Summer Think Tank * Coaches' Institute

Summer Think Tank

Elevate Your Coaching Skills at Stanford this summer during the Speech and Debate Coaches' Clinic

Hosted on the stunning Stanford campus, our enriching workshop for adult coaches offers a unique opportunity to enhance your coaching abilities in competitive speech and debate. Covering team management as well as how to coach a variety of events from individual events and student congress to debate, this clinic is designed to provide coaches with the tools and techniques necessary to mentor and guide their students to success.

National-Level Coaching: Lead by Mikendra McCoy a CHSSA Hall of Fame Coach and president of the California High School Speech Association, this worksop will offer coaches access to learn from some of the most respected coaches in the country.  The coaches' clinic runs alongside our Competitive Speech and Debate student camps. In addition to coaching workshops lead by Ms. McCoy, participants will have the opportunity to watch some of the nation's top speech and debate coaches work with students one on one and in small group.  With years of experience and a proven track record of success at national tournaments, our instructors are dedicated to providing personalized guidance and mentorship to their students. Coaching Institute participants will gain insights into effective coaching strategies, argument development, delivery techniques, and tournament preparation from coaches actively engaged in the speech and debate community.

Practice-Intensive Curriculum: Our curriculum follows a rigorous yet engaging approach focused on practical application. Throughout the workshop, coaches will have the opportunity to watch student rounds and delve into coaching techniques tailored to each competitive event, with a focus on concept-to-application learning. This means learning new coaching strategies and immediately having the opportunity to practice them. Receive feedback to refine your coaching skills and ensure growth and understanding throughout the workshop.

Dynamic Tailoring Means Two Divisions, One Goal: Just as you tailor your coaching approach to each student, our workshop is designed to meet the diverse needs of coaches at every level. With separate lessons for novice and more experienced coaches, you'll receive instruction and challenges suited to your coaching experience. Before the workshop, we gather information through a survey to customize our sessions and ensure they meet the specific needs of our participant.s Whether you're new to coaching or looking to refine your skills, you'll find a supportive community of peers and mentors ready to help you succeed.

Don't Miss Out: Don't miss your chance to be part of this unparalleled opportunity to elevate your coaching skills, network with fellow coaches, and prepare to guide your students to success. Join us at Stanford University this summer for a transformative workshop that will empower you to excel as a speech and debate coach.

Week 1: Building Foundations

Day 1: Introduction to Coaching

  • Overview of coaching speech and debate
  • Understanding the role of a coach
  • Setting goals for program development

Day 2: Building a Successful Program

  • Strategies for program organization and management
  • Recruiting and retaining students
  • Establishing team culture and community

Day 3: Fundraising and Resource Management

  • Exploring fundraising strategies for speech and debate programs
  • Budgeting and resource allocation
  • Maximizing resources for program sustainability

Day 4: Curriculum Development

  • Designing a comprehensive curriculum for speech and debate classes
  • Integrating standards and educational objectives
  • Selecting appropriate materials and resources

Day 5: Running Your Program as an After-School Club

  • Effective strategies for managing after-school club activities
  • Balancing academics, extracurriculars, and competition
  • Engaging with school administration and support staff

Week 2: Advanced Coaching Techniques

Day 6: Individual Events Coaching

  • Techniques for coaching interpretation, platform, and limited preparation events
  • Providing feedback and guidance on performance and delivery
  • Developing effective practice routines

Day 7: Coaching Debate Events: Part 1

  • Introduction to debate formats (Policy, Lincoln-Douglas, Public Forum)
  • Understanding debate theory and argumentation
  • Coaching strategies for debate preparation and competition

Day 8: Coaching Debate Events: Part 2

  • Advanced techniques for debate case construction and rebuttals
  • Analyzing evidence and research strategies
  • Preparing students for tournament success

Day 9: Lab Visits and Special Sessions

  • Opportunities to visit lab groups and classes for specific event training
  • Guest lectures and workshops by experienced coaches and educators
  • Occasional access to the national-caliber staff of the regular camp sessions

Day 10: Resource Sharing and Final Reflection

  • Sharing of classroom resources and materials among coaches
  • Reflection on key takeaways and insights from the clinic
  • Development of action plans for implementing new strategies and techniques

Levels of Experience: The program is designed for beginning to intermediate level coaches, ranging from those with no prior experience to a few years of experience. Participants must be post-high school and at least 18 years of age. We cannot accept high school students or minors for this program.

Conclusion: The Two-Week Speech and Debate Coaches Clinic at Stanford University provides a comprehensive and immersive learning experience for coaches seeking to enhance their skills and knowledge in speech and debate coaching. Through structured discussions, hands-on activities, and access to experienced coaches, participants will leave the clinic equipped with the tools and resources to build and lead successful speech and debate programs.

Limited Time Offer: Enter your email at to receive a discount code for $1000 off the two-week program.

Program Grades Location Start Date End Date Price Options Register

Sample Schedule Coaches' Institute

8:00 am Breakfast in the dining hall (overnight Participants)
9-9:15 am Commuter check-in
9:15 am Morning Meeting
10:00 am Morning Lab/Practicum
12:30 pm Lunch in the dining hall (included for all participants)
1:30 pm Lecture
2:45 pm Afternoon Lab/Practicum
5:00 pm Commuter Camper Checkout
5:30 pm Dinner in the dining hall (Overnight Participants)
6:00 pmOne-on-One Sessions and observations for Overnight Participants

Education Unlimited believes in small-group, immersive learning with subject matter experts and experienced teachers. We strive to provide industry-leading instruction to all of our students and hold all staff to the highest possible standards. Staff assignments vary by program and location. Some of our recent staff members for this program include: 

Mikendra McCoy - Instructor

California High School Speech Association President and Hall of Fame Coach Mikendra McCoy will be leading our Coaches' Institute.  With decades of coaching and leadership experience, she will be able to show new and intermediate coaches how to seamlessly navigate the ins and outs of competitive speech and debate.  In addition, coaches' will be able to observe and learn from the national caliber coaches' leading our other speech/debate divisions. 

Mikendra McCoy is a highly regarded figure in the field of forensics, known for her steadfast dedication and exceptional coaching acumen. With a career marked by diligence and passion, Mikendra exemplifies the qualities of a mentor and leader that many aspire to emulate.

Throughout her tenure, Mikendra has demonstrated a consistent ability to cultivate success among her students. Their achievements in league tournaments, prestigious invitationals, and CHSSA State Championships underscore her effectiveness as a coach. However, Mikendra's impact extends beyond the realm of competition. Her commitment to student welfare and the advancement of forensics is evident in her service on the CHSSA council, where she currently serves as President of the California High School Speech Association. In 2017, Mikendra was inducted into the CHSSA Coaches' Hall of Fame.