The TCU Forensics program is excelling.
The team placed second in the Fall TIFA tournament held at TCU from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2. The team also placed first in the Golden Eagle Swing, which ran from Oct. 24-26 at John Brown University.
Head Coach Amorette Hinderaker said the team’s recent success is a result of weekly practice. However, she said one aspect also played an extremely important role: Teamwork.
“It’s important that each student practices his or her selections,” Hinderaker said. “But it’s also important that they get along with each other and have that kind of chemistry.”
“A big part of debating is having a relationship so that you kind of think the same way,” sophomore journalism major Donald Griffin said. “So that way when you’re up there speaking independently of each other, you have that same thought process and you can anticipate what the other person is going to say.”
“If you don’t have chemistry with your partner, then you’re not going to sync that well as a team and you’re not going to perform as well,” senior strategic communications major Kelsey Fahler said. “So chemistry, not only with your teammates, but especially with your partner, is extremely important.”
Hinderaker said competitive speech and debate is as much of an individual effort as it is a team effort. However, she said the team’s strong family-like bond has affected every single student.
“They love each other like siblings,” Hinderaker said. “They help each other out and they work together. I think that’s a great atmosphere to have.”
She’s not the only one who thinks so, either.
“There are definitely some people on the team I hang out with about 3-4 times a week,” Griffin said. “That definitely makes the dynamic much more tight-knit and inclusive.”
“I’ve made some best friends in this program,” Fahler said. “So I see them not only at practice every week, but also on the weekends even when we’re not traveling.”
When the 18-person team is traveling, Hinderaker said it’s often by van. Some trips, she said, have even lasted up to 18 hours.
But she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I love my team like they’re my own kids,” Hinderaker said. “We’re like a big dysfunctional family.”
The team will hope to carry its positive vibes into the new year, when they will compete in the ‘It’s Not Below-30 Swing’ Jan. 16-18 at TCU.