Private, Targeted, and Elite Debate Tutoring

Overview

Harvard-Westlake 2019: Paras Kumar working with Lavanaya Garg

Since 2011, Paras Kumar (Founder) has conducted 2500+ hours of one-on-one tutoring with 250+ students across the world, ranging from 6th to 12th grade. He has worked extensively with debaters from every background, skillset and region, ranging from lay debaters to novices trying to start circuit debate to students who have won the TOC. Every staff member on DebateDrills has spent time learning best drilling practices from Paras and is a proven debate tutor. DebateDrills Staff has conducted over 1000+ hours of tutoring since 2017.  

Most successful debaters have difficulty becoming effective coaches, and even fewer effective coaches are elite tutors. High quality debate tutors must (1) have a mastery of debate strategy and time trade offs, (2) an expertise in executing the most common types of debate (i.,e. util, framework, critique, and theory debates), and (3) an ability to quickly, effectively, and enthusiastically explain complicated concepts in simple terms to students with a wide variety of learning styles. 

Most coaches struggle to execute effective drill sessions because they can no longer "spread" and debate at the level they debated at as competitors, turning drill sessions into "do as I say" instead of "do as I do". As trends evolve, so does strategy, and good coaches must adapt to the game. We have prided ourselves on staying ahead of the curve, and students have consistently approached us because of how effective our techniques are. Read our testimonials to see for yourself.

 

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What does a tutoring session look like?

Debate tutoring is very similar to academic subject specific tutoring. We go over and help fix specific problems the student is having, be it technical (e.g. speaking faster, more efficiently) or substantive (e.g. trouble executing a certain debate, such as util debates, framework debates, theory debates or critical debates). 

All tutoring sessions are built on the following pedagogical model: we will (1) imitate a real round and read the position the student is struggling with, (2) have the student respond to that position, and then (3) go over their responses with them and help them understand how to improve the speech they gave. Homework will be giving the improved speech next time we have a session. On average, we get through 2 topics per session.

 

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Harvard-Westlake 2019: Students hard at work drilling between rounds

Benefits

Why drills?

Students and Coaches at the Harvard-Westlake Tournament

Our method is highly effective because it implements the philosophy of “do it yourself.” Tutoring sessions are structured to mimic real debate rounds, which a) increases student comfort with the topic area in question and b) improves confidence. We have noticed over the years that students improve rapidly when they implement a consistent drill schedule, and that such sessions are often more valuable than summer debate camps. 

We believe practice makes perfect—too often debate teachers focus on content and lectures and not on implementation. We will rarely lecture and prefer free flowing conversations where the student feels free to speak their mind and be an equal participant in the conversation. Not only does this create rapport between instructor and student, but it also ensures the student feels comfortable making mistakes in the sessions, allowing them to progress faster. This philosophy applies not just to students, but also for our instructors. We are constantly creating new material to use for students and working on innovative teaching strategies. 

Please check out any of the free resources on this website for an in depth example of what these sessions look like!

 

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Testimonials

What students are saying...

"What really sets Paras apart is his proven methods of teaching. I improved more than I ever did at camp and a year’s worth of tournaments working with Paras for a week."

Connor Davis
TOC 2015 Participant

"I personally found myself making leaps within single sessions."

Ishan Timalsina
Stanford 2015 Elimination Round Participant

"The best part of his coaching was drilling. He had a ton of helpful drills to do – especially with theory and util debating – and provided feedback at every step along the way."   

Jackson Lallas
TOC 2015 Quarterfinalist, Glenbrooks 2014 Finalist

FAQ

Typically we use Skype, facetime, facebook video chat, google hangouts, or phone call, depending on the strength of the wireless signal on both ends.
Absolutely! In fact, many of our students are “lay”debaters who compete locally and not nationally. As competitors, we were incredibly successful at “lay” debate and have an endless amount of drills and techniques we can teach you to improve your performance.
You can request any topic that you are struggling with or give us a general list of skills you want to improve upon and let us create a plan to best tackle that weakness. We have students who approach it both ways and are equally satisfied.
If you would like us to decide the curriculum, then yes, absolutely! We will send you a diagnostic that assesses your weaknesses and strengths and create a game plan from there.

Go to https://www.debatedrills.com/en/scheduling/tutoring/ and click on the instructor you would like to book a session with to begin! 

You can cancel a booked session up until 24 hours before the beginning of the session and receive a full refund.
We will give your money back, guaranteed! This has never happened before and we are confident you will be satisfied.
Probably not. We regularly work with students as young as 7th grade.
Absolutely! We will not change our rates for group sessions, though we have noticed that group sessions tend to be less effective than one on one coaching.
We do not view our services as a replacement for school teams. You have to get permission from your school coach to do drills with us - this has historically not been an issue, as we've done drills regularly with students from established programs such as Strake Jesuit Preperatory School and Lake Highland Preperatory School. We are happy to sit and talk with your school administrators about their concerns about tutoring with us.

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Cost

Harvard-Westlake 2018: Paras working hard with students

Rates vary depending on which instructor you want to work with - the exact details are available on the scheduling form below. 

We don’t count down the clock waiting for the hour to end - teaching is something we are passionate about and our primary goal is to help you improve. 

Accordingly, if sessions run 5-10 minutes over the scheduled hour, that is including in the hourly rate. Please fill out the application if you are interested in scheduling drill sessions and working with us.

 

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Getting Started

Getting started is simple. Click here, find the instructor you are most interested in working with, and book a session! We will get in touch with you before the session to discuss any questions you may have. 

If you still have questions that you would like answered prior to beginning, please contact us using this link! 

 

 

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TOC 2019: Champion Ishan Bhatt with Finalist Jaya Nayar