Five-time #1 ranked men’s professional International Racquetball Tour (IRT) player Sudsy Monchik was unsure of his future after he retired from racquetball in 2006. “I had a tough time with racquetball for a while after I retired as far as not knowing what I wanted to do and where I wanted to be.”
Since his retirement, Monchik has spent time in various facets of the sport. From commentator on The IRT Network and at Ektelon Nationals, to hosting lessons through The Sudsy Monchik Experience to roles with Ektelon and Dunlop he has worked in everything under the sun racquetball related. He also was a very successful entrepreneur with Sudsy’s Bagels in Staten Island.
Monchik, given the moniker Sudsy the RacquetballGuy, by a reporter in New York City, said everything clicked for him when Ecuador asked him to coach their national team at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto.
“Once Ecuador invited me back in and asked if I would be interested in coaching,” Monchik said. “At the very moment I wasn’t sure and then it was kind of like seeing the light again. It was clarity like well; yeah you are Sudsy of course you are supposed to be in racquetball. The name Sudsy is synonymous with racquetball. Racquetball, Sudsy, RacquetballGuy.”
Now that he is back in the sport of racquetball as a coach, he can technically explain why he did everything during his career, which he couldn’t do when he first left the sport. “When I got brought back to coaching and I was surrounded by all that, everything started firing in my brain as to why, how, where, when and what,” he said of all the information, from breakfast rituals to what he wore. “My brain was working overtime when I got back into coaching.”
After the 2015 Pan American Games, Monchik continued to coach Ecuador at the 2015 Junior World Championships in the Dominican Republic and 2016 Pan American Championships in Mexico. He now currently resides in Cuenca, Ecuador as the head coach.
“I feel like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be at,” Monchik said from his apartment in Cuenca. “It almost feels like there was a big void and it’s filling that void again now. Maybe I was supposed to be a life coach but maybe my life coach vehicle is racquetball.”
His position with Ecuador has afforded him the opportunity to see aspiring professional racquetball players around the world, which helped him find his niche of coaching elite athletes. Monchik launched WorldChampsRballTraining on Friday, May 13 in English and Spanish to discover players who he wanted to bestow his knowledge on and work with.
WorldChampsRballTraining is an exclusive opportunity hosted by Monchik in Cuenca with help from his top pupil in Ecuador, Veronica Sotomayor. Players can be personally invited, be nominated or apply to learn from the 4-time US Open Champion and 2015 USA Racquetball Hall of Fame Inductee.
“I wanted to be able to coach the players that I believe are serious in wanting to get to the next level,” Monchik said of the process of finding candidates for the program. “I want to vet the players that I want to coach because I want them to be able to maximize their skills and abilities.”
WorldChampsRballTraining gives him an outlet to do two things that he loves, teach and coach. “I’ve found an avenue to be able to deliver and give back to the player that I once was.”
Monchik had sent pre-invites ahead of the website’s launch and said he had a few players pre-booked. “I will identify players that I believe would be a good fit based on results I’ve seen them have or based on how I’ve seen them play and the way they handle themselves.”
Another option is application or nomination. The form asks applicants and nominators for name, contact information, racquetball titles and accolades, past or current coaches/trainers and why they want to train with WorldChampsRballTraining. Nominees after accepted will then go through the application process. Monchik is thinking about creating a nomination committee with IRT President Jason Mannino and possibly other organizations.
If accepted, there are two plans that include a weekly training schedule with Monchik and a tour of Cuenca. The World Champion Plan ($2150.00 USD per person per week) includes room and board at Monchik’s apartment while with the Pro Plan ($1800.00 USD per person) the player is responsible for his or her own accommodations.
Training will be customized, confidential and private for the player and includes on court training, mental strength and conditioning, racquetball specific off court physical training, video analysis and a complete player evaluation. “A lot of it is going to be geared towards the mental approach and understanding and having the full knowledge from top to bottom of what it takes of every fine detail to be better on the court and hopefully off the court too,” he said. Monchik added that he won’t change your grip or mechanics but joked he could if you need him to.
WorldChampsRballTraining is not to be confused with his other website RacquetballGuy, which Monchik calls a one stop shop for his social media presence.
Known for his outspoken demeanor on the court, he takes that same personality to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Monchik makes sure to keep his posts lighthearted like how he compared petting his dog to shooting a forehand to the right on his Instagram. “If I could make a silly social media post and just someone has a better moment or better second then I feel like I did something. I want to make people happy.”
Two of his favorite hash tags are #humbled and #honored and they can be seen in his variety of posts. “The ability for anybody to listen to me today isn’t because of who I was born on my birth certificate,” Monchik said. “It’s through racquetball and I’m humbled and honored that it has given me all of these opportunities in my entire life up to the present.”
Whether he is coaching a member of the Ecuadorian National Team or an ambitious racquetball professional at WorldChampsRballTraining, Monchik takes a lot of pride in seeing his players improve. “Most gratification I get right now because I am not competing is watching one of my players go out there and be better,” he said. “Knowing I had something to do with that is pretty awesome.”
Through WorldChampsRballTraining in Cuenca, Monchik will give daily platefuls of insight on how to be a world champion. “You will leave here 100 percent guaranteed a better player,” Monchik said even though he was advised against making statements like that from a business standpoint.
“I’m excited to be back. I’m looking forward to WorldChampsRballTraining and I hope that the aspiring World Champion understands the value of the knowledge they can gain by working with me.”
By Eric Mueller
Eric Mueller started working with the IRT after joining the 2014 UnitedHealthcare US OPEN Racquetball Championships Media Team, where he garnered coverage for top racquetball pros and amateurs in their hometown media while also helping to provide updates to the racquetball community during the tournament. With a degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Mueller also brings experience in sports reporting and news writing for newspapers like the Pioneer Press in St. Paul as well as the Southwest Journal and the Downtown Journal in Minneapolis. Mueller has also worked in marketing and public relations for Gopher Sports Marketing at the University of Minnesota, the St. Paul Saints professional baseball team and the 2015 Cowles Cup Champion Chicago Bandits professional softball team.