We have collected our best suggestions for preparation in Twenty Steps to Preparing for Tournament One, a document that we’ve had posted on the Coaches Resources page of the programming site since the beginning of the school year. This document’s very well worth a careful read as you meet with your debaters to prepare them for T1, and in truth for T2 and T3, too.
One of the key suggestions in the document is to establish your debate team’s own Guidelines for the year, which should include Season Objectives and specific rules and policies for your team — e.g., minimum tournament participation per debater, after-school debate meeting requirement, etc. Check out our Guidelines template to help you create your own (substitute “CDL debate team” with your own team name, e.g., Brooks College Prep Debate).
But to understand the paramount suggestion in preparing your debaters for Tournament One boils the twenty steps down to two. The paramount suggestion in preparing your debaters for Tournament One is simply this: provide each of your debate teams with a set of Core Files properly filed and get them to the tournament.
To be at a debate tournament and to have a set of files properly filed is to be equipped — in the same way that a football player must have a set of pads and a helmet. Once equipped, and on site, your debate teams will be ready to debate and to learn. And that’s really all Tournament One is about: learning what a debate tournament is, learning to debate. Your debaters will learn immeasurably more in one day at T1 about how to debate, what this is all about, than all that you can try to teach them in the weeks and now days leading up to the tournament. So be sure that each of your teams has a set of files — and ASAP Printing can rush deliver orders if needed and requested — get those files properly filed using plastic tubs, file folders and labels, and get your debaters to the tournament. Then you can plant the Victory Flag, and relax a bit as you enjoy the teaching and learning process that you’ll be immersed in. And your debate season will be successfully underway.