Values

Throughout everything we do, DebateDrills students, coaches, and staff are guided by a core set of values.

Individual Attention

Paras Kumar with TOC Champion Parker Whitfill

 

Modern, academic debate is difficult and has a significant barrier to entry. We have found that students learn optimally when they receive individual attention from subject matter experts. We are committed to teaching debate and argumentation in a 1:1, individualized setting, be it through tutoring or tournament preparation. We know from first hand experience as competitors and coaches that nothing beats personalized tutoring plans tailored to your unique needs, and we pride ourselves on being the foremost experts in competitive debate. 

Form > Content

 

Our goal is to teach students how to think, not what to think. We equip our students to tackle a wide range of complex issues through a rigorous teaching methodology. We hire coaches from across the ideological spectrum to teach our students how to willingly and meaningfully discuss, engage and appreciate all “types” and “styles” of argumentation. This prepares our students to take different stances in competitive debate and to develop their own goals and opinions.

Harvard-Westlake 2019: Lecture on Mindfulness and how to approach competing

Process > Results

 

We are process oriented, not results oriented. We think about and approach teaching argumentation, logic, and debate as a journey, not as a destination. Our individual and collective experience has repeatedly proven to us that the byproduct of excellence is success, and we are fixated on teaching our students how to become excellent at the process of debate. We believe the results follow naturally.

Respect and Integrity

 

We care deeply about teaching and competing with respect and integrity. Though competitions can get heated, we believe that our ethical obligation as educators and coaches require us to be role-models for our students no matter the situation. Accordingly, we carry ourselves with grace in both victory and defeat and refuse to partake in practices that are common amongst our colleagues at debate competitions. That’s why you won’t hear us yelling or hassling judges at competitions.

Harvard-Westlake 2019

Transparency

TOC 2019

 

 

We believe debate as an activity is best when coaches and students are willing to compete with transparency. Our students regularly lead the push for promoting transparent debate practices, such as uniformly open-source disclosing positions we read at debate tournaments and posting round reports. 

Mental Health and Headspace

 

 

Our approach to learning and competition is holistic. Wins and losses are temporary, but lessons learned from competitive debate last a lifetime. We regularly discuss and teach our students how to handle and deal with the natural anxiety and fear of failure that accompanies high-stress competition. From breathing exercises to meditation to positive affirmations, as a collective, we recognize and regularly focus on the value of mental health and healthy habits for competition.

AppleValley 2018

Fun

 

Last, but certianly not least, we are dedicated to learning, practicing, and teaching academic debate because we love the activity and think it’s fun. This reflects in our teaching practices, be it through tutoring sessions that run longer than intended because we’ve lost track of time or our preparation services where we are constantly discussing and thinking about innovative strategies and arguments. At our core, everyone who works for DebateDrills fell in love with the game of debate and we never lose sight of the fact that we are so lucky to be able to fly all over the country and compete.