Howdy friends,


Friendly Area II Chair here … Mikendra McCoy!

In case we haven’t met … “Howdy!”

In case we have met … “Howdy again!” 😎

(Note to group … league presidents, I tried to send to all in your league, but if you would resend and update school lists that would be spectacular … I am always panicking that I have missed someone!)

 …yes, I am aware that there is a fine line between checking in and checking out … hence the contact, here I am checking in, to ensure that you don’t want to check out!  In all seriousness, I am wondering how you are really doing! I mean, it has only been a worldwide pandemic, wildfires and distance learning … not to mention the plethora of other things going on … I am hoping to hear your heart, share your struggle and find a fix to what we can control … so, let’s talk!

First, if you are feeling like you are going nuts … know that you are not losing your mind, and more importantly … you are not alone! If that is the case, then step back and take a pause and take care of yourself …

 Go Nuts!

… aaaaannnndddd … if you have forgotten how to do that in between the zoom meetings and practice sessions, then please let me help you with a few suggestions … bake cookies, work out, take a hot shower, color a picture, dance wildly in the living room, snuggle a fluffy thing, begin the hobby that you have always wanted to learn, put together a puzzle … if there are other ideas by all means share your favorites .. inspire another to create… innovate and participate!

👋By the way, if you are looking to check in on your students, or fellow coaches, there are ways to hear hearts in the midst of the chaos … Ben Cummings from Golden West has this method to offer … Here is the document that explains the steps he’s taking to ensure that kiddos are doing alright in this trying time … and the link below will take you to the write up for the weekly check-ins!

If you have something that you are doing to make sure you are checking on your students or team, please share!

Any ideas with growing the culture of your team, or the numbers, let’s share!


If you are balancing the creative working conditions and finding ways to coach your team, then sharing your best practices is what we are looking to do too … your brilliance can definitely inspire another, and that my friends is “iron sharpening iron” … we need each other!

Here are a few tools that might help with growing the team … this is by no means a comprehensive list … but it is a start!


In the attached folder, you will find lots of goodies for teaching and coaching online. Shout out to Cameron Martin for helping me compile these! Please find a brief summary of its contents below.

  • Online Recruitment: Tips and tricks for gaining and retaining students for your team during Distance Learning and Competition.

  • Online Nats Comp Tips: A basic primer for students competing online for the first time

  • Online Speech Class: Several public speaking related lessons that can work for your team or class

  • Tips for Teaching…: How to teach public speaking in a virtual setting

  • DSDI: An intensive, 47-page document covering many nuances of online competition. Some speech, but more debate oriented.

  • 2020 NIETOC: Speech-focused tips for competition

 Lightbulb Moment

Info/Tips/Conversations/Questions for further discussion, if they have not been discussed already … as leagues have autonomy with what they choose to do … the area chair just needs to know your decisions, and potential rules or suspension thereof,(based on the adventure we call COVID 19) to stay in the loop

As a side note, please let me know what your leagues are doing with regards to local tournaments!

  • Money, Money, Money …

    • If you are concerned about your school being paid up, or having a credit; please see the attached report; this is the newest list from our amazing treasurer Neil … if you have any questions please let me know!

  • What Platforms are you using?

    • Please remember that you can use Classroom, as they are working with CHSSA. Rounds/Competition Rooms will take place on Classrooms.Cloud

    • In most cases, and with Classroom, Balloting/Tabulation will be held via Every competitor and judge should make a linked account during the registration process.

    • To use the NSDA Asynchronous speech program through, there is a charge of $500 plus $2/entry. However, there’s also an option for classroom to integrate Youtube videos of asynchronous speech into the tournament, which is free!

      • Through the NSDA program, students will tape their video directly on the platform. They will not be able to reuse their submitted video.

      • With the Youtube method, classrooms will set up a submission page for the kids to submit their Youtube links on.

    • If you need help learning how to run a tournament or how to use classroom, please let me know, there are a number of resources that can be utilized to clarify and navigate the platform. (People and Videos available for use.)

    • Remember, with Synchronous, students will compete live via Zoom-like calls.

    • With Asynchronous, students will submit a video via a protected server during the week prior to the tournament, and students will attend rounds to watch their performances along with a judge and their competitors.

    • In most cases Debate and Extemp will be held live; some have had the conversation about Impromptu; please let me know how your leagues are facilitating that.

  • Diversity and Inclusion …
    • The Area Chairs are going to be available for your weekend tournaments to help with the issues that arise during the tournament; their job will be to hear the concern/complaint, lead the investigation and offer suggestions for solutions … More will be coming to you soon from CHSSA leadership.

      – Cap Valley has done an incredible job of creating a student council that promotes inclusion and provides a student advocate to take issues to the coaches; this practical way of creating a culture of communication and concern is inspiring! Please let me know if you are interested in doing this too and we can have Josh Stinson form Mira Loma tell us all how they have done it in their area!

  • Outreach
    • This is the time to be recruiting, as we are one of the only activities that seem to be thriving in the chaos … However, I am wondering, how are we reaching out to schools that have left leagues? What are we doing to recruit new schools? How are we supporting coaches within our leagues? In speaking with the NSDA, there is little they do to reach out to new schools, they rely on the leagues to create the interest … as is the case with CHSSA, as it is the local connections that create and sustain teams … so, what can we do as an area to increase our numbers and retain our coaches? What’s working for you!?
      • There is a CHSSA Mixer that you can attend, Thursday nights at 5 PM, hang out with other coaches, drink your drink of choice and chat it up!
      • If you are looking for instructional options and discussing curriculum, workshops by region are coming to a zoom meeting near you!
  • Community Service …
    • In most cases, teams and clubs are required to do community service projects … based on the wild fires that the West Coast is experiencing, please think about the following options:
      • “Adopting a team” … you could get together to collect $100 to start a new team, that would make them CHSSA ready; $300 is NSDA and CHSSA ready!


      • Adopting a teen” …you are welcome to gather supplies and funds for teens that have lost their homes in the fires, as they are literally starting from nothing.

        – Remember anything you have to offer makes a difference, if you can’t cover a whole team, then perhaps your league would like to help sponsor a team; increase fees at a tournament by $5.00 a school or simply give what you can and another team or league can join you in making a difference!

Any way you want to participate, you are welcome to contact me at 559.905.8695, or vial email at  and I will connect you! If your and your team are interested in changing the lives of those around them, it can happen!

Thank you for all that you are doing to keep your head in the game and your heart recharged. There is no doubt that our kids need you … and the activity needs you; you know that it’s about people not programs … so, I am here to remind you to communicate your needs, offer your concerns and express your confusion, so that we can meet those needs, process through the issues and clarify what we can!

I am sure there is more … however, until next time …

Mikendra McCoy