Sunday, March 30, 2008

If you love debating.... leave for a while

So -- tonight there are only four debaters left in the tournament.

--- and there are a lot of new former debaters.

--- and you were good, really good. The best, even for a couple of years... judges voted for you, competitors loved you -- you were popular, maybe for the first time in your life.

Just like all the seniors before you.

And just like this year's sophomores and juniors will be next year.

It is tempting to hang around, coach or judge. To be part of the 'community' -- whatever that means.

Instead --- you should get out... go away. Do something amazing or mundane... but, leave.

The thing is, you'll never love it more than you did this morning -- and in a year or two your arguments will be forgotten -- and in three or four years, nobody will be competing that you competed against.

In 8 or so, some snarky little pip-squeek will say you've never had a connection to debate -- even when you did much better than he ever did at the big tournament.

So -- go, learn something new, move to a new city, get out and see what the rest of the world does on the weekend.

If you really love it, go get a PhD in comm and THEN get a coaching job.... or, at least take a couple years off between now and your MA / assistant coaching position.

The thing is, the coaches who will hire you will also remember you in a year or two. They'll remember judging you (or they'll look up your NPTE record). They'll ask around, call your old coach and then take a good guess at whether or not you'll be a good coach for their program.

And -- if you leave and return, you'll know you are doing it because it is what you want to do -- not because it is all you CAN do.

1 comment:

JustLilia said...

I agree wholeheartedly. I thought I would miss debate much more...until I judged my first and only tournament since leaving. Lol