Selecting a coach

Many factors contribute to how you might go about finding a suitable individual to coach your national team and many of the issues we have already highlighted above, with regards to the size of your nation and its debating culture etc. If you have several suitable candidates, you may wish to run elections of some kind or appoint a panel to conduct interviews. However, not all nations have the luxury of choice, possibly because debating is so new to them and as such they have to simply find someone who is willing and has the time!

Ideally you will select someone with some experience of competitive debating. Often past WSDC participants go on to be successful team coaches because they understand what is involved.  However, if you do not have anyone like this available, it is important to try to find someone who is enthusiastic about debating and can inspire the team,  potentially, someone who works with young adults or students, who can easily relate to them. Someone who has a good level of general knowledge who can constructively guide the team in  debate preparation and of course someone who is able to give up their weekends and holiday leave to attend debate practice, mark assignments and participate in WSDC.

Although most nations tend to just appoint one lead coach, many also ask other individuals to assist in the coaching process leading up to WSDC. This might involve attending training sessions to participate in a debate and give the team experience of debating against new people, or perhaps taking on online discussions to take the burden off the main coach and allow the team to benefit from other perspectives.

It is also possible to invite any individuals who might consider becoming the coach in the future to attend WSDC as a co-coach, judge or observer in order to gain experience and insight.