't all of a sudden rip, tear or break during strenuous activity, due to being inadequately lubricated.

Another thing that will help you thrive and give you the energy you need to perform physically at a high level is to take in proper nutrition.  Finely tuned athletes take their nutrition very seriously because they depend on their bodies to perform at a high level; so why aren't you?  Forget about eating fast food (please, please, please don't do it) and instead, think about consuming the following foods pre/during/post Band Camp:

- Take in carbs before rehearsals for long lasting energy.  Examples of carbs are Bread, Rice, Nuts, Pasta and grains. You may eat cereal, but avoid the super sugary kids cereals and opt instead for cereals that are made of whole grains. Of course, also consume some fruit for energy.

- Take in protein for muscle repair and maintenance (you will be destroying them everyday during rehearsals), especially after rehearsals.  Of course you can get protein from lean (that means non-fatty) meats, fish, poultry, nuts, beans and eggs.  Athletes also take in supplemental protein shakes just to make sure they get enough protein.

- DO NOT SKIP THE VEGETABLES!!! No, lettuce doesn't count, so just remember that the greener the plant, the more vitamins and minerals you will get for even more power and energy for your body.  Think spinach, broccoli and kale, but also take in carrots and celery.   

- For lunch in the middle of rehearsals, I suggest taking in all of the above with a heavy emphasis on Vegetables for a nice power boost in the middle of rehearsals.

Now I have one more tip that nobody else talks about, but you'll have to wait until next time. It's truly a game changer and it'll ensure that you have the best possible experience at Band Camp EVER!!! I try not to hype too much...but it's that BIG!!! To make sure you don't miss it, make sure you sign up below so you will get notified when it drops:

Karl Arrieta