During the months of September and October, the band practices an average of 18 hours each week. The band practices every Monday and Wednesday from 5 to 9 p.m., frequently in the teachers' parking lot. The band then practices from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on most Saturdays; if they have a competition, the day is much longer. On other days of the week, the band members work on their own music or perform pieces they have prepared ahead of time.
The only time the band does not practice is on Sunday afternoons from 1 to 4 p.m. During these periods, the band members are usually at home working on personal projects or writing new music.
Holidays and weekends are also non-practicing days for the band. If the band has a performance scheduled on one of these days, they will send out an email notification with details about what day and time it is happening. These performances are very important because they give the band a chance to show off what they have been working on all year long.
In addition to practicing several hours a week, the band members also play in some of the largest college football games every season. In 2017, the band was awarded second place by the American Band Association out of all college bands nationwide. They received $10,000 and a trip to Washington, D.C. to see how they performed at the National Band Association Convention.
Most bands seek to practice 1-2 times each week for 3-4 hours. Band members should, however, practice at least five days a week on their own. A band cannot be considered fully prepared without all members practicing at least twice weekly.
The more you practice, the better you'll get. The more you play, the more you'll want to play. And the more time you spend with your friends, the closer you'll become. This is what it means to have a band forever.
Bands that don't practice enough feel sluggish and uncoordinated on stage. Bands that overpractice can come off as showboats who just want to have fun. Of course, there's a middle ground where musicians feel comfortable exploring new music but still keep an eye on how they're doing relative to their peers. That's why it's important for bands to know themselves well enough to judge how much practice is too much or not enough.
That's okay! It's normal to feel nervous before your first show, even if you've been playing together for months. Just remember that the more you play, the easier it will get. And when you do play your first show, it will most likely go very well!
Most teams start pre-season practice in the summer to get ready for the season. Club sessions often take place three days a week for one to twelve hours. Every day, school teams practice. Practices will often include athletic endurance, hill running, speed training, pacing, racing strategies, and other activities.
During the season, schools may have additional practices or races. For example, if a team is doing well early on but starts losing games later in the season, they might have a post-season practice or race.
At the end of the season, most club teams have a final championship race that determines both the overall men's and women's winners of the year. This is usually a race between the two leaders from each stage of the season plus any others that were invited to participate. For example, if there were four participants at the beginning of the season who finished in the top eight, then they would all come back for this final race.
These final races can be very competitive - especially if the season has been long and hard-fought - so many clubs invite their strongest competitors to post-season events to keep themselves motivated during the off-season.
In addition to these official championships, some individuals or teams decide to hold unofficial races either to see who is best against all others or just for fun.
Practices often last 45-60 minutes. Older recreational players frequently practice for an hour twice a week. Competitive travel team players will frequently practice for 60-90 minutes, 2-3 times a week. Professional teams usually have training sessions once or twice a day.
Older recreational players may want to start by practicing once a week for 30-45 minutes. This allows them time to rest and recover between practices while still getting enough exercise in during one session. Travel teams play multiple games per week so they need to be sure to give themselves adequate recovery periods between games.
Professional teams train daily during the season because that's when you'll find out who has been picked up by other teams and who has been released. In addition, coaches work with their players during these sessions to improve their skills and help them deal with the stress of playing at a high level.
During pre-season, professional teams will typically spend about 20-30 hours a week working on game strategy and technique with their coaches. This time includes practice but it also includes things like film study meetings where coaches talk through game footage with their players to see what they can learn from previous matches.
Finally, post-season is when most professional teams will begin preparing for next season by looking into potential signings and trades.