What Sets Us Apart

Why DebateDrills? Because we are obsessed with debate. We eat, breathe, sleep debate. We’ve spent significant time thinking about strategy and content to better convey our expertise in easy to understand, digestible methods. We have dominated the competitive results in the four years since our founding - our students regularly are championing huge tournaments and round robins, and they all have their unique styles. We have a proven track record of helping you excel in the types of debates that you want to pursue.
 
The results speak for themselves. Every year, the best debaters from all over the United States ask us to help them hone their strategies and expand their skillsets. We are subject matter experts in all-things competitive debate, and we are excited to continue pushing the boundaries of innovation and argumentation in competitive academic debate.
 
Every staff member on DebateDrills is connected by a mutual love for the game of debate. At heart, we are giant nerds who love to think and talk about the optimal strategies and approaches to excelling at competitive academic debate. We strive to share our love for debate with every student we work with while helping them achieve their goals.

Mission

Our mission is to provide world-class resources to accelerate the growth of students interested in argumentation, logic, public speaking, and interscholastic speech and debate. We have experienced debate’s life-changing benefits in improving confidence, language, and critical thinking, and we know the potential it carries to empower students for a lifetime.
We offer comprehensive, world-class instruction both in the form of our award-winning private coaching services and our thoughtfully designed and readily accessible free resources for coaches, parents, and students. We use innovative and personalized methods to help each student reach their potential.

Background

My name is Paras. Thank you for visiting our website and taking time to peruse our offerings. I started DebateDrills many years ago to provide the type of elite, technical coaching I wish I had access to as a high schooler competing in Lincoln-Douglas debate at Rancho Bernardo High School in San Diego, California from 2007-2011. As an independent debater without formal coaching, I often felt like my peers had more access to elite resources than I did and that I was on the outside looking in.
 
Excelling at competitive debate is difficult but rewarding. High school students are expected to devote hundreds, if not thousands, of hours every year researching, writing, and practicing to stand a chance against their peers at the most prestigious tournaments in the country. The sheer time commitment and steep learning curve makes the barrier to entry to competitive debate extremely high, and this is where I found that elite, targeted, private coaching makes the difference.
 
Elite coaching helps students understand what they don’t know and need to learn and to efficiently sort out what is important and what is not. Elite coaches help students work smarter and cut the amount of time they need to invest to achieve success. Every one of our coaches have a proven track record of helping students become more effective and successful learners and competitors. I, along with every single coach on my staff, will coach you the way I wish I was coached when I was a student.

Warmly,
Paras Kumar | Founder 

Values

Throughout everything we do, DebateDrills students, coaches, and staff are guided by a core set of values. Click on a value below to learn more about us.

Modern, academic debate is difficult and has a significant barrier to entry. We have found that students learn optimally when they receive individual attention from subject matter experts. We are committed to teaching debate and argumentation in a 1:1, individualized setting, be it through tutoring or tournament preparation. We know from first hand experience as competitors and coaches that nothing beats personalized tutoring plans tailored to your unique needs, and we pride ourselves on having 1:1 education be front and center in all of our offerings.

Our goal is to teach students how to think, not what to think. We equip our students to tackle a wide range of complex issues through a rigorous teaching methodology. We hire coaches from across the ideological spectrum to teach our students how to willingly and meaningfully discuss, engage and appreciate all “types” and “styles” of argumentation. This prepares our students to take different stances in competitive debate and to develop their own goals and opinions.

We are process oriented, not results oriented. We think about and approach teaching argumentation, logic, and debate as a journey, not as a destination. Our individual and collective experience has repeatedly proven to us that the byproduct of excellence is success, and we are fixated on teaching our students how to become excellent at the process of debate. We believe the results follow naturally.

We care deeply about teaching and competing with respect and integrity. Though competitions can get heated, we believe that our ethical obligation as educators and coaches require us to be role-models for our students no matter the situation. Accordingly, we carry ourselves with grace in both victory and defeat and refuse to partake in practices that are common amongst our colleagues at debate competitions. That’s why you won’t hear us yelling or hassling judges at competitions.

We believe debate as an activity is best when coaches and students are willing to compete with transparency. Our students regularly lead the push for promoting transparent debate practices, such as uniformly open-source disclosing positions we read at debate tournaments and posting round reports.

Our approach to learning and competition is holistic. Wins and losses are temporary, but lessons learned from competitive debate last a lifetime. We regularly discuss and teach our students how to handle and deal with the natural anxiety and fear of failure that accompanies high-stress competition. From breathing exercises to meditation to positive affirmations, as a collective, we recognize and regularly focus on the value of mental health and healthy habits for competition.

Last, but certainly not least, we are dedicated to learning, practicing, and teaching academic debate because we love the activity and think it’s fun. This reflects in our teaching practices, be it through tutoring sessions that run longer than intended because we’ve lost track of time or our preparation services where we are constantly discussing and thinking about innovative strategies and arguments. At our core, everyone who works for DebateDrills fell in love with the game of debate and we never lose sight of the fact that we are so lucky to be able to fly all over the country and compete.

Notable Students

It’s not by accident that the best debaters in the country consistently approach us to do drills with them and ask to join our private-prep sharing team. Regardless of what “style” of debate you excel in, we will help you execute it better. We will challenge you to be more technical, think deeper, and fill in the holes in your research and strategy. The results speak for themselves - we have worked extensively with students who have achieved success at the highest levels of competitive debate in the United States. Examples include:


• Parker Whitfill (2017 TOC Champion)
• Matthew Chen (2018 Lexington Invitational Champion)
• Katherine Fennell (2016 Glenbrooks Semifinalist)
• Ari Azbel (2017 Bronx Invitational Champion)
• Muhammed Khattak (2017 Valley Invitational Champion)
• Rex Evans (2018 TOC Finalist | 10th Grade)
• Kristen Arnold (2018 Alta Invitational Champion)
• Ishan Bhatt (2019 8 AppleTOC Valley Champion)
• Sekou Cisse (2017 UC Berkeley Finalist)
• Carolyn Zou (2017 Walt Whitman Co-Champion)
• Jong Hak Won (2017 Stanford Finalist)
• Eric Deng (2017 TOC Octofinalist)
• Aisha Sheikh (2017 Harvard | 9th Place)
• Jackson Lallas (2015 TOC Quarterfinalist)
• Tej Gedela (2020 Stanford Champion)
• Brennan Caruthers (2013 UC Berkeley RR Champion)
• Jacob Pritt (2012 TOC Top Speaker)
• Asher Towner (2019 Long Beach Champion)
• Regan Grishaber (2012 TOC Semifinalist)

TOC 2019: Ishan Bhatt (Champion) with Rex Evans (Octofinals)

What are you waiting for?