I often hear students talk badly about other competitors, and I am sure I was guilty of this during my competitive days. I have heard competitors say they hope a good competitor has a memory lapse, goes overtime, does not get laughs, etc. This runs counter to achieving competitive excellence. How can you maximize your potential without competition? Competition is the bait that gets you to accomplish feats that you do not think are possible. You ought to be thanking your competition at tournaments. Competition is the reason you get on the bust at 5 a.m., competition is the reason you sign up for additional practice sessions, and competition is the reason why you continue to improve the communicative effectiveness of your event. The national tournament is about being surrounded by and competing with the best competitors in the country who share your same passion for speech. Embrace it!