Coaches FAQs

Coaches FAQs

How do I get started in debate?

SEDA has lots of resources for new coaches and clubs. One of the best ways to learn about debate is to come to a tournament. Check our calendar to find out when the next tournament is and register as a volunteer to get some hands on experience. If you’re looking to start a club, contact our office or check out the coach’s resources page to get information about teaching debate.

I am not a debater, how do I teach or coach a debate club?

You don’t need to be an expert to be a coach. The best thing you can do for your students is be a support for their learning, and you will pick up skills along the way. Check out our SEDA coaching guide for tips on how to teach debate. SEDA also offers mentorships for new coaches. Contact SEDA to get assistance for you club, or to request free workshops for your students.

How many hours are required per week? How long is the debate season?

Most clubs meet once or twice a week for 1-2 hours. How often you want to practice is up to you and your debaters. On weeks where there is a tournament that your students choose to attend, we ask that all clubs send a coach to chaperone and assist in the tournament. Tournaments are typically a Friday evening or Saturday afternoon. SEDA’s main season is from September to March. However, we have a variety of other activities and camps scheduled throughout the year. Check out our Calendar to find out about upcoming events.

How are meetings set up?

Similar to other extra-curricular activities, individual clubs are responsible for selecting meeting times and locations. Ask students what times work best for them and try to accommodate as many students as possible

How does one assign partnerships?

Every club handles partnerships differently. Ultimately it is up to coaches and students to determine how they would like to set up partners. You can try switching up partnerships, having students pick, or selecting partnerships yourself. Any system has its pros and cons. Remember to listen to your student’s opinion, skills, and desired level of competition in mind.

How can SEDA help?

SEDA seeks to help coaches in a number of ways:

  • Providing resources online for parents, coaches, and debaters
  • Hosting tournaments, workshops, and camps
  • Sending volunteer and employees to clubs and schools to teach workshops or assist with new clubs

If you have any questions about requesting specific resources for you or your club, contact us

Do you have speech activities or resources?

Every year SEDA hosts a speech tournament as well as a number of workshops and camps that have elements of speech in them. Check out our calendar to find out when they are. We also have a number of resources geared toward public speaking in the debater’s resources.

How do I sign up for tournaments?

You can sign up your students by either following the appropriate links in the calendar for your desired tournament, or you can contact the SEDA office and one of our employees can assist you.

Do you have a quick start up guide for new debate clubs?

Check out our coach’s resources to find a quick checklist along with a more comprehensive guide to coaching debate.