Forensics, I Love You

Forensics, I Love You

All the reasons this sport for actors is the best high school extracurricular.
88
views

Let me clarify (as I’ve had to about fourteen hundred times): the forensics I’m talking about is competitive speech and debate, and it is not related to science at all.

Here’s a quick(ish) explanation:

Each state has its own version of Forensics, but the basic formula is the same. Kids decide which individual event they want to compete in. There are two categories of events: public address (PA) and interpretation (interp). In PA, students give speeches that are informative and factual in events like sales and extemporaneous speaking. In interp, students perform condensed versions of scripts or books as characters in events like dramatic interpretation and storytelling. At tournaments, everyone competes against the other students in their event in preliminary rounds in front of judges, and the top scorers go on to semi final and final rounds. There's the potential for students to go on to regional competitions, state competitions, and even the national competition.

Here’s why forensics totally rocks:

It builds confidence.

No matter how well you do in tournament rankings, forensics teaches you how to speak in front of people. It gives you valuable experience in public speaking, which is an important skill to have. It teaches you how to own a room, how to command attention, how to act confident even if you feel like you’re about to pee yourself. It helps you realize your own authority. You have a voice that deserves to be heard, and participating in forensics helps you grasp that.

It teaches independence.

In forensics, there’s the potential for a student to write their own speech or cut their own script, make their own choices about delivery and blocking and set their own goals for how well they want to do at a tournament. In an individual event, when you walk into a round at a tournament there’s no one else you can lean on. You have to perform, and you have to learn to trust yourself.

It also teaches teamwork.

There are also events in forensics that aren’t individual events. Students can perform a duo, which requires two people performing a script together, or a multiple, which requires three to eight students performing a slightly longer script together. These events require students to work closely together and trust each other, especially because there are strange guidelines for them, like the fact that partners of a duo and members of a multiple cannot touch or make eye contact during their performance.

Even if you compete in an individual event, there are elements of teamwork in forensics. If you have a good team, everyone is very supportive of each other and likes to build each other up. Plus, if the whole team does well, you can win awards as a group at the end of tournaments. This creates a very positive environment in which everyone on the team is cheering everyone else on.

It’s really fun.

Even though forensics can be stressful and difficult — maybe an understatement, since many people on my high school team (including me) experienced mental breakdowns at some point during our forensics careers — it’s totally worth it. I remember the joys of small successes (like getting that first 1-100), the joys of bigger successes (making it to a final round), the fun of watching my teammates crush their competition, the heart-stopping moment when you wait in a silence the feels like eternity to find out who got first place in your event, the (mostly) friendly competition between rival schools. I remember the loud and song-filled bus rides home from far-away tournaments and the feeling that we’d all accomplished something together. At the very least, we’d all stood up and said something important to us or told a story we knew had to be told. It made the headaches so, so worth it.

Forensics is so many great things, and I’ll be forever grateful that I was a part of it. I miss it (even though there were times that I swore I wouldn’t), and I’d compete again in a heartbeat. Anyone can do forensics, and I wish everyone could give it a try.

Judge and timer, are you ready?

Cover Image Credit: facebook

Popular Right Now

The Coach That Killed My Passion

An open letter to the coach that made me hate a sport I once loved.
166418
views

I fell in love with the game in second grade. I lived for every practice and every game. I lived for the countless hours in the gym or my driveway perfecting every shot, every pass and every move I could think of. Every night after dinner, I would go shoot and would not allow myself to go inside until I hit a hundred shots. I had a desire to play, to get better and to be the best basketball player I could possibly be.

I had many coaches between church leagues, rec leagues, personal coaches, basketball camps, middle school and high school. Most of the coaches I had the opportunity to play for had a passion for the game like I did. They inspired me to never stop working. They would tell me I had a natural ability. I took pride in knowing that I worked hard and I took pride in the compliments that I got from my coaches and other parents. I always looked forward to the drills and, believe it or not, I even looked forward to the running. These coaches had a desire to teach, and I had a desire to learn through every good and bad thing that happened during many seasons. Thank you to the coaches that coached and supported me through the years.

SEE ALSO: My Regrets From My Time As A College Softball Player

Along with the good coaches, are a few bad coaches. These are the coaches that focused on favorites instead of the good of the entire team. I had coaches that no matter how hard I worked, it would never be good enough for them. I had coaches that would take insults too far on the court and in the classroom.

I had coaches that killed my passion and love for the game of basketball.

When a passion dies, it is quite possibly the most heartbreaking thing ever. A desire you once had to play every second of the day is gone; it turns into dreading every practice and game. It turns into leaving every game with earphones in so other parents don't talk to you about it. It meant dreading school the next day due to everyone talking about the previous game. My passion was destroyed when a coach looked at me in the eyes and said, "You could go to any other school and start varsity, but you just can't play for me."

SEE ALSO: Should College Athletes Be Limited To One Sport?

Looking back now at the amount of tears shed after practices and games, I just want to say to this coach: Making me feel bad about myself doesn't make me want to play and work hard for you, whether in the classroom or on the court. Telling me that, "Hard work always pays off" and not keeping that word doesn't make me want to work hard either. I spent every minute of the day focusing on making sure you didn't see the pain that I felt, and all of my energy was put towards that fake smile when I said I was OK with how you treated me. There are not words for the feeling I got when parents of teammates asked why I didn't play more or why I got pulled after one mistake; I simply didn't have an answer. The way you made me feel about myself and my ability to play ball made me hate myself; not only did you make me doubt my ability to play, you turned my teammates against me to where they didn't trust my abilities. I would not wish the pain you caused me on my greatest enemy. I pray that one day, eventually, when all of your players quit coming back that you realize that it isn't all about winning records. It’s about the players. You can have winning records without a good coach if you have a good team, but you won’t have a team if you can't treat players with the respect they deserve.

SEE ALSO: To The Little Girl Picking Up A Basketball For The First Time


Cover Image Credit: Equality Charter School

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Kyler Murray Is A Heisman Winner Playing Baseball

Oklahoma's Quarterback Kyler Murray was named the Heisman winner for the best college football player in the 2018 season. But his future does not lead to the NFL.

147
views

On Saturday December 8th, Quarterback Kyler Murray from Oklahoma won the 2018 Heisman trophy, which recognizes the best player in college football. Murray has become a household name among many college football fans throughout this past season.

However, what is surprising to many is that Kyler Murray is choosing to forgo the 2019 NFL draft to play professional baseball with the Oakland Athletics. The A's drafted Murray with the 9th overall pick in 2018 MLB draft before his breakout season with Oklahoma. He signed a contract with Oakland and is guaranteed $4.66 million. Murray's agent is Scott Boras who is the "Most Powerful Sports Agent in the World" since 2013 according to Forbes Magazine. Currently his clientele includes Bryce Harper, José Altuve, Kris Bryant, J.D. Martinez, among many others. Considering his agent Murray has the potential to make more money in the MLB than in the NFL, especially with some of the massive contracts we have seen big name players in baseball sign within the past few years.

A Heisman winner has not played in the MLB since Bo Jackson back in 1985 who was a two-sport professional athlete (both baseball and football). While Murray expressed that he would like to try and play both sports the reality of him playing both sports at the same time, like Bo did, is highly unlikely. Professional sports have grown and changed a lot in the past 30 years and have grown a lot more competitive, it would benefit Murray to specialize and focus on one sport rather than trying to juggle two and not being able to reach his full potential in either. His Oklahoma baseball coaches stated that Kyler didn't take infield/outfield at all with them last year.

Another scouting report on Murray states that he needs to take more reps at center field and practice throwing the baseball more to develop a better arm. He was rated as having a 30 arm by a MLB scout which is on the lower end of a 20-80 scale. The reason for this is because his arm was always muscled up for football. This further support why Murray should try to focus and specialize in one sport rather than take on the challenge of balancing both.

Even with his success on the football field, Murray is listed at 5 foot 9 inches and 195 pounds according to NFL Draft Scout. This size for an NFL level Quarterback is short to say the least, which could cause problems for him being able to see over the lineman while in the pocket. Murray does have exceptional athleticism, being able to fire the ball downfield with precise accuracy, and the ability to scramble out of the pocket and use his legs. That being said, him being a mobile quarterback can lead to him taking a lot of punishing hits, and in some cases dual threat quarterbacks in college struggle to find the same success in the pros where everyone is quicker and more athletic on the defensive side of the ball.

Murray has been able to make improvements to his swing by adding in a leg kick to generate more power. His speed which contributed to his success on the football field translates to his position at center field, it will give him an advantage for being able to stretch his range for those balls hit into the gap. It seems that all signs for the future of Kyler Murray point to the diamond, and he will definitely be a fun player to watch in the seasons to come.

Related Content

Facebook Comments