I play soprano cornet in a British brass band. The ensemble is seated so that if the conductor spreads his hands as wide as he can, his left hand points at me and his right hand points at principal trombone, over on the other side of the band. I struggle to read beatings sometimes because, from where I'm seated, although there's a clear vertical component, there's little or no horizontal component to the beat - the stick moves closer/further rather than left/right.
There would be no issue if I could see the conductor face on rather than from the side, but the conductor cannot face everyone simultaneously - if he turns to face me, he'll have his back to the trombones.
This is not an issue in pieces with regular bar lengths, but it is in heavily syncopated rhythms or where bar lengths change from bar to bar.
Are there any suggestions that might help me read the conductor more reliably?