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New debate training results in 15 wins

Andrea Izaguirre, Staff Reporter

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On Saturday, Sept. 22 both the novice and varsity debate teams were invited to participate in the first tournament hosted at Bishop Moore Catholic High School. Organized by the

North Florida Catholic Forensic League, 300 participants debated nine different topics. Varying events allowed for both teams to take home a total of 15 awards, some of the winners including sophomores Sophia Willis in first place Congressional debate and Tai Markman in third place Original Oratory.

“I’m really proud of everyone who performed, and a special congratulations to those who placed,” varsity captain Alexis O’Brien said.

First time captains Sarah Gil, Grace Maddron and O’Brien decided to take a new approach to prepare the team to face the panel of judges in and out of the classroom environment.

“Essentially our goal with critiques is to deliver specific compliments focused on self-improvement rather than harsh criticism that results in a damaged self esteem,” said Gil.

Their new approach to debate is intended to leave students feeling accomplished when they have succeeded while still striving for the best. The captains agree that focusing on positive reinforcements with clear directions prepares debaters to compete better than the strict, harsh models used in previous years.

“The new training system definitely boosted my confidence and I think it really contributed to my me and my partners’ win this weekend,” junior Katie Guise said.

Earning sixth place Public Forum, Guise and her partner junior Maya Pommet said that the positive reinforcement tactics used in practice aided in the competition and had a positive effect.

“We’ve found that students are more likely to improve when they know what they’ve done right as opposed to only knowing where they messed up,” said O’Brien.

Under the new debate authorities which brought in these methods, the debate team is expecting more wins in future tournaments.

“We’re hoping to continue this winning streak and have a very successful season,” said Guise.

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New debate training results in 15 wins