Article Title

The First-Year Coach


The first year coaching a team is both exciting and terrifying. The first year coaching a team is your first taste of the career you may be doing for the rest of your life, on top of teaching, research, having a family, and having social life. Some of you reading this article may have a plethora of experience in forensics as a competitor, graduate student assistant, judge, sibling, or friend, while others may have no experience in forensics at all. Don’t worry; we have all been in your shoes in one way or another. This article is a checklist for first-year coaches. Things that need to be accomplished on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis. I was thrown into coaching my old team at North Dakota State University as a first-year master’s student when my coach moved on to a different position. Amorette Hinderaker (my coach when I was a competitor) and Dan West (The Director of Forensics at my current institution) have given me many tips and tricks I use as a coach, and Amorette and Dan continue to be my mentors as I navigate forensics. Hopefully, you will find someone to be a mentor and guide throughout your forensics career. Before diving into the article remember three things: 1. Your department believes you can coach a team. The department would not have put you in the coaching position if they didn’t believe in you. 2. You are not in this coaching endeavor alone. Some may be blessed with assistants while others may be a solo coach. 3. Breathe. When you feel overwhelmed and you have made every mistake possible, stop and breathe, and remind yourself of this idea; you are a coach, and you can do run/coach your team.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License



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