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At long last, Holiday break has arrived. Along with it comes the ability to sleep whenever we want to, forget about homework and tests, and…snow (unless you live in Hawaii :-/ ). Debate, however, will unfortunately intrude into you’re relaxing break and you should welcome it. Here are a couple simple things that take almost no time at all and will help you prepare for tournaments even over Christmas break.

1. Practice Speeches

It might seem nerdy (as will all of these) to practice 1ACs, 1NC’s, 1AR’s and 2AR’s, but constant practice, even over break, will help you to become that much more prepared for tournament season. You don’t need to do this every day, though. For example, if you are the 1A, give the 1AC twice on a Monday, then give a couple different 1AR’s on a Thursday or Friday. It’s not that hard.

2. Google Alerts

I hope that none of you take a 2 second glance over all Google alerts we receive, act like its annoying spam, then archive/delete them. If you do, don’t do that over break. Take the time to read a lot (even all) of the articles that the alerts contain. (If you still don’t have any Google alerts coming to your inbox, that is a problem. Create some.) This will help you remain conscious of news events relevant to the resolution and keep the debate side of your brain awake and working.

3. Practice Debates

When classes are going, schedules make it almost impossible to schedule practice debates outside of club. Sooo…take advantage of these few weeks when no one has anything going on (unless they are out of town, of course) and make sure you schedule at least two practice debate/coaching sessions.

4. Researching

If you do this over Christmas vacation, it means that you either work for Ethos, are nerdy, or both. But I would encourage you to chose a simple generic/specific brief topic (if you are not too excited about researching) and make that your holiday project. Make sure to finish that particular brief topic before break is over.

5. Strategize

Case lists are forming. You should be prepping. Get together with your partner and create strategy sheets for each case (or, if you’re feeling lazy, just the most scary ones).

Like I said, all these things sound nerdy, but chances are if you are serious about debate, you are a nerd and that cannot be changed. But seriously, doing these simple things will help you stay sharp and prepared for the upcoming tournament season.

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