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Coach Connection #1: What is so great about coaching Speech and Debate?

Updated: Oct 17, 2020

The Coach Connection is mean to provide quick and optimistic tips, hacks, and support in Q&A format to help inspire and assist Speech and Debate coaches.


This year, the focus of Coach Connection will be to provide new coaches with hopefully helpful resources.

So, if you are at the beginning of your coaching story - much like teaching - sometimes things can feel overwhelming and impossible early because of responsibilities, expectations, and unknowns of everything. The vast nature of the content for a new Speech and Debate coach can sometimes feel like too much.

That’s why I thought, why not start off the Coach Connection with a jolt of positivity? There are so many cool and wonderful things about coaching, and I think it is a good idea to focus on this stuff.

Question 1: What’s so great about coaching Speech and Debate?

I’m going to throw out five quick reasons (of many) as to why Coaching Speech and Debate is indeed great.

  1. The Coach Community. The Coaching Community of one of support, care, and kindness. Ultimately, coaches want to see the Speech and Debate community grow and thrive, and there are so many veterans who will go out of their way to help you as a coach and your students. I can attest to this as someone who is regularly seeking out help from other coaches for this podcast.

  2. A Chance to Give Back and Grow. If you were a former Forensics alum, coaching is a way to give back to the amazing community that gave so much to you. If you are new to the Speech and Debate game, coaching is a way to grow in ways you’ve never imagined. This activity truly does deliver to competitors and coaches lifelong rewards and skills, and it is rewarding just to be a part of an activity that promotes empathy, stories, equality, deep thought, listening to others, and ethical debate.

  3. Students are the Bomb. The kindness, talent, hard work, energy and joy of students will never cease to amaze you. Your students will astound you. They are like magic. Every year, I am surprised and overjoyed by what our students are capable of… and I think this magic happens to every coach - every year. Students alone are worth all of the difficulties of coaching.

  4. Speech and Debate Makes a Real Impact. As an English Language Arts teacher, I can attest that it is difficult to get students to engage with core academic subjects. Sometimes you won’t see the impact of your instruction for long periods of time. But in Speech and Debate, you see growth and “lightbulb moments” all the time. It is amazing. Your impact as a coach is not only real, it is visible. Sometimes you will see tangible successes that result in trophies and medals… and sometimes you will just see tangible growth in student abilities, confidence, and skills… but you will ALWAYS see positive growth in your students. The skills and character growth that students gain from Speech and Debate can make a tremendous difference in the world outside of school for students. If you want to help make a huge academic and personal impact, Coaching Speech and Debate is the place for you.

  5. Food. Hospitality rooms at tournaments are the gift that doesn’t stop giving. Meals. Candies. Treats. Coffee. Donuts! Need I say more?

There you go, just five strong reasons (of many) why Coaching Speech and Debate is worthwhile, rewarding, and awesome.

If you have a question that you would like discussed on the Coach Connection, shoot me an email at


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