We've all been there. We all have to get our start somewhere. Whether you have never coached or participated in Speech, Theatre, or Debate, there is always someone to help and mentor you. That's the great thing about these activities, we have fun and are willing to help new coaches.
The first thing you need to do is have a positive attitude and be excited. This effect will show around your kids and then they get excited.
Next, talk to your administration. Find out what kind of support they are willing to give to you and your program. What is your budget? How does transportation work? Can you do Fundraising? Do you have an assistant? What facilities do you have to work with? When can you have practices?
Next, get to know your co-workers, especially other coaches. Having a friendly working relationship with other coaches will go along way. These students time is very precious and every coach wants to see them succeed without being overloaded. Some schools have kids involved in several activities that overlap in time. Set expectations but be sensitive to their scheduling conflicts. Team members may not be able to compete at every meet. Theatre may have a more strict policy but you probably aren't competing as much as Speech and Debate. Let everyone know your schedule so staff, students and parents are always aware and can mark their calendars.
Attend trainings! Talk to your administration and ask to be able to attend trainings. There are a few opportunities. Every summer, NSAA offers a Coaches training for Theatre and Speech. Dates and registration will be posted on the nsaahome.org/speech website. And finally, attend the NSCTA Convention. This three day convention is one of the best ways for you to learn and network from other coaches. Convention always takes place the last weekend in September through the first of October. Please visit the convention site for more information.
For more information, please contact the NSCTA Mentoring Chair. Jodi Meyer