About the Author:
My name is Ryan Ricard, although people in debate circles tend to call me Lucy. I coach debate at Rosemount High School in Minnesota, where I myself competed in debate many moons ago. I was never one of the best debaters in the country, but I did have the pleasure of debating some of them. I'm not one of the best debate coaches in the country, but I have had the pleasure of working with some of them.
About the Guide:
This is a guide to competitive debate, especially competitive debate at the high school level. The guide is made up of a series of articles, each focusing on a particular topic. Subjects covered include preparation, in-round strategy and tactics, and some more mundane questions like "which debate event should I choose?" It's written to be accessible to beginners, but I'd hope that experienced debaters/coaches get something out of it as well.
Reading the Guide:
Well, you can read it any way you want, obviously. I'm not going to stop you. But I don't think you'll get as much out of this guide if you try to tackle it all in one sitting, "cover to cover." Like your mom told you about your Halloween candy, Picking Up is meant to be consumed a bit at a time. Read an article a few times a week on the bus, skim an article on the topic you covered at practice after you get home, maybe go back and read some of the first articles after you have a few rounds under your belt. This book is best served with face-to-face instruction and plenty of ice cold experience.