About the Program
In the fall of 2010, the assistant marching band at Cal Poly State University explained his predicament: he was in search of some professional help in designing a comprehensive marching band fitness and wellness program to better help keep his band members healthy and on the field after a period of numerous injuries. What followed was a comprehensive program with new group stretch/warm-up routines, three instrument-specific strengthening routines (for band members to do on their own time), and plenty of information and suggestions regarding nutrition, hydration, heat illness and footwear.
The program’s first full season (Fall 2010) consisted of the program designer simply observing and assessing the marching band during their rehearsals and performances. Observations regarding factors like footwear, hydration, posture, physical stresses induced by instruments, and environment were all shared with band directors, and subsequently used to develop the basis of the wellness program.
After initially implementing the program in its original stages in the Fall of 2011, a survey was designed to evaluate feedback from involved band members. The survey was modeled in part after previous instruments used at the University of Michigan and for the U.S. Army’s Marching band, along with additional related research (see “Excerpts from Related Articles” under Research link). Some basic results and information gained from their responses can also be found under the research link above.
The new and improved Marching Band Member Wellness Program is the final result of this three-year project, and all its resources are now available to be purchased for use by college and high school marching bands nationwide. However, lots of free information is also posted on our website as well, simply because sharing the concept of this program’s inception, intervention, and evaluation strategy will undoubtedly be of great benefit to band directors who are able to realize the importance that physical fitness, wellness, and injury prevention strategy can have on their band’s success.