Expert Coaches Need Sourcebooks, too

My awkward conversation with a champion teacher of debate

Debate is an academic activity that many think is complicated. People think only “really smart” kids do it, and teachers or coaches must be “experts.” At least that was a conversation I had with an “expert” coach at a recent tournament.

"Really? Is that what your sourcebooks do?"

Picture taken at Colorado Christian University at the Mile High Conquest Tournament, January 2016.

One might think the conversation was awkward. This coach insisted she did not need my sourcebooks. I publish the leading sourcebooks for academic debaters (see The coach I was speaking with was convinced that my sourcebooks were unneeded for her and her club.

“I would buy your sourcebooks,” she said, trying to be polite, “but I pretty much know how to teach debate already.”

I didn’t doubt that she knew how to teach debate. She had the fundamentals down pat, and she had a long history of trophies to prove it. But I challenged her a little:

“Do you know of the league’s rule changes that were announced at Nationals this year?”

She said she would have to review them.

“Do you know about the resolution, the history and the issues in the status quo that are popular today?”

She said she couldn’t even remember what the resolution was.

“Do you have model cases for Lincoln-Douglas debate?”

“No,” she said. “Is this what your sourcebooks do? I thought they were just a bunch of cases and briefs stapled together.”

What followed was a decent conversation of all what Monument Publishing sourcebooks do for competitors. Especially the new 2016 editions, the Blue Book for Policy Debate and Red Book for Lincoln-Douglas Debate accomplish many things:

  1. Twelve lessons in four units to walk you through the essential instruction in policy debate.
  2. Worksheets customized to each lesson to help measure retention.
  3. Activities for each lesson to be shared with the debate partner, club or classroom.
  4. Digital access to the August Addendum, resolutional analysis and spotlight cases/briefs written specifically for the current year’s resolutions (currently supporting NSDA, NCFCA and Stoa leagues).
  5. Each case comes with ready-to-run topical case, affirmative extension, and negative brief.
  6. All tags and evidence are triple-checked and hyperlinked, ensuring top standards for evidence integrity.
  7. EuroBAK binding to lay open for easy reading and study.
  8. All registered sourcebooks come with a 100% money-back guarantee.

The Teacher Editions come with even more: answers written straight into the book, study helps throughout, an entire appendix of speaking and debate drills, a complete chapter on running a scrimmage in the classroom, etc.

The coach I was speaking with left with a much better understanding of what Monument Publishing Sourcebooks provided. I suspect she’s going to make the books her staple for the club next year.