I'm falling in love with the TV show Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. If you haven't seen the show, figure out who Aaron Sorkin is and watch some of his other stuff to warm-up... skip this post because it won't make sense :).
I'm also seeing that there are elements of the show that remind me of coaching debate.
Managing expectations and inerpersonal relationships is a major part of my coaching day.
Coercing people to give their best performances and to take risks and challenge themselves is a continuous process.
Prep Time and tournament preparation might as well be managed by a clock on my office wall with huge red numbers.
That last one needs some explanation... here's the short version.
Prep time -- Every parliamentary debate round has a new topic. Each team has 20 minutes to prepare to either support or defeat the resolution. Especially with young, new teams I help them prepare before I run off to judge my rounds. This means I help them to create strategy and write/refine arguments. The image of the red clock ticking down to the second hit home with me. The end of prep time is scary and fun all at the same time.
Tournament prep -- is more like the week in, week out process of preparing, writing new cases etc.... after every weekend tournament we start over again. I feel like my big red clock is set at 10 days, ______ hours until we leave town again...
And, working with debaters is a lot like working with commedians and writers -- they are very smart and very talented, and keeping up with them is a challeng in itself -- probably why I like them :).