As the 2016-17 Forensics season draws ever closer, the tasks of recruiting, auditioning, organizing, coaching, and hosting (among others) can seem daunting.
OHIOspeaks reminds coaches to be positive and to look back at States 2016 in Princeton for inspiration. Remember, you can find videos of both the opening- and closing ceremonies at the OHSSL website.
Here is a closer look at one of the HOF speeches from this past March, from Missy Stertzbach of Hoover (Canton). May it inspire you and your fellow coaches.
March 4, 2016 – Princeton HS (GMV) – OHSSL State Finals
For most of us in this room, it’s all about the words. After all, that’s what we do. We talk.
So, of course, I decided to start out by breaking it down by the numbers.
My speech-and-debate ride began 31 years ago: four as a student; two as a judge; and 24 as a coach. I’ve coached over 500 students, with this many qualifiers and that many champions. By the numbers, that about sums up my speech-and-debate career. So, I guess I’m done here. Thank you very much!
Okay, so about half of you were thinking, “Yes! She’s done!” But those who know me well know that there is no way I am going to pass up the opportunity to force this many people to listen to me.
So—what do those numbers really mean? For me, speech and debate has been so much more than those numbers. It has made me who I am. The lessons I have learned have, indeed, been life-changing. Truthfully, it’s been some kind of ride and I have enjoyed every minute of it.
Lesson #1: Never let a bump in the road derail you from your ride.
My first coach, David (we’ll stick with just a first name here to protect the not-so-innocent), retired at the end of my freshman year, and when I think back, I can’t actually remember ever practicing with him—not once. I realized, even then, that I wasn’t a priority; he didn’t think I had a future in speech and debate. The fact is, that could have been the end of this entire journey. Except up ahead on the road were Barbara Barthel (you’ve met her) and Angela Smith, who believed in me and showed me how great speech could be. And…the rest is history.
So, David, look where my ride has taken me.
Missy has been a huge reason why the Tusky Valley team has been so successful as a “four-year team.” Her support and knowledge as a mentor has given us the tools we need to grow.
— Carrie Spina and Cierra Spina, Tusky Valley