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Jersey Surf and competitive success

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I love Surf's fun attitude. I was dissapointed in 2014 when they went more serious - I missed the party on the field. But an ex-Surfer sitting behind me in Allentown told me he was glad because when he marched with Surf, the party attitude carried over to the members - some of whom wouldn't put the effort in to play and march well. Forget standings and medals, this is DCI which implies a certain level of performance, whether your show is fun or serious. I think Surf has stayed at DCI level even if they're not getting "better" every year but I can see how it would be frustrating for members who want to do better.

I talked with some kids from Surf this year who were incensed they didn't make semifinals - but my words to them were that it wasn't so much that Surf did poorly, it's more that some of the Open Class corps were amazing. This brings up the question of what does it mean to be Open Class or World Class? I heard quite a bit of rumblings that corps like SCVC and BDB should be forced into World Class. But then again, I spent time in the lot with the Vanguard Cadets (who were amazing!) and I was surprised at how young they were - as good as they are I was thinking they'd be older. Nope, kids. Same with BDB so age isn't what's holding corps back.

Personally, I've learned as a fan to not care about scores, my team never gets the scores they deserve (except maybe Bloo in 2014) so I just cheer for the shows I like and enjoy watching them and not worrying about placement.

I know a guy who marched Crown (years ago) and left to go to Madison because of Crown's obsession with scoring and placement and lack of concern for members' comfort and enjoyment. I spent a week with Bloo last year and I was impressed with how they've managed to balance pushing the members while making sure they still had fun. I was also impressed with how good the staff was at not only spotting problems but giving real solutions to fixing them - not just saying "you have to do better". They told/showed them how to do better. Of course, sometimes pointing out something was wrong was all that was necessary for the person to fix it - the bluecoats kids were pretty good.

I also know a guy who marched with an Open Class corps for his whole career because he didn't want to go away for three months in the summer. Not everyone has the same goals or desires when it comes to marching in DCI. People who come on here and tell everyone what their desires/goals SHOULD be are misguided.

I realize upon re-reading that this is a somewhat rambing and disjointed post. I apologize for any discomfort I may have caused.

Frankly, your post is perfectly lucid.

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I disagree. I think they shouldnt be content and this is just the way they run things is a lame motto. Wheres the competitive spirit? They are miles away from the top half of the group, miles...,i know they were more competitive a few years back. Changes are in order

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I disagree. I think they shouldnt be content and this is just the way they run things is a lame motto. Wheres the competitive spirit? They are miles away from the top half of the group, miles...,i know they were more competitive a few years back. Changes are in order

Who says there HAS to be a competitive spirit? I know DCI is a competitve activity overall but how competitive you want to be should be up the individual corps. Personally, I like that there are competitive corps who focus so sharply on medals (BD) but I also love that there are corps who are more interested in putting on a good show while making sure the members have a good time. There's room for both and every corps doesn't have to conform to your ideals. If enough people agree with you, then eventually they'll cease to exist because no one will want to march with them. So far Pio and Surf seem to be doing fine so I wouldn't worry so much about it.

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I guess I don't understand why there has to be a total and complete disconnect between competitive success, and providing the members the laid back happy go lucky fun time vibe that everyone keeps talking about. Personally, if a corps has no interest in ANY kind of competitive success, that isn't attractive. I can understand not having it as the top priority, but little focus on it at all?

Leaving the motivations of the corps aside, I feel like there are things on the design side that are not setting them up well from day one. Like I stated, their weak drill, choppy (you could argue they're fun) and non flowing arrangements. I also think the seemingly non progression in performance level between around Atlanta/Allentown and finals week not very attractive. If that's how they want to roll, that's fine. Just hope they'll get comfortable in that fighting for semifinalist territory, because with the rising level of Open Class corps, that's where they're staying with the philosophy they seem to have adopted. Pioneer this year stuck with a similar take on what they usually do, but made changes and adjustments that made them a much stronger corps in their performance levels and product. Surf should do something similar..........

I feel like they owe the members a little more to provide them with a stronger product (THAT CAN BE FUN), and push them a little more to try and be a stronger brass line, drumline, color guard, and WORLD CLASS corps.

Edited by DrumManTx
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Who says there HAS to be a competitive spirit? I know DCI is a competitve activity overall but how competitive you want to be should be up the individual corps. Personally, I like that there are competitive corps who focus so sharply on medals (BD) but I also love that there are corps who are more interested in putting on a good show while making sure the members have a good time. There's room for both and every corps doesn't have to conform to your ideals. If enough people agree with you, then eventually they'll cease to exist because no one will want to march with them. So far Pio and Surf seem to be doing fine so I wouldn't worry so much about it.

I ve done this a long time and have to question some of this. I do agree it does not have to be about scores and a corps can certainly choose to be what they want. Now with that said, I have never seen a MM who likes to lose, never. As there are plenty of kids who choose to stay in a lower corps who does not progress but stays for valid reasons for themselves , there has to be more that leave otherwise by the nature of stability of membership they should automatically be improving.

I do laugh sometimes when some members do say " I dont care about what the scores are " usually its the 1st place corps who said that or one that never gets the score they think they deserve. I've seen that often , of course until they either achieve and they are elated or the 1st place corps loses , then it gets more serious. Human nature i suppose.

Is there room for both as you say? Of course there is and ALL corps serve a purpose and hopefully all provide what a member is needing at the time.

I think when we comes down to it everything in life is competitive, even when it seems like it isnt, we see it in every day life. Now does the focus have to be there? Well thats up to the individual or the corps. Lower corps imo are in an even bigger competition that the upper corps , they are in competition to keep members and THIS should not be ignored. jMO

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I guess I don't understand why there has to be a total and complete disconnect between competitive success, and providing the members the laid back happy go lucky fun time vibe that everyone keeps talking about. Personally, if a corps has no interest in ANY kind of competitive success, that isn't attractive. I can understand not having it as the top priority, but little focus on it at all?

Leaving the motivations of the corps aside, I feel like there are things on the design side that are not setting them up well from day one. Like I stated, their weak drill, choppy (you could argue they're fun) and non flowing arrangements. I also think the seemingly non progression in performance level between around Atlanta/Allentown and finals week not very attractive. If that's how they want to roll, that's fine. Just hope they'll get comfortable in that fighting for semifinalist territory, because with the rising level of Open Class corps, that's where they're staying with the philosophy they seem to have adopted. Pioneer this year stuck with a similar take on what they usually do, but made changes and adjustments that made them a much stronger corps in their performance levels and product. Surf should do something similar..........

I feel like they owe the members a little more to provide them with a stronger product (THAT CAN BE FUN), and push them a little more to try and be a stronger brass line, drumline, color guard, and WORLD CLASS corps.

Right

A good staff person sets there member up for success. In all areas. Then its up to them

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I guess I don't understand why there has to be a total and complete disconnect between competitive success, and providing the members the laid back happy go lucky fun time vibe that everyone keeps talking about. Personally, if a corps has no interest in ANY kind of competitive success, that isn't attractive. I can understand not having it as the top priority, but little focus on it at all?

Leaving the motivations of the corps aside, I feel like there are things on the design side that are not setting them up well from day one. Like I stated, their weak drill, choppy (you could argue they're fun) and non flowing arrangements. I also think the seemingly non progression in performance level between around Atlanta/Allentown and finals week not very attractive. If that's how they want to roll, that's fine. Just hope they'll get comfortable in that fighting for semifinalist territory, because with the rising level of Open Class corps, that's where they're staying with the philosophy they seem to have adopted. Pioneer this year stuck with a similar take on what they usually do, but made changes and adjustments that made them a much stronger corps in their performance levels and product. Surf should do something similar..........

I feel like they owe the members a little more to provide them with a stronger product (THAT CAN BE FUN), and push them a little more to try and be a stronger brass line, drumline, color guard, and WORLD CLASS corps.

I could start from the beginning with everything that doesnt work for me with this summers performance, uniform choice what have you but its all in the books now..

All Im saying with everything that is available to them, I think they should look at their numbers and placement and strive for MORE. Have fun YES but also crave the movement in place instead of being stuck on the bottom wrung all season. There needs to be some serious consideration in packing a powerhouse show and get these kids hungry for more than just a happy go lucky performance. How do you know they dont want more? Everyone wants to do better....dont they???

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Might as well put it here. Sister started a new job at a bank and was talking to one of her co-workers. Turns out the co-worker has a cousin who is a JS horn instructor. That bit of info was followed by "I sure miss seeing DCI Saturday night on PBS". Sis almost fell out of her chair.

Don't know what's wilder, this DC connection or the fact that my sister is an asst bank manager (on a Horticulture degree).

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There needs to be some serious consideration in packing a powerhouse show and get these kids hungry for more than just a happy go lucky performance. How do you know they dont want more? Everyone wants to do better....dont they???

Because of the average age of the mm, don't they start their camp in June since many are still in HS? Plus, their schedule doesn't cover the normal WO number of shows and miles covered.

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