Nationals 2014: 7 tips for Last Week Prep

Less than a week until rounds start in Kansas!

Crazy to think that Nationals 2014 is almost upon us. I hope you will come visit my table during the Sunday Registration Expo and say hi (I’ll have candy if you can answer my Public Forum trivia questions!). More than that, I hope you are putting every effort into your final preparations for Nationals. Even if you are a senior dealing with graduation, graduation parties, and general end of high school festivities, make sure you’re not skimping on the following in your last week of preparation.

  1. Keep up to date on Ukraine. Since this is a live issue, you need to update yourself each day on the situation both on the ground, in the international relations sphere, and in NATO’s current involvement. See my earlier post for great ways to stay up to date.
  2. Practice cross-examination. In all of your research, case writing, and preparations it is easy to forget CX. Take time to CX your own cases as well as other arguments you have come across in briefs or your own research.
  3. Read your cases out loud. BOTH PARTNERS! This is especially true if you are making changes to arguments and structure in the last week. The more you say it, the better your delivery and memory will be.  Even the second speaker should be able to know the case as well as the first speaker because your knowledge of the case will directly impact your rebuttal and impact calculus. Repetitive language is always helpful, so it helps when both speakers know what has been said.
  4. Pre-flow your cases. A stitch in time saves nine, if you know what I mean.
  5. Come up with a mantra. You will probably feel discouraged at some point in the tournament, after a bad round or critique, or maybe you just feel you didn’t do you best. It helps to have a mantra or saying that you and your partner can use to encourage each other. It could be as simple as “kick butt.” Get as creative as you wish.
  6. Double-check that you have packed everything you need. Flow paper, pens, timer, computer, extra socks, ear plugs,  flip coin- you don’t want to land in Kansas and immediately be off-balance because you forgot something. I also highly recommend bringing some snacks you like just to treat yourself now and again.
  7. Get enough sleep! You want to go into Nats well-rested and with you sleep reservoir full – it is sure to get depleted over the course of the week!

Best of luck preparing in these last days, and see you in Kansas!






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