Re: Gerry Lopez getting into flow state on big waves, I used to enter it in high school debate’s 1AR, the first affirmative rebuttal.
You’re at a 3:1 time disadvantage, 4 minutes to cover 12 by your opponent. In prep time you need to zoom out, think coolly and surgically. When speaking, you need absolute word economy.
A good 1AR sounds slow but covers the entire active argument ground. Someone bad at it speaks frantically, spins out and runs out of time, instant loss. Separates the adults from the kids. I loved it.
It’s the intense focus that comes when you’ve procrastinated something unpleasant but high stakes. You surprise yourself.
Debate 1AR has a time disadvantage so the affirmative side gets to both open and close the debate.
It’s aff / neg / neg / aff (simplified).
This levels the field because the negative side / status quo gets presumption. This debate rule reflects our loss aversion in reality.
Team debate felt more like football or “Missile Command” than basketball. More territory capture and defense, not dropping any arg undefended, than creative, improvisational Curry.
Defense is easier than offense, in nerd football and war.