Training for National Competition

As President of Training Minds, I pull together camps for academic debaters. Last week final plans for the Nationals Intensive Training Camp, a unique camp that I started four years ago. I found the absolute perfect place for it that’ll make the 5th year the best ever, but let me first explain what the camp is and why it’s so awesome.

The first NITC in 2009.

The first NITC in 2009. Our success went above and beyond our expectations.

In 2008, my debaters were facing a dilemma. Large clubs around the nation were consistently doing well at Nationals, while small clubs weren’t. Larger clubs had resources to keep their debaters trained to the National Tournament, while students in smaller clubs would enter Nationals a bit rusty.

One of my coaches at the time suggested the idea: let’s gather competitors right before Nationals and give them the training they need to succeed.

We gathered in South Carolina for our first Nationals Intensive Training Camp, what we quickly started calling NITC (pronounced “Nit-see”). The success of our endeavors was recognized immediately. Here’s the success as reported on our Training Minds Success Page:

The million-dollar question: How successful were we? We set the ambitous goal of having 20% of our contestants in the quarter-final rounds. We figured if we were 20% of nats, we could realistically (with hard work) attain 25% of quarter-final slots. So, this goal was two in quarter-finals. We got THREE in each category of team-policy and Lincoln-Douglas. What an accomplishment, above and beyond!

We were onto something awesome! So we continued the trend, and successes stacked up in 2010, 2011 and 2012 just the same. Most notably, we took home the title trophy in Lincoln-Douglas debate with NITC campers each year! If that doesn’t speak volumes, I don’t know what does.

This year we’re heading into the 5th year of NITC camps. We’re ready to announce our NITOC NITC (for the Stoa league) and will be ready soon for our NCFCA NITC (for the NCFCA league). I must say that we have the BEST NITC yet.

For the Stoa National Invitational Tournament of Champions in Siloam Spring, Arkansas, we’ll be gathering just outside of town at the New Life Ranch May 18-19. This is a cozy little place with beautiful lodges and meeting rooms for our classes. Our traditional schedule will be met, along with a Sunday morning time to play on the facility’s airsoft gun area.

No kidding. For the first time ever, we’re going to have an airsoft gun game among debaters. Bring it on.

Airsoft aside, I still think this year will be the best ever. We plan to announce the NCFCA version, too, whose national tournament is exactly one month later in June, and just one hour West in Tulsa. How cool is that?

Check out the camp registration page at Registration opened this morning. I suspect we’ll draw a lot of great debaters to this awesome camp. At least the ones that want to take their nationals opportunity most seriously.