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Our Getting Started hub is the central location for all the info new coaches need.

We offer self-paced, free, online courses for new coaches as part of our professional development portal, NSDA LEARN. The Intro to NSDA Coaching course covers most of the basic and foundational things a coach needs to know to start the season off successfully. Coaches can also take courses to learn more about coaching different events, engaging and mentoring students, and more.

Our Start Here series of grab-and-go lesson plans is especially useful for new coaches. These collections provide coaches with the tools they need to teach high school and middle school students how to do speech and debate events for the first time.

We also encourage all coaches who will be taking their students to competitions to complete our Judge Training course and “Protecting Students from Abuse” course. These courses, created in partnership with the National Federation of State High School Associations, are designed to help you review basic judging guidelines and help create a more equitable speech and debate environment for students.