Category Archives: Feature

Annual Democratic Jamboree… Meets Pickleball

Kathy Casey Represented the FSPC at the Annual Democratic Jamboree  at Cape Henlopen State Park.  Big Thanks To  Kathy for being an amazing ambassador to our sport!

We have a lot of solid support for pickleball after talking with many of our government officials about the needs in our County for permanent pickleball courts.  Senator Chris Coons already plays pickleball and enjoys it a great deal.   The Lt. Govenor Bethany Hall- Long is really behind pickleball because of her Healthy Aging agenda and concerns for the overall well-being of the citizens of this state.  Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester never held a paddle but had fun bouncing the ball on the paddle.  We also talked with Rep. Pete Swartzkopf who knows how important this game is to our citizens.   It was a great afternoon of fun and meeting many people.  My thanks to Leslie Ledogar for taking me around to meet everyone.  It was a blast! – Kathy Casey – President FSPC

Lt. Govenor Bethany Hall-Long and Kathy Casey talking Pickleball
Lt. Govenor Bethany Hall-Long and Kathy Casey talking Pickleball
DE Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester, Kathy Casey talking pickleball
DE Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester, Kathy Casey talking pickleball
Senator Chris Coons, Kathy Casey, Lelsie Ledogar talking pickleball
Senator Chris Coons, Kathy Casey, Lelsie Ledogar talking pickleball





The Pickleball Guru’s Tips for “Playing Up” and “Playing Down” in Recreational Play


One of the best ways to improve your pickleball game is to play with better players.  It forces you to play at the top of your ability, makes you pay for your mistakes, and puts you on the fast-track to a higher skill level.

All of that is GREAT for you, but how about for those “better players” who are playing with you?

It does almost the OPPOSITE for them…

Playing with you keeps them from having to play at the top of their ability, keeps them from paying for their mistakes, and keeps them from improving their skill level as quickly.

The culture of pickleball has always been very welcoming and inclusive of new players, but as you become more intent on improving your game, you DON’T always want to play with less-experienced players.

But everyone’s gotta start from somewhere, and even the best players in the world were beginners at one point…

So the question is: as a newer player, how can you graciously get to play with better players so as to improve your game?  And as a better player, how do you “remember your roots” and play with lower-level players, and when is it fair to ask them to step aside so you can get a higher-level play?

Here are some general pickleball etiquette guidelines, which address these questions and more.

When you want to “Play Up” with players who are STRONGER than you are:

  • Ask Politely and Give Them an Out.  For example, “Do you all mind if I get a game in with you, or would you rather play on your own?”

  • Ask at the Beginning or End of the Day. Approach when they are warming up or cooling down. DON’T go when they are in the midst of a streak of higher-level play.

  • Accommodate Their Flow. If you do approach them in the midst of higher-level play, accommodate their flow.  Ask “Hey, do you mind if I get a game in with you all before you quit today?” so that they can continue playing, but will hopefully commit to playing with you later.

  • Be Conscientious. If they do play a few games with you at the beginning of the day, make it easy for them to bow out and play with other higher-level players so that they will be more likely to want to play with you again in the future.  You might say, “Hey, I see you can get a good game in against those guys, I’ll sit this one out and maybe we can play again later if you have a chance.”

  • Hit to Them! No one likes to watch their partner hit all the balls during recreational play.  The higher-level player is doing you a favor by playing with you, so hit the ball to them at least half the time. It will make you a better player, make it more fun for them, and make it more likely that they will play with you again next time.

  • Don’t Be Obnoxious. We all play our best when we play with better players. When we play with weaker players, it can be challenging to stay focused, so remember that they may not be playing at the top of their game.  Or, they may be focusing on improving their own shots, rather than on winning.

  • Show Your Appreciation. If they give you feedback on your game, have an open mind and be appreciative of them taking the time to play and help you.

  • Don’t Take It Personally. Some people just aren’t going to be very friendly about it. Don’t let them get to you. Remember, it’s only pickleball! 🙂

When you agree to “Play Down” with players who are WEAKER than you are:

When you play with or against players who are WEAKER than you:

  • Remember Where You Came From. Who took you under their wing when you first started playing? Chances are you’ve improved your game since then by getting to play with better players, so pay it forward and make a point to regularly play with players who are weaker than you. You could regularly play a warm-up game with them, or once a week decide to dedicate the last 30-45 minutes of your play to playing with them, it’s up to you. Just find a way to pay it forward.

  • If Now’s Not Good, Say When. If someone asks to play with you and you opt to play a higher-level game instead, let them know when you WOULD be willing to play, perhaps later in the day, or later in the week.

  • Give Them a Head’s Up On How Long You’ll Stay. When you do play, let them know in advance how long you’re planning to play, you might say, “I’d love to play with you all for a game or two, but then I’d like to get in with those other players.”

  • Don’t Be Patronizing — Or, Overly Aggressive.  Instead of focusing on who wins or loses, find a way to make it challenging for yourself.  Pick a shot you want to improve upon and focus on hitting that shot. Or, try to reduce your number of unforced errors. Focus on consistency and keeping the ball in play rather than slamming every put-away shot you get.

  • Limit Your Feedback. If you notice something they could be doing better, limit your feedback to one aspect of their game during play.  Giving them too many pointers can overwhelm them. Plus, they’re probably already a little nervous about being on the court with you, so don’t be too critical.  Afterwards, if you want to give them more background info on your pointer, or give them one additional pointer, go ahead, but start out by asking permission first, “Would you like to hear more about what I noticed about your game?”



Like these tips?  Want to share them with your group or club? Just click here to open and print the PDF.

Article Courtesy of 

Ocean City Tournament Success!

The Ocean City Pickleball Tournament was a huge success! Thank You to everyone who made it happen and all the Great Players! who came out for Great Pickleball!

A Special Big Thank You To Skip Alexander For Taking and Sharing These Great Photos!  Click Here to See The Album >


Photos Courtesy Skip Alexander Click Here to See The Album >

The March Madness Showdown!

March Madness 2017 was a huge success with 64 players showing up for the “show down” finals in each category!   Many spectators, or future pickleball players, were in attendance to cheer on friends and family.  It was so cool to see so many people who can just to cheer on friends and family in this round robin event!  We really did have a blast!

  “There is something about the energy of people playing that brings out the very best in people. So many smiles, good wishes and great sportsmanship throughout the event.  So many people were thanking Dudley Sluder and his assistants for the job well done and fun had by all.  Dudley really knows how to put on an event.  A very big shout out goes to all of the volunteers who assisted Dudley in taping the courts, measuring the lines and setting up courts” – Kathy Casey FSPC President

In addition all of the work needed to keep the play going in each category and tracking the results through the medals ceremony.  We must be sure to thank Dave Marshall and Jackson Bailey for all of the help they provided in getting us the time and space for this wonderful event.  Please check out the FSPC Facebook page to breeze through the many pictures of that day.

Congratulations to all who played and especially the medal winners who took it all.

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The “Better?” Pickleball Player

A PickleBall Player Poem – By Vaughn Baker

There is something that I must get it off my mind,
Because so many who play this game are kind,
The novice wants to improve their pickleball game,
And the real better players want to do the same,
In our sport they are expected to mix and play down,
At least two or three games, with a smile, not a frown.
There are some who think themselves above this chore,
And they express it as if it as tedious, a snore and bore.
How else is the novice expected to learn this great game,
Unless they are challenged with a higher rated guy, or dame.
Truth be told, some of the “better players” are not that good,
Novice, that is the very first thing that has to be understood,
Their greatness is between their ears, in their head,
While they charge around the court, with feet of lead,
The novice should just practice, and become very good,
Then  beat the pants off them, regardless of their hood,
So get moving, drill, condition, and do your own thing,
Then beat those “Better Players” and make it sting,
It wont take that long to practice, drill, and get better,
Before you send them their Retirement letter!
Credit & Courtesy of Pickleball Coast

win a paddle

WIN The Paddle Used By Champions

On May 19, the day Pickleball Professional Sarah Ansboury, possibly the best female pickleball player in the universe, will hit with participants in the First State Pickleball Club Beach Blast Tournament,Vaughn Baker will award a Pro-lite Rebel or Groove to the person who wins the following contest.

Sign Up Here For Beach Blast >

Member Fleece On Sale Now!


Show your FSPC Pride!  First State Pickleball Club  is selling some really cool fleece jackets in royal blue, zippered front with zippered pockets.  Cost is $40.00.  This jacket comes in unisex sizes.  If you are unsure about your size, you can stop out at Sports at the Beach to see the samples and to try one on.  Once you know the size that you want and want to place an order, just let Kathy Casey know or order one on the order form at The Indoor @SATB.  It takes two weeks after you place your order.  If Royal Blue is not your color, we can also order it in black.   A very cool look and very warm to wear! Payment Is Due at Pick Up. fleece Fspc

Ready To Order?  Send An Email With Quantity and Size:

PLUS DON’T Forget to renew your 2017 Membership Now!

Click Here to Renew


The Indoor Announces Holiday Sessions!

pb-hatThe Indoor @Sports at the Beach has announced extra sessions for the week after Christmas! Sign up and burn off those Holiday Cookies!

New Year’s Day Session! 12:30-3:00

Special Holiday Schedule | Social Play Sessions (12/26-1/1)

Monday 12/26: 9-11:45a

Monday 12/26: 4-6:45p

Tuesday 12/27: 2-4:45p

Tuesday 12/27: Practice & Play! 5:30-8:30p
*Social Play & Practice Session with Doug – $15 Fee at Door*

Wednesday 12/28: 5:30-8p

Thursday 12/29: 9-11:45a

Friday 12/30: 9-11:45a

Saturday 12/31: 10a-12:45p

Sunday 1/1 New Years Day – 12:30-3:00

Reserve Your Slot Here! >

Toys For Tots Tournament Tops Expectations!

FSPC is once again thankful for the amazing support and turnout at our most recent event.  A million Thank You’s  to DelMarVa USAPA Ambassador Dudley Sluder for organizing the First State Pickleball Club’s “Toys for Tots Holiday Tournament” at Dave Marshall’s Tennis & Fitness Center in The Plantations (Lewes). Held on Saturday December 10th from 12:30-5:30pm, this wildly successful event had pickleball games going on simultaneously on all 11 indoor courts, featuring partner play for men’s, women’s, and mixed doubles in a “round robin” format.

We were pleased to have Davis Cup doubles champion Ellis Ferreira on the court with Dave Marshall himself! The entry fee for the event included the donation of an unwrapped toy for the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve “Toys for Tots” Program which collects new, unwrapped toys and distributes them as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community.

And the WINNERS of the December 10th First State Pickleball Club’s “Toys for Tots Holiday Tournament” at Dave Marshall’s Tennis & Fitness Center in Lewes were…drum roll please…….. >>>>>>

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– Group 1: Kim Gruber & Lynn Casey
– Group 2: Eileen Hahn & Nancy Norman Vanschaik
– Group 3: Sue Brooker & Sue Carkin

– Group 1: Kathy Barron & Rhonda Johnson
– Group 2: Deb Duran & Maggie Booth
– Group 3: Rosanne Melson & Mary Conte

– Group 1: Kelly Sabol & Erin Reid
– Group 2: Carole Short & Patty Woodruff
– Group 3: Dorcey Wilkins & Pat Powell

– Group 1: Nick Methven & Artie Holgerson
– Group 2: Mike Jump & Bill Shettle

– Group 1: Joe Steel & Cole Walsh
– Group 2: Rocky Tinebra & D. Travaglini

– Group 1: Roger Barron & Charlie Biddle
– Group 2: Bob Cook & Don Greel

– Group 1: Kathy Barron & Roger Barron
– Group 2: Patty Woodruff & Bill Smallbrook
– Group 3: Janet Larson & Dave Marshallk
– Group 4: Danita Arone & Thomas Garasic

– Group 1: Kim Gruber & Joe Steel
– Group 2: Deb Duran & Mike Smith
– Group 3: Eileen Hahn & Robert Smith
– Group 4: Irma Hernandez & Jim Hamilton

– Group 1: Lynn Casey & Nick Methven
– Group 2: Marisa Chaves & Dudley Sluder
– Group 3: Marla Travaglini & Dom Travaglini

Congratulations to ALL Medalists and a huge thank you to ALL participants and enthusiastic spectators for their generous donations of toys to The US Marine Reserve’s Toys for Tots Program!

Engage Pro Team Pickleball Event

Hello from just Outside of The Villages,

Just finished a three day Engage Pro Team Pickleball Event with Brian Staub, Marcin Rozpedski, Matthew Blom, Robert and Jodi Elliott and Coach Mo. This clinic was put on by Engage Pickleball owned by Robert Elliott and his wife Jodi. We took advantage of the 25% discount offered to FSPC and drove to The Villages for three long days of Pickleball with the 5.0 pros. It was 4 hours of instruction and two more hours of open play. One could also have open play at 7 am but we opted to show up at 8:30 AM for the clinic. Let me just share with you what an amazing event this truly was for us. We were treated to a three game exhibition by Brian and Matthew against Marcin and Robert. Wow!! Words do not describe the speed, agility, finesse and power that they demonstrated. Then they shared with us what they did and why.

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Our breakfast and lunch was included each day and we were treated to a dinner and dance to a live band on Saturday night. We had a blast with everyone and got to have a photo op with the pros. We learned that Matt Blom is like a Zen Master who can sing “Brown Eyed Girl”, do the electric slide and has the best serve in Pickleball. Matthew taught us about focus and body mechanics to improve power. His lessons were really about allowing your body to do the work and to use your hand as your paint brush to create artistry with the ball.

Marcin Rozpedski is a very tall 5.0 player who is Polish so he has a wonderful accent. Marcin’s voice remains in our heads with his repeated instructions to get your paddle out and up! He suggests that you hold the paddle out in front so that you can always see the back of the paddle. Never let it get out of your sight. A great tip for those of us (me) who likes to take the paddle way back so that I can crush a hard ball. Not so good because you lose control. Block it. Punch it.

Brian Staub shared that we should keep our paddle always in front of our body. He suggested that we pretend that our hands are going through a window so that you keep them within a range and so that you can have them out in front. Robert and Jodi taught us to Move. Freeze. and Block. We also learned the critical need to bend your knees and to stay down. The critical need for using the split step. They were also all about muscle memorization by practicing your movements in front of a mirror everyday for two weeks so that it just becomes a part of you. Glad I can do this is the privacy of my own home… We also learned about strategy and reminders. We got stickers to put on our paddles: “Stay down” “Knees bent” “Patience” ” 75%” “Paddle up Stickers can be obtained to on the Engage Pickleball site for $5.00 with some preprinted stickers like what I shared and some blanks for your own reminders. Don’t forget to use your 25% off by putting in FSPC as the promo code. They stick to the side of your paddle where you can see them and can be easily removed.

Encore Blade Goes Mainstream!
Encore Blade Goes Mainstream!

There will be more clinics and the Elliott’s plan to offer 3 to 4 clinics each year. Each member gets 25% off of the retail price so put in the promo code FSPC. It was well worth the trip and we met people from all over the country. The pros were kind, generous and so helpful in working with each person to improve their ability to raise their skill level. Who doesn’t want to get better?

Robert Elliott, who is a 5.0 player designs all of the paddles, so he knows what players need and want to improve their game. I am coming home with “The Blade” for a demo paddle that you are welcome to borrow. To learn more about our clubs offer go to our website: and look on the right side under sponsors where you can find discounts for our membership. This is really and incredible deal from the Elliott’s that is offered to our club members. Don’t forget!

That is it for now. Have a great time playing and best wishes for all of the players competing on the 10th at Dave Marshall’s!

Hope to see you on the courts!


Pickleball Challenge Warms Hearts & Hands

First State Pickleball Club a held fund raiser for the community children in need of warm clothing for the winter.  The First State Pickleball Club (FSPC) and Dave Marshall organized an incredibly fun event at Dave Marshall’s Tennis and Fitness Center at The Plantations in Lewes. “Coats, Hats, Mittens, and Pickles: A Pickleball Challenge!” was held from 2pm-7pm on November 18th to help kids in our community who need coats, hats, scarves, and gloves for the incoming cold weather. Holly Shagrue from Mariner school accepted the donations.

Thank you Dave Marshall, First State Pickleball Club, and Grotto’s for your generous donation of time, the venue, and pizza. Holly Shagrue from The Mariner School (middle school) reached out to ask for help, so Dave generously offered his venue and FSPC agreed to organize the fun event. The cost of admission was a coat (new or gently used) or a new hat, gloves, or mittens for kids and teenagers. As the FSPC invitation noted: “Knowing how pickleballers love to play, and are kind and generous, we thought this was a great opportunity to help our community as the cold weather rolls in and kids really need our help to stay warm!” As you can see from this video, we had a BLAST!!!! Thank you, Dave for the use of your facilities. Over sixty coats, hats, gloves and mittens were collected.  Thank you, FSPC, Dudley Sluder, Kathy Casey, Kathy Stewart Aldridge, Susan Nancarrow, and Jean Burgess for organizing and running this fun event! Thank you, Dave Marshall for the use of your facilities. Thank you Grottos Pizza for your awesome pizza. Thank you, pickleball players for coming out for such a good cause. Check out this video and Turn up the volume!