The only thing predictable in any SAI competition is the unpredictable. Despite our best efforts to reduce and eliminate all external interference, it is rare that we get through any competition experience without some unplanned occurrence.
The salient difference-maker when confronted with the inevitable interference (you know what I mean – buses late, traffic patterns bunching up, a suddenly ill chorus member) is not the interference itself, but how you handle the interference. We cannot control circumstances, we can only control our reaction to those circumstances. We are the only thinkers in our own minds. Developing an A+ level of Interference Management Mastery will positively influence your performance experience and results.
I had the fascinating volunteer job of working in the traffic pattern at our recent Regional competition and got to witness first-hand the varied mental state of all of the directors and choruses in the warm-up area after they experienced delays in the traffic pattern.
Leaders: When you do your competition planning, consider your mindset mastery level. Prepare your reaction to the inevitable interferences because your chorus will follow your modeling example. Pre-plan the ways that you will refocus and support your chorus to refocus so that it becomes second nature. Acknowledge the interference, and make the choice then to let that interference go. Take the lead in communicating with and encouraging your chorus members to do the same.