July News from the FSPC Board

News from the FSPC Board 
From Your President – Kathy Casey 
July 2017

Prem Carnot visited the J.M. Clayton Elementary courts for a very well attended two-day clinic with attendees from Frederick, MD, Pennsylvania and the local area.  Wow!  I met so many new people who were there with Prem who was assisted by Kim Gruber, Lynn Casey, Bob Guadeau, Artie Holgerson and Cheryl Martin.  Thanks to all who attended and helped out.


Great group of people who hung in there during the heat of the day to learn from The Pickleball Guru on how to play “smart pickleball”. Thank you, Prem, for stopping in our neck of the woods to help improve our play!

Here is an email I received from one participant, Cheryl Markiewicz and a Note from Prem! 

Hello Kathy,

I wanted you to know just how much I really enjoyed Prem’s 2 day clinic at Frankford. It was well worth it. Prem really makes you THINK about the game and how it is played. He had many suggestions that made sense for anyone no matter what level you play. Once I understand the “why” of doing something, it makes it easier for me to remember. I am looking forward to lots of practice as I incorporate what I’ve learned from a very kind, patient and funny, Prem.

Thank you for all of your efforts to get Prem Carnot to Frankford, so that I could take advantage of this experience. I can’t wait to become a smart pickleball player!

Best regards,

Cheryl S. Markiewicz

Hey there you pickleball lover, How’s your July going? I am part way through my east-coast summer teaching tour. We just wrapped up a fantastic 3-day Bootcamp in Richmond, Virginia and I taught a full clinic in Frankford, Delaware (photo with participants below). I’ve got a full summer lined up and I really hope to see you on the courts (again?) one of these days!

To get on his mailing list go to Prem’s Click Here and sign up >

Dink Challenge on July 29th our at Clayton Elementary School



8:00 A.M. – 12:00 A.M | MEN’S AND WOMEN’S DOUBLES

 12:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.| MIXED DOUBLES


Let’s agree that the heat is very challenging so dinking is the smart way to still play, practice this very important skill without playing the entire court.  This will be challenging and fun!  Here is what the experts say about the importance of dinking:

 Why is the dink game important in pickleball? 

“It is part of the soft game of pickleball.  It neutralizes your opponent and you control the player that wants to hit hard.  If you’re a hard hitter and you face a team that knows the soft game, you’re at an extreme disadvantage immediately.”

Tom Earley, USAPA Ambassasor and Pickleball Coach.

“It is used more than anything today.”  Sarah Ansboury

Okay, I am listening……  If you have ever seen me play, you know that I am one of the hard hitters who needs this dinking stuff to be a bigger part of my game.  I get inpatient… I don’t really understand the point of the dinking.   I like hitting the hard ball across the net at my opponents. Isn’t that why we all got into this game?  Okay, so maybe not the skilled players who have a much larger set of skills that me.  And, that is why I keep losing to the players who can do the dinking stuff….

Okay, so why do the Challenge?

Well, it will let you try out a new skill or one that you want to improve.  You can only play it in the kitchen so you will improve your skills set and your muscle memory.  And, you can have some laughs, meet new people and get out of the house on a Saturday morning to play in the Challenge thing because it is for a good cause.

 Here is the other reason to sign up for the Dink Challenge….

J.M.  Clayton Elementary School’s Administration and the Indian River School Board allowed this Club to renovate the three old tennis courts and turn them into permanent pickleball courts.  This was done through private donations and a labor of love by a dozen or so volunteers.  So, this Challengeis intended to give some money backto the school as a thank you for our courts and to recognize that we have a very special place to call our home in Dagsboro.  They are facing major cutbacks and we know that they could use some help for funding some of their programs.  Please sign up, come out and play because it is for a very good cause.  It is for the kids!!!  It is for the Staff who work there!!!

So, here is the link for the registration:  Sign Up Here >

Grab someone and get your registration in so that I can see you there!

 This is important!!! Let’s do it for the kids so that they get programs that they need. Not convinced?  Nice participant bling, Chinese auction and a chance at winning the whole thing!! Special award for those who place.

Let’s make this event rock to support the school district that gave us the chance to make history in having the first permanent pickleball Courts in the county and state!!

More news about Clayton Elementary School indoor play when the weather pushes us indoors…

  •  Cheryl Martin is back in town (co-founder of FSPC) and she has been working tirelessly to talk with the Indian River School Board and the school staff to get our Sunday mornings in the gym back.  We will be getting more information out and a sign up our as we get closer.    We are awaiting the school and Board approval on this and the costing structure so stay tuned.  We will send out a sign up in late September or October for Sign Up.
  • On another note, Sussex County Planning and Zoning is still reporting that they do not think that the County government should be responsible for providing recreation facilities as reported in the July 7th Cape Gazette.

I am a little disappointed by this because the senior population has doubled in the last couple of years in Sussex County and that we seniors are 70,000 of the 197,000-people living in Sussex County.  Pickleball motivates people to get out and play, have fun, meet new people and most importantly get healthy through this exercise.  Let’s face it, not a lot of people go to a gym, but pickleball is so much fun you have to get out and play. People play on average three (3) TIMES A WEEK!!!!!!   Right?  That is exactly what our recently completed FSPC member survey told us.  Here is just some of your input on why you play pickleball:

Life Changing!
It is addictive in the best sense.
It’s keeping me healthy!!
I am in better physical condition that I’ve ever been because of Pickleball.
Dramatic improvement in my overall health.
I have lost 42 lbs.so far playing pickleball.
Helped me deal with serious depression.
Got me out after losing my spouse.
It has improved my physical and mental well-being.
Happy that I am a part of this wonderful game.
It has improved my reflexes.  I am able to respond and move quicker.  Also, it has improved my reasoning skills as it forces me to think ahead and strategize.
I have met many wonderful people and makes me very happy that I moved to Delaware.
Meeting terrific people and forming friendships as someone new to Delaware.  Pickleball players are great people!
Pickleball has greatly improved my life in retirement.
It is exercise masquerading as fun!
I live to play and play to live!
Just plain old fun!

Your voice matters. We need each one of you to let your council member know that we know that all of this development has created quite a treasure chest of money that could be used to provide and maintain public recreation facilities for all of the seniors who have bought the homes that generated those funds. Yes, I get the need for more paramedics and troopers but also know that exercise via pickleball will keep us from diseases that come with aging.

Here is the link to the Sussex County Council: Click Here >

Get on the phone and let them know that we need and want publicly funded pickleball courts both indoors and outdoors to encourage exercise, fun and better health outcomes for all Sussex County residents.  Don’t be shy.  They have benefitted from the explosive growth in this county and have benefitted from you retiring to this county.

Private facilities are in business to make a profit and expenses to run an indoor pickleball facility can be expensive.  We want everyone, regardless of income, to be able to play this great sport.  If we had permanent facilities everyone could play both young and old.

Why wouldn’t the County Council want to get their citizens healthy and stave off the diseases that comes with this aging population?  It only makes sense as a county government that you would want to invest in getting its citizens motivated and out getting healthy to keep health costs down for everyone.

Why would the County Council not want to form a public private partnership and make the public recreation facilities, including pickleball, a reality?

Please let your Council member know that every other county in this state has public recreation and that it is time that Sussex County join in to provide the year-round citizens with the recreation facilities at little to no cost for all of the county residents.  We all know the overall health benefits of playing this game and want to see everyone regardless of age or ability to be able to play as much as they want. Most counties and municipalities in the United States understand that public recreation facilities are a total benefit to the community because they improve over health and well-being of their communities.   We are not looking for freebies but it sure would be nice to play at more reasonable prices so that no one is left out due to limited income.

How can we encourage younger people to play when we have so few places to play?  Would love to help solve the obesity problem in kids by getting them out and engaged in this game that is taking off with the younger set across the country.  Pickleball can be more engaging than any video game.  Besides we have all made lots of friends through this sport.

Not every family can afford to put their kids on travel teams but they should have access to healthy fun where all can play at no cost or very low cost.  Pickleball could be that inexpensive sport that all can play, especially families.

Okay, on to other topics …Sports Complex in Georgetown by the Schell Foundation appeared in the Cape Gazette on July 7th.

 FSPC applauds the Schell Foundations for supporting the need for recreation in our County that also included pickleball courts as a later part in their master plan. Here are some key comments from that July 7th article:

“McCormick Taylor consultant Alexis Williams said expansion of parks and recreation is a request that has surfaced as a priority among people commenting on the new plan. “We are hearing this from the public with numerous requests,” said Commission Chairman Bob Wheatley. “It should be something for county government to consider,” he said.”

“However, during the workshop as the commission explored possible strategies to be implemented in the plan, the idea of expanding parks and recreation options did not meet with much support. Commissioners said they would rather provide grants and support to other groups involved with parks and recreation.”

“Commissioners pointed to the James Farm Ecological Preserve as an example. The 150-acre parcel along Indian River Bay near Ocean View was donated to the county and has been managed since 1998 by the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays. The county provides $20,000 annually in its budget and also supports infrastructure projects.”

“Commissioner Kim Hoey Stevenson said she would support partnerships but not the county getting into the parks and recreation business. “We have to look at keeping costs down in a county that is pretty well recreated,” she said.”

“I think we can encourage and not take the lead role,” added Commissioner Marty Ross, who has been an outspoken opponent of the county establishing a parks and recreation department.

“Ross said public safety should take precedence in the county’s budget. “My concern is that if we start spending millions of dollars on recreation, can we meet our critical needs of additional state troopers, paramedics and sewer and water? Funds are limited,” he said.”

“Hoey Stevenson said she was also concerned with the use of public funds to compete with private enterprise and not cut out free-market enterprise.”

“The question is should the county get in the parks and recreation business?” Wheatley asked, adding the plan should include language to identify what needs to be considered and explored.”

I know that many of you have given input into this plan and that we are very interested in seeing recreation facilities become a reality in Sussex County especially for pickleball.  That is why the consulting firm keeps making the point that that is what the citizens who have provided input to the Comprehensive Plan are asking for and should have addressed.

Maybe the answer is in public private partnerships going forward but I would encourage each of you to ask your County Council representative to make a pickleball facility a top priority for this county.

Volunteer Spotlight

On a note of gratitude…. Local residents are now learning to play Pickleball at the Cheer Center (Senior Center) in Ocean View.  Nan Colella, a resident of Ocean View and volunteer in the First State Pickleball Club, has worked closely with Cheer center staff and members to graduate multiple classes of Pickleball players. Nan’s class is big on knowing the rules, how to score and, above all, how to play safely.  Through Nan’s efforts, many lives have been changed to one of active fun in the Ocean View community.  Nan is a rock star!  On a hot summer day last year, Nan talked local resident Dudley Sluder into laying out and painting lines at the Cheer Center.   Dudley recruited Vaughn Baker to help him.  Once they have learned how to play, Yolanda Gallegos, manager of the Ocean View Cheer, explained that folks can play at Cheer from 10 AM to Noon every Tuesday and Thursday. You only need to be a member of Cheers to play there.

BTW, Nan’s program was so successful that each Cheer center is moving toward setting up pickleball as a program for Cheer center members.  Call your local Cheers center to find out more.

If that is not enough, Nan has her “Nights with Nan” every Monday, Wednesday and Friday out at JM Clayton.  Check out the website www.firststatepickleball.org for more information on this night.  If it is raining or too windy, it will be cancelled.

Thank you, Nan, for all that you do to help out the pickleball community through your tireless efforts!!!!

Submitted by Vaughn Baker and so appreciated by all who have had the opportunity to learn from Nan Colella who has a very generous heart.

Finally, I wanted to let you know that Vaughn Baker sometimes writes articles for the Coast Press about Pickleball.  Here is one that I thought you would enjoy this as a gentle reminder for all.

June 23, 2017 
By Vaughn Baker
Special to the Coastal Point

Although pickleball players are some of the nicest people I have met, it never hurts to review some rules of engagement for the good of the order. In case you were wondering:

  • Do not forget to introduce yourself before every match or to shake hands at the conclusion.
  • Do not forget to call the score out loudly before you serve; otherwise, you forfeit your serve. And don’t get the score wrong, and if you do, certainly not always in your favor.
  • Do not criticize your partner. This one really makes no sense. All you do is to make them more nervous. You and your partner are a team, a right arm and a left arm. Now, what would you think if you saw some player on the pickleball court and their right arm was fighting with their left arm. Silly, right?
  • Do not make bad line calls. The ball is in or it’s out. There are no gray areas. The rule of thumb: If you or your partner do not clearly see it out, it’s in! No discussion.
  • In recreational play, do not continue to lob someone having troubles responding to your lobs, or hit volleys or overheads at a player you clearly outclass. It is a different story in a practice situation or competition, because that permanently-hindered player needs to learn how to work around their handicap.
  • Do not take even one more step when you hear the word “Ball!” on the pickleball courts. And be sure to yell, “Ball!” at the top of your lungs when you mis-hit one onto the neighboring court. And when you throw or roll the ball to the proper court, do it properly and not like you are auditioning for a zombie role in “The Walking Dead.”
  • Do not lambast yourself when you miss a point. As Hollywood would say, “Forget about it.” Afterwards, you might want to reflect on your errors, but during the match, there is nothing you can do about opportunity lost other than better prepare yourself for the next point.
  • Do not catch the ball with your hand or paddle anywhere on the court, even when you might be 15 feet outside the court. The ball must be given the opportunity to prove it will be out, regardless of how obvious it is. At net returning serve, do not catch the ball because you think it is going to be out. Get out of the way. It isn’t out until proven out, and it isn’t proven out until it hits the surface.
  • Do not linger on a court before or after you play. Others want to play now!
  • Do not wander across the back of the adjacent courts. After and before, to and from, it is common courtesy to remain off the other courts.
  • Do not move any other paddle in a paddle line or erase a name in a sign-up box. Call out anyone abusing this, and tell them the Baron made you do it.
  • Do not exclude players below your level. I try to play with novices at least a third of my games to help and encourage players newer to the game. Someone put up with me when I was learning, and the least I can do is repay the favor.
  • Do not complain about better players excluding you. They need some games among each other to improve as well. Remember — there is nothing stopping you from finding an old tennis court to practice your serve or a wall to practice your dink.

When I was in the military in the panhandle of Texas, there was a dislike of soldiers in the town where I was temporarily stationed. I went to a tennis club where I was given the cold shoulder. Every weekend, I started to play challenge matches, starting with the last-ranked kid on their ladder. Once I worked my way through all names and beat everyone at the club, I called out the professional and beat him, which turned out to be the beginning of a long friendship.

  • Do not make excuses. As Rhett Butler said in “Gone with the Wind,” “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a pickle.”
  • Do not use crude language. Robert E Lee said to a group of his officers who were using crude language in the adjoining room, “Gentlemen, please.” The scolded officers went on to explain there were no ladies present, and Lee said, “Correct, but there is at least one gentleman present.”

But do laugh and enjoy yourself – Thank you, Vaughn, for this great reminder!

Please remember to check in on the website for all of the news about pickleball events, tips and club happenings.  www.firststatepickleball.org


Please like us on our First State Pickleball Club’s Facebook page to stay current on new events and see posted stories and pictures from our members.

See you the courts!

Kathy C – Proud President Of FSPC