The day before I went to listen to other bands. Two ladies sitting right in front of me saw my band on the program and started making fun of them. They obviously didn't know the director was sitting behind them so I leaned forward, politely introduced myself and invited them to come listen. I knew the band wasn't going to make a 1 but I also knew they weren't going to embarrass themselves either.
The day of contest I was very nervous. Not only because it was my first ever UIL, but we performed right after Frank Troyka and the Westfield NV. The kids gave me their absolute best that day and made 3's on stage and a 233 in SR. The rating was spot on, and to this day that is the only 3 my bands ever received on stage. Given how hard those kids worked to get there I don't think I'll ever have a group that I'm more proud of despite the rating.