EDEB8.com doesn't provide a great deal of oversight over how exactly each individual coaching relationship works. This allows the coach and the debater to work together to find something that works for them both. There are, however, a few basic expectations.
On a very basic level, coaches should actually do coaching. If you message a debater and say that you'll coach them, and then do nothing or very little, that's a big problem since you've just wasted much of that debater's time. You should definitely provide a clear indication to debaters of what exactly they should expect from you in terms of your commitment, ie will you Skype them for 1 hour every week, or will you provide 500 words of feedback for every debate they complete, or whatever. The more precise you are at the outset, and the more you stick to these commitments, the smoother most coaching relationships go. In general, you should touch base with anyone whom you are coaching at least once a month. Weekly usually works best.
Of course, in the real world there will always be unexpected things that come up, and you won't be able to coach forever. This is completely understandable - however, if possible, it would be courteous to let the debater know as soon as you are able. You do not need to go into the details of why if you don't want to - sometimes these things are understandably private or personal - but you do need to inform the debater as soon as you are reasonably able if you will not make any commitments you committed to. Don't feel the need to apologize - this happens to everybody from time to time - and don't be shy about it. It is just very important to keep communicating.
A good coach does not simply laugh at the flaws of a debater. Be respectful at all times, and remember the rules of the site. Don't lie to debaters, and remember to always try to help them to improve. Your job as a coach is to help them as best you can.
If possible, you should avoid coaching two debaters while they are facing each other. Either hold off on coaching one side or refuse to coach either until after their debate. In addition, you shouldn't coach anybody facing somebody whom you would have a conflict of interest with - for example, if you are in a personal relationship with them. At the very least, you should notify debaters if one of these is the case.
I hope you enjoy coaching on EDEB8.com. Remember to contact us
if you have any questions or concerns.
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