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Episode 2: Double Trouble! Coach Allen Pino Discusses Duo and How to Pass the Pino Test

Updated: Oct 17, 2020

Cheyenne East High School Assistant Coach Allen Pino joined me on the One Clap Pod to talk about the joys of Duo Interpretation and the foolproof flex of the Pino Test.


I went back to the Cheyenne East mine of talented coaches for episode two of the One Clap Pod, and interviewed a smart guy and great friend, Coach Allen Pino. Allen is affectionately known as Pino to the coaching and competition community in Wyoming. Pino has been coaching at East for five years. He competed at East for four years and at college for a year.

Pino is a bit of a jack-of-all trades coach at East. He is officially in charge of the Congress program there, but I brought him to the podcast to talk about Duo Interpretation. Pino is passionate about helping students find community in Speech and Debate, and he thinks that Duo is an especially magical interpretative event.

Some of the useful nuggets from our Allen in our conversation:

- One of the ways to help avoid Duo partnership "break-ups" (a common problem for Duo competitors) is to encourage students to set clear and honest goals and expectations at the beginning of the season.

- The "Pino Test" involves getting to the WHY of any intentional decisions made by students. When in doubt, it is always a great idea to ask the hard WHY questions to help students get to the heart of their pieces and arguments. Why does this matter? Why should the judge care? Why do YOU care about this?

- Think about breaking some of the rules in Duo practice. Partners can benefit from interacting directly during practice to understand the coordination of blocking and facial expression interaction. Additionally, bringing in actual physical objects to practice and fine tune blocking can help students create realistic blocking.

If you'd like some basic info about the parameters of Duo Interpretation, check out the NSDA resources here: - go to Duo Interpretation.

Thank you for your time and ideas, Allen!



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