Speech & Debate FAQ's
Will there be food?
Yes! Lots of pizza, subs, and snacks will be for sale.
Should I be nervous about competition?
It is natural to be a little nervous about ANY competition. If you feel nervous, just remember that everyone else does, too! Channel that feeling as extra energy for your performance. Remember, this is not life or death – it is just speech!
What happens if I get sick at a tournament?
Notify a coach and we will either call home or do whatever is necessary to help you.
Should I bring anything to the tournament?
Lunch money, pens, homework, playing cards, and other personal belongings are okay. There will be some down time after lunch as the tournament is tabulated. Please do not wear anything that readily identifies you as a student of Jackson High School (Letterman jacket, etc...). Some teams and judges are very competitive. We like to think of your rounds of competition as "blank slates" on which you are judges for your personal performance, not by the school you attend.
What should I expect at a tournament?
Expect to meet a lot of new friends from other schools. You will compete against them, but most students end up making some very good friends. You can expect to have fun with your teammates and come away with a lot of good memories!
What kind of awards are there?
Usually, there are trophies and ribbons awarded for first through sixth place in each category. There will be awards ceremony where all Jackson team members SIT TOGETHER! When your category is being announced you will REMAIN STANDING and clap as each place is awarded. If a Jackson student's name is called, please remain quiet until their name is finished and then clap and stand up as they receive their award. Sometimes it is very exciting, but we want our team to be known as a “class act” so no yelling or whistling, please! After the tournament, take your trophy home to show it to your friends and family. The next Monday, bring it to school to display it in the speech room. It is important the administrators and students at our school see the results of your hard work. It is amazing to see how successful the team is over the course of the season. These trophies will be on display at the Spring Banquet and in our trophy case located in the Commons.
What do the coaches expect from me?
We want you to relax and have fun! Winning is fun, but it is NOT the most important thing. We want you to feel a part of our team. We celebrate a number of successes, not always in the form of trophies. Try your best and never get down on yourself. Watch others and learn. Don't expect perfection from yourself. Be willing to try something new and challenging. And give yourself time and permission to LEARN. Compare speech to learning to play the piano. It takes a lot of practice and time to play it well. No one starts out playing Mozart, more like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star! But given time and effort, everyone can improve their ability and are capable of much more than they started out doing. Let US help you! That's why
I AM GLAD THAT EACH ONE OF YOU IS ON THE TEAM! WE ARE PROUD OF WHAT YOU HAVE ALREADY ACCOMPLISHED AND WE ARE EXCITED ABOUT THE NEW SEASON. TAKE A DEEP BREATH AND GET READY FOR A GREAT YEAR! YOU ARE UP TO THE TASK.