Sudsy Monchik's Encore
“Yes, it’s really me, reaching out to the racquetball community and getting involved.” Sudsy Monchik retired from the men’s professional International Racquetball Tour in 2006, but was never really out. Born and raised in the culture of the sport, his expertise doesn’t start and end on the court. Now he’s taking his wide-ranging experience throughout the industry.
“We thought he was dead,” joked Doug Ganim with Head Racquetball, Monchik’s long-time sponsor. “We’re disappointed he’s with Ektelon . We used him for product development, marketing, our testing team. But, his main responsibility was to be the number-one player in the world, which he did five times. He’s a great personality and good for the sport of racquetball.”
First sponsored by Ektelon when he was eight, Monchik recently returned to where his career began. “Sudsy’s background and knowledge of the game will be a great asset to all facets of Ektelon, from mentoring our Team Adrenalin stars, attending outdoor and indoor events, product consultation, and much more,” said Ektelon Vice President, Scott Winters in the initial announcement.
Sudsy’s pause from the sport gave him the chance to “learn a ton” from the various businesses he owned and worked with, managing employees, budgets, and inventories. Now that his kids are older and he sold his bagel shops, he felt the time’s right to participate in opportunities offered by the industry, like working with Ektelon and sharing “The Sudsy Monchik Experience,” which includes the secrets, routines, and mental aspects the professionals use to improve their games.
What’s his answer to the number-one burning question people want to know? “At thirty-six I could certainly play professionally. I’m starting to train and when I feel ready and that I want to go, I will. The biggest thing I missed about the sport is competing.”
For Sudsy, competing meant more than battling challengers on the court and thrilling those in the stands with his thirty-nine foot backhand overhead pinch shots, but keeping the viewers laughing, too. “I always liked to entertain and be in front of the fans, putting on a show. I’m most comfortable there. As the pressure mounted and I was in front of a crowd, everything slowed down and I relaxed. Give me a microphone and I’m ready to go.”
He’s already gotten started, joining the crew to prepare a game plan for Ektelon Nationals presented by Penn on Memorial Day weekend, where he’ll be emceeing the big matches. “People like to be treated well, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do. It’s going to be very fan friendly event.”
Spectators will be treated to indoor racquetball outside, enjoying the stadium court views from atop the parking garage. An outdoor court will feature exhibitions, not that they’re worried about running out of space. The Meridian Sports Club is impressive, combining a new facility with an old-school racquetball club featuring twenty concrete courts. “It’s pretty awesome. Everyone’s going to love it. As a racquetball fan, I’m excited to see what’s it going to be like, and it’ll only get better in the upcoming years.”
Sudsy could have also been speaking about the state of the sport. Just as three major organizations joined forces to present another Grand Slam event, Sudsy’s return marks a high point in the season as he reaches out to the community, helping fans to play better while having more fun, too. Join him by clicking here for his Facebook fan page and here for his Facebook friend page.