Advice on creating a strong/growing team?

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Does anybody have any advice on how to help a smaller Speech team grow both in numbers and in closeness?  Like, ways to make a strong, solid team?


There are a few things you can try:

  1. Take advantage of the morning announcements.  They're a good way to advertise for the team AND get news out about upcoming events/tourney wins.
  2. Performance showcases not only show parents what their kids have been doing, but can also raise awareness among students.  They also can serve as fundraisers if donations and/or an admission price are accepted.  My high school team even went on a field trip to perform for the middle schools (English/art/theatre related classes) to get the 8th graders interested in speech at their level and in high school.  My team even got to take a day and perform for willing English classes at my high school as a means of raising awareness.  Be creative and perform!
  3. Locker signs don't just have to be for sports.  They're great for encouragement, and again, serve as free advertising of the team's existence.  Team shirts/hoodies are another way to build a team bond too. 
  4. Before the first team meeting is a good idea to get permission from the office to make hallway signs advertising the team.  Hang them EVERYWHERE a week before the first meeting. 
  5. Get students who are willing to ask permission from their teachers to make announcements at the start of class stating speech/debate team is starting and where/when to meet.  Most teachers are happy to let a student talk for a minute or two about a school extracurricular.  This works best when the students make an announcement the day before and day of the first meeting.  This way people prone to forgetting will be reminded, and those organized can make arrangements to be there. 
  6.  Word of mouth is critical.  The more team members can get their friends involved, the more those friends will get their friends involved, and so on and so on.

Team dinners, field trips, team meetings, team warm-ups, etc. are all positive ways to work on bonding.  As long as speech/debate is still exciting and enjoyable, and doesn't turn into strictly work, your team should be fine.

Ditto to everything above.

Also, team captains. Students with a role on the team creates a great link between the students and coaches.

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