Have you had your first tournament yet? We have. In my region, we had some young competitors who launched right to the top of the field at this first competition of the year. I spoke to one of the dads and asked if it was a surprise to his family that his daughter broke in multiple events - including debate - while two older, more seasoned brothers did not. He answered, "Not to me."
"Really?" I replied.
"No. She's been working on her speeches since last June. The boys were still putting theirs together on the way here."
That situation is NOT uncommon. But I can assure you that all that effort spent getting ready for the first tournament scored some BIG at-large points or check marks for those competitors that came prepared and invested in their material.
So is it too late for that? Absolutely not...