Reflective Essay Before Attending The Public School Tournament

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“Just copy what I say and you’ll win,” my coach said to me. This was a common

catchphrase she would tell my partner and me at our speech and debate practices. No matter how

much we would tell her that she is wrong, she would sternly reply to just follow what she said.

When I started to stop copying what she said I learned to start thinking for myself and saying

what I believe.

This past summer I qualified to attend the national speech tournament by competing in a

local district tournament in Wyoming. Before attending the district tournament, my coach made

it seem like it was the paramount of all tournaments. In the weeks leading up to it, we had

practiced every day after school, spending nearly four to five hours per day doing
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Even though we

were not as prepared as other students attending, we debated better than we ever had before.

In our first debate we walked into the cold hotel room and sat at our appropriate table

very close to our opponents. The room was silent and our judges made no remarks. Our

opponents started to speak and I had a feeling of fear that shudder throughout my body. They

were speaking wonderfully and I could tell that they had a lot of experience debating. Suzie did

not seem phased by this, which helped to increase my confidence throughout the debate. Even

though our opponents were very well prepared Suzie and I held our own and fired back at our

opponents. We were able to do this because we both bought into what we were saying and we

were passionate about it. We were able to share this passion with our judges. Instead of

depending on our coach, we finally thought for ourselves and it proved to be effective. In fact,

Fantin 4

Suzie and I were one win away from making it past the preliminary rounds, which was an

enormous feat because about 25% of the competitors made it past prelims.

Attending the national tournament taught me a lifelong lesson to question

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