Youth Injured in Rollover
Youth Rolled Over in Accident

This is a good story that I’ll share with you someday. I nearly died, but it was a dramatic experience that made me sit up straight in life.

You Want to Be There This Summer

Debate camps are awesome. I’m telling ya, if you have a chance to go (or bring your kids), you won’t regret it. My program has been training young people for competition since 2001. However, there is a deeper purpose to the training that I don’t want you to miss.

2008 Virginia

They learn the technique at camp, but there is a greater purpose to it all.

NOTE: Limited space is available. See here to register.

The first Training Minds Speech & Debate Camp for Summer 2013 will be at Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA. We’re opening this up students studying the NCFCA team-policy and Lincoln-Douglas topics. If you’re into speech and debate competition, be sure to make it. Special keynote speaker: Andrew Pudewa.

Date: July 23, 2013
Time: 5 days
Event: Training Minds EAST (Regent University)
Topic: TP, LD, Extemp, Apologetics, Interp, Platform Competitive Speaking
Sponsor: Training Minds
Venue: Regent University
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Public: Public
Registration: Click here to register.

This is one of several events I'm running in 2013. Be sure to check out all Training Minds events here.

My Paperless Plan

That’s it. My home office is going paperless. I bought a Fujitsu ScanSnap and have already scanned in my business cards and debate flows, and I’m on my way to a clutter free desk.

Paper Mess

I’m a publisher. Paper has been very good to me. I own an extremely nice and expensive printer. You’d think I would be a stubborn goat and resist the coming paperless trend. But not this publisher. I’m all in.

A few people have come into my life who have persuaded me that paperless is the way to go:

The Positives Outweigh the Defeats

I’m at the National Invitational Tournament of Champions in Siloam Springs, Ark. 600-or-so students and their families are winding down an entire week of competition (ends tomorrow).

600+ students waiting for the first breaks to be announced.

Students and friends waiting for the first breaks to be announced.

If you follow my blog, you know that I’m really, really into this community of speakers and debaters. You also may know that I run a preparation camp the weekend before to help prepare students for their big week of competition. And if you’re a Twitter or Facebook friend of mine, you know that our successes have been outstanding.

But as with all competition—especially the final championship of the year—there are many more losers than there are winners. Most of the teams are out of the race. Yesterday two-thirds of the speakers were dropped from the first outrounds of speech. More eliminations will occur today, and the final rounds—only the cream of the crop—will compete tomorrow.

That’s a lot of failure.
That’s a lot of disappointment.
That’s a lot of work poured into a slight chance of making it to the top.

But you know what? It is all worth it. I’m telling you, there is no place I’d rather be than right here in the heat of the most exciting community of speakers and debaters here at NITOC. Even in the face of defeat and loss, positives buoy this ship to the top…

#2 vs #238. Possible?

I’m at the National Invitational Tournament of Champions (NITOC) right now,* and I just have to share with you a story. It’s about as exciting a story as a story can get.

Speech and Debate Decal

I must preface this story with a disclaimer: I have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for the #1 and #2 team in the nation. They are top notch and deserve to be at the top. They’re seeded at the top of NITOC (meaning they go against the bottom teams), which is a position rightly won and earned throughout the competitive year.

But top seed (#1 and #2) didn’t come to NITC.**
Bottom seed (#238) did.
Bring it on.


I just finished two awesome days with 46 students from all over the country. Seven of my debate coaches and I gathered them together for the NITOC NITC camp. Let me explain why this camp is absolutely awesome and share a few great pictures, too.


Three Decisions to Happiness

I have a lot going on in the next couple weeks. A cross-country road trip, one of my camps, the National Invitational Tournament of Champions, a Virginia convention, etc. It’s enough to give a grown man an anxiety attack!

Debate Coach

But there is a deep concept embedded in all the demands around me. I wish others would capture it in their lives. At the root of all the chaos, responsibility, deadlines, people, conflicts, frustrations, ups and downs, I must admit…