Summer Debate Coaches Clinic

Wednesday, June 23rd - Saturday, June 26th, 2021

Image by Christina @
Virtual Team Meeting
Virtual Lesson

About the Coaches Clinic

The BDC Summer Debate Coaches Clinic will take place virtually from Wednesday, June 23rd through Saturday, June 26th. Attendance is free.


During the week, coaches will learn the essentials of leading a debate team and the skills needed to teach debate. The Coaches Clinic runs co-currently with our student summer camp, providing attendees with opportunities to apply their new coaching skills. On Saturday, coaches will practice using what they've learned during the week to judge our student camp tournament. The format of debate we will be focused on is called Public Forum Debate. You can learn more about Public Forum here


During the week, coaches will learn the fundamentals of debate, how to teach students important debate skills like research, formulating arguments, and public speaking, and the basics of starting and building a debate team. Through a series of interactive lectures, lively discussions, and fun activities, attendees will become more confident debate educators and team leaders. However, the most important resource for any debate coach is a strong network of fellow coaches. You will most definitely leave the Clinic with many new coaching friends and co-conspirators! 


Eligibility & Professional Development Opportunities

The Coaches Clinic is open to all current or prospective middle and high school debate coaches in Kentucky. The Clinic will have something to offer both coaches who are completely new to debate and more experienced coaches. No prior debate experience is required. If you're a teacher who has been thinking about starting a debate team at your school, but you have no idea where to start - the Coaches Clinic is for you!  


While the Clinic is geared towards teachers who are new debate coaches or interested in becoming debate coaches, we are aware that many debate teams are coached by community members who are not teachers. You do not have to be a teacher to attend camp. Attendees must be over the age of 18 and currently coaching or interested in coaching in the future. 


Professional development credit is available for teachers participating in the Coaches Clinic. We will work with any teachers that would like to participate for credit to make sure all requirements are met. 


The Coaches Clinic will be led by the esteemed coaches of the national championship University of Kentucky collegiate debate team and BDC Director Lily Nellans. Many of the daily sessions will be led by decorated debate coaches from across the country and the world who are experts in their given subjects. 

Daily Schedule 

Wednesday - Friday will follow the daily schedule below. Saturday, coaches will judge the students' summer camp tournament.  

10:00 - 11:30 AM: Session 1

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM: Lunch Break (Attendees are responsible for providing their own lunch)

12:30 - 2:00 PM: Session 2

2:00 - 2:30 PM: Afternoon Break

2:30 - 4:30 PM: Session 3

Registration & Logistics

  • You must complete a registration form to attend the Coaches Clinic. Registration forms are available here. 

  • Registration is due by Friday, May 14th to guarantee a spot. We will accept late registrations as space allows. 

  • There is no cost to attend the BDC Summer Coaches Clinic. 

  • Please contact us at or 515-499-5392 with any questions!