The Pickleball Club at Monroe
What level am I?

The Pickleball Club at Monroe » What level am I?

Beginner – 2.5 Level Skills

  • Know the rules of the game, including 2-bounce rule, scoring, positioning & transition to kitchen
  • Able to hit a forehand but does not yet have direction or depth control
  • Able to hit a backhand but does not yet have direction or depth control
  • Accurately places a serve into the proper box, but does not have depth,spin or pace control
  • Able to hit a return of serve but does not have depth or placement control
  • Able to sustain a dink rally with players of equal ability
  • Able to volley with some control and direction
  • Understands proper court positioning
  • Able to accurately keep score throughout the game
  • Has necessary mobility to assure safe and balance movement

Advanced Beginner / low intermediate – 3.0 Level Skills

  • Able to hit a medium-to-fast paced forehand with direction, depth and consistency
  • Able to hit a medium-to-fast paced backhand with direction, depth and consistency
  • Able to hit a medium paced serve with depth, direction and consistency
  • Able to consistently sustain a dink rally with forehands and backhands
  • Able to hit a 3rd shot drop with direction and consistency
  • Able to hit a medium paced volley with direction and consistency
  • Able to hit a medium paced return of serve with depth, control, and consistency
  • Understands the fundamental strategies of playing points throughout the game
  • Understands proper court positioning
  • Understands the rules and can keep score

Intermediate / low advanced – 3.5 Level Skills

  • Able to use forehand w/ moderate-high level of placement, depth, spin, pace & control
  • Able to use backhand w/ moderate-high level of placement, depth, spin, pace & control
  • Consistently gets serve in with depth and control and beginning spin
  • Consistently gets return of serve in with depth, control and beginning spin
  • Able to dink with forehands and backhands in the kitchen with consistency, placement, and spin for lengthy rallies
  • Able to control the ball height and depth during dink rallies
  • Able to hit a 3rd shot drop with control, direction, and proper height over the net with a medium to high level of success
  • Able to volley with depth, pace, placement and control
  • Able to reset balls back into the opponent’s NVZ during transition from the baseline to the NVZ
  • Moves quickly and properly to the NVZ, through transition zone, after return of serves
  • Understands proper court positions and strategies
  • Understands the difference between the hard (banging) and soft game and knows how and when to use them
  • Understands the concept of stacking and how to use it and defend against it

Advanced – 4.0 Level Skills

  • Consistently hits forehand with depth, control, pace, and spin during competition
  • Consistently hits backhand with depth, control, pace, and spin during competition
  • Consistently serves with depth, placement, control, and spin during competition
  • Consistently gets return of serve with depth, placement, control and spin during competition
  • Consistent, dependable overheads with directional control, depth and placement during competition
  • Executes dink or air dink lob from the NVZ with a moderate level of consistency
  • Able to sustain a forehand/backhand dink rally with height control, direction, spin and pace during competition
  • Able to recognize balls that are attackable and those that are not in a dink rally
  • Consistently executes during completion a 3rd shot sequence that demonstrates placement, height control and consistency,
  • Transitions properly from the baseline to the kitchen with a consistent capacity to reset 5th, 7th, and 9th shots
  • Able to change hard shots to soft shots and soft shots to hard shots
  • Able to volley with direction, control, placement.
  • Able to control the NVZ keeping opponents back on the baseline while
    being able to soften hard hit shots
  • Able to control the NVZ while keeping opponents back on the baseline
  • Aware of partner’s position on the court and moves as a team practicing tethering
  • Solid understanding of how to use the stack and defend against it
  • Plays a cerebral type of pickleball that limits mental errors
  • Demonstrates a broad knowledge of the rules and concepts of the game
  • Limits unforced errors during competition
  • Can identify opponent’s weaknesses and formulate a plan to attack weaknesses

Jen Carara

Front Desk Manager

Jen graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in Retail Management and a Masters degree in Education from Adelphi University. Her last position was as a Health Coach for Jenny Craig with a proven track record of success with sales and her clients!

In her free time she likes to spend time with her family, work out, play lots of pickleball, take long walks with her dog Leo, and play canasta with friends.

Pam Friedman

PPR Certified Pickleball Instructor

Pam is a PPR Certified Pickleball Instructor, and 4.0+ experienced tournament player, having won gold medals at many events such as Philadelphia Open (4.0), Mercer Bucks Spring Class (2023) (4.0), 2021 & 2022 NJ Senior Olympics. She has been playing and instructing for over 5 years, after playing tennis for many years prior. She is a very visual teacher and makes sure that all players understand what she is teaching. If there aren’t happy faces on the court, she’s not doing her job!

When she’s not on the court, you can find her playing golf or spending time with her two dogs Mia and Lincoln, and her husband, Scott. Paddle up!

Glenn Hillman

PPR Certified Pickleball Instructor

A former Director of Operations Glenn has found a second career doing what he loves and is passionate about— coaching and instructing pickleball. Born with a racquet/paddle in his hand, Glenn has gone from paddleball to racquetball to pickleball. He is a 4.0 PPR Certified instructor who excels in strategy, court vision, and point development, and looks forward to passing along these skills to others..

Joe McCluskey

PPR Certified Pickleball Instructor

With experience as a First Responder, lifelong competitive athlete, and working within a pickleball club, it has enabled Joe to interact and instruct players of various levels. With a focus on sound fundamentals and techniques, Joe constantly works hard to create a fun, informative, and safe environment for his students to thrive in.

Ralph Shearer

PPR Certified Pickleball Instructor

Ralph is a PPR Certified Pickleball Instructor and 4.0+ player. He is an intermediate and advanced level Pickleball Clinic Specialist, and former USTA tennis player and instructor. Ralph’s pickleball proficiency and enthusiasm helped his son Derek train to become a PPA professional tour player. Check out Derek Shearer Pickleball on YouTube! Ralph is also a Team Engage Advocate.

Steve Lehrman

PPR Certified Pickleball Instructor

Steve is a certified instructor and competitive pickleball enthusiast. His focus is on private lessons and group clinics. Steve is also a Team Gearbox Advocate

Chuck Seeley

PPR Certified Pickleball Instructor

Chuck is the Team Leader for Morning Kickstart, a great way to get your mind and body ready to play pickleball. Chuck is a PPR Certified Pickleball Instructor, 4.0 level player, and has been active in pickleball since 2013. He has a desire to pay it forward, helping others learn and elevate their own game. Chuck continues to be a student of the game, grasping new ideas and concepts from his mentors and stronger players, and has created his own unique program. Are you Pickle-Ready, like Chuck?

Susan Kapit

PPR Certified Pickleball Instructor

Sue is one of only a few PPR Level 2 Certified instructors and after playing with her on the courts you will see why! Sue has twenty years of league director experience and is a former D1 tennis player at WVU. Sue still plays tennis and has played at National Tennis Competitions, and has been playing competitive pickleball for the last 6 years, winning numerous Gold medals in Women's Doubles & Singles and is the current NJ Senior Olympic Singles Gold Medalist. Sue is a 4.0 Pickleball player.

Sue has been teaching Pickleball for the last 3 years and whether you are a beginner or an advanced player, when you are with her, the focus will be on proper technique and fundamentals, while learning to love the sport and having fun. Her goal is to make sure your full potential is realized. When Sue is not teaching pickleball, she is playing pickleball or tennis. When not on the court you can find her spending time with her family and giant dog, Chewbakka.

Scott Forest

PPR Certified Pickleball Instructor

Scott is the Team Leader for Clinics, helping to create all of the content for our instructors to ensure we deliver some of the best training possible. He is a USAP Ambassador, PPR and IFP Certified Pickleball Instructor, 42+ years of sports coaching, US Center for SafeSport trained, 4.0+ player, and a tournament medal winner.

While coaching singles or doubles, Scott’s primary focus is with form, mechanics, and balance, for repeatability. He has a strong interest aimed at individuals concentrating on high dynamic energy and strategic play. A disciple of “Focus and Motivation Sports Psychology,” Scott believes in a very Zen approach with a smooth execution.

Greg Del Favero

PPR Certified Pickleball Instructor

Greg is the Team Leader for Ladders, ensuring that all of the Ladders programming runs smoothly. He is a USTA National Champion and Mercer County Community College All American in tennis. Greg has also won pickleball gold medals in men’s and mixed tournaments. Greg is an intermediate and advanced level pickleball clinic specialist, and a 4.0+ player. Greg is a strong proponent of cerebral pickleball, and among his on court mantra are less is more, calm, take your time, lift, and GOOOOOD!

Joel Phillips

Associate Head Pro

Joel has been playing at the professional level for the past 3 years and has many medals at the open level, including winning the New York City open 5.0 bracket in 2023. He was an early adopter in the area when he first picked up a paddle 7 years ago. Joel loves working with all levels and is especially excited to help intermediate and advanced level tournament players move up the ranks, helping them work on live game situations to adjust strategies and techniques.

Joel's favorite thing about pickleball is the people. "We are a growing group of amazing humans that come together to play the greatest game around.

Jeff Onuschak

Director of Pickleball Programming

Our Head Pro and Program Director, Jeff Onuschak is a state-recognized master teaching professional. He has taught over 2,000 pickleball enthusiasts how to play and improve their game. Jeff has been teaching pickleball for 34 years, and prides himself on providing conventional and non-conventional approaches to teaching pickleball, while providing private and group lessons, pickleball camps, and drill and skill sessions for beginners to advanced players.

Jeff's lessons maximize time on task as well as teaching to the individual learning style of each participant. His lessons are "high energy" and structured to get the maximum amount of reps in for each session.It is not unusual for a student to hit 800+ balls during a lesson with Jeff. Jeff can put any stroke deficiency "under the microscope" for reinforcement while also teaching for student success. He is also a Team Diadem and Team Selkirk Advocate and a demo agent for numerous paddle companies.