The Technical Skills Bootcamp

A program to help students transition to National Circuit debate. Teaches students how to deal with opponents who spread and who employ unfamiliar arguments. Reinforces core debate skills that are crucial both on and off the National Circuit.

Topics Covered:

  • Spreading, efficiency, and word economy
  • Debating against unfamiliar arguments and dealing with tricks
  • Crystallizing messy debates
  • Using cross-examination strategically
  • Mastering the 1AR
  • Other topics as requested by participating students



  • July 10-14 at 7:30-9:30pm EST (4:30-6:30pm PST)
  • July 24-28 at 7:30-9:30pm EST (4:30-6:30pm PST)

Tuition: $395, includes class webinars, materials and assignments, written assignments feedback, and significant program and file discount opportunities. Or $545 with additional 3 x 40-minute one-on-one drill sessions (flexibly scheduled). Seats limited.

Technical Skills Bootcamp Registration

For our most committed students, we’d also love to offer some significant discounts! All offers are combinable.

1. Bootcamper Discount: For those interested in multiple topics...

  • Sign up for 2 bootcamps and get 10% off everything
  • Sign up for 3 bootcamps and get 15% off everything
  • Sign up for 4 or more and get 20% off everything

2. Referral Discount: If you think our Academy is a great way to learn about debate, refer your friends and teammates! For each program one signs up for, we’ll kick another 10% off one of your bootcamps, up to 100%. All program discounts applied after checkout.

3. Master Toolbox Discount: When you sign up for any program, grab our popular Theory and Philosophy Master Toolbox files with up to 40% off! Just add it to your registration and files will be delivered shortly.

Questions about our programs? Please don't hesitate to get in touch with us! Please also review our cancellation policy. Date/time availability dependent on demand; will reach out in advance if needed.

Drill Package:
Theory Master Toolbox:
Philosophy Master Toolbox:
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Technical Skills Bootcamp Overview

Spreading, efficiency, and word economy

How do you deal with opponents who “spread” (talk very quickly)? How do you learn to spread, if you want to? How do you improve your efficiency in answering arguments to better “cover the flow”? How do you minimize unnecessary words, particularly filler words and other bad habits? 

Debating against unfamiliar arguments and dealing with tricks

How do you deal with arguments you haven’t seen before? What questions should you ask in cross-ex to figure out what’s going on? How can you rely on your own case to exclude your opponent’s arguments? How do you answer “tricks”? 

Crystallizing messy debates

How do you clear up a debate for the judge when there dozens of arguments being thrown around? How do you structure the final rebuttal? Which arguments should you prioritize and which should you ignore? How should you start your speech? How should you conclude? 

Using cross-examination strategically

How should you approach cross-examination? What makes a good cross-ex question? How can I get my opponent to answer my questions when they try to avoid them? Debaters often go into cross-ex blind and without a strategy. Contrary to popular belief, cross-ex can be decisive in the outcome of the debate, so this lecture will teach students how to gain the upper hand before rebuttals even begin. 

Mastering the 1AR

You will learn to succeed in what may be the most difficult speech in Lincoln Douglas. How can you write a constructive that makes your 1AR easier? In the 1AR, how should you prioritize dealing with multiple layers of NC arguments? When should you answer their case? When should you extend your own case? How do you effectively pre-empt NR arguments? Should you ever ditch your AC in the 1AR? 

Other topics as requested by participating students

Time permitting, we will cover other topics requested by students. If there is very strong demand for a particular topic, we may adjust the main lectures to account for student preferences.

Need these skills? Reserve your spot today!

About Our Programs

Our programs are intensive, focused courses designed to help you master a specific and essential debate skill. We're a group of experienced instructors who believe that by carefully designing classes and making them available online, we can guarantee better instruction at a lower cost. To ensure this, all our programs feature interactive webinars with premier instructors, specially designed course materials and metrics, individualized and in-depth feedback, and one-on-one personal coaching.

How exactly does it work?

You'll begin with one of your regular classes with a premier instructor, who will answer your and your peers' questions about an essential topic and tell you what you need to know, all from the comfort of your own home. These'll be group classes so that we can guarantee you will learn from the very best instructor to be teaching the topic. Each class is then followed with homework assignments, designed especially for your course to guide you through the material. You'll receive individualized feedback on each piece of your work. Instructors will be reachable before, during, and after class should you have a question about the material or about your feedback. Finally, if you opt for a drill package, you'll schedule one-on-one sessions throughout the program to practice your new skills with targeted drills. The class is fast-paced but tells you exactly what you need to know – in just a short amount of time, you'll have mastered a new debate skill!

Have to miss a class? Not to worry! All our classes are also recorded should you need it. Seats are always limited to ensure highest-quality instruction. Get the training you need – sign up now!

VC Academy Scholarship

Consistent with our mission, we want to make our programs accessible to all students, regardless of background. Both need-based and merit-based scholarships are available, especially for small schools. Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you are interested in our scholarship program!