Recently the NSDA has helped us tremendously by helping with professional development and with a tournament. What really works is simply being advocates for the activity and pushing for speech & debate in all schools. Sadly, this depends on 3 things – buy in from administration, buy in from at least 1 adult/coach, and buy in from students willing to give this a try. When you have all 3, you have the makings of a program – without 1 of more of these items, it will be a constant uphill battle. The key is to show administrators how this activity will benefit the school in terms of increased test scores, critical thinking skills, research skills, etc. For an adult, many are ready to say yes to speech & debate but are not willing to commit the time, especially the weekends. This is when you can’t wait for the coach to come to the tournament, you have to bring the tournament to the coach. Convince them of the benefits of hosting a small 2 or 3 round tournament, one day or one afternoon, and build from there.
This takes a lot of time and effort and 50% of the time your efforts will result in nothing, but you just have to keep going and pushing and advocating.