Every team needs a coach or a leader to help guide them through different events and help them sharpen their skills. In the world of debate, the same rules apply. Debate teams have a lot of different skills they need to learn and work towards perfecting; their coach is an experienced leader that they look to for help and insights on how to perform to the best of their ability. A debate coach works behind the scenes to help prepare debaters for debate events and uses strategy to help them improve their argumentative skills. Coaching isn’t easy, however. It takes a significant amount of knowledge and prior experience. Coaches need to know how debates work, have the right qualifications, and hold excellent leadership skills. Here are a few essential qualities all debate coaches should have
Qualifications and Experience
As a successful debate coach, one of the qualities you definitely want to have is a substantial amount of experience, as well as any necessary qualifications or requirements. Generally, if you’re coaching a debate team at a school, whether high school or college, you’ll likely be required to have a degree at minimum. In many cases, school debate coaches are also teachers, so you may also need a teaching degree. Experience is also essential, as you need to have a good understanding of how debate works, what skills should be used when making an argument, general rules of thumb, and how things are typically judged at a debate event. The better prepared you are, the better you can prepare your team for success.
Any type of coach, whether in active sports or debate, needs to possess exceptional leadership skills. A good leader helps motivate a team to do their best, and essentially helps lead them to success. Your leadership skills are going to play a significant role in your team performance. Lead by the best examples of following the rules of debate, and practicing strategic, but fair arguing skills.
A debate isn’t just about being able to make a good argument; it’s about knowing how to state your arguments in a strategic way so you can manage a debate without stumbling. Use strategic thinking to plan out your arguments, as well as prepare your team with all of the necessary public speaking skills.
Debates can be fun and exciting, and coaching is a rewarding job to have. Use these qualities to help develop a fantastic debate team!