​Suncoast Pickleball Association Pickleball Camps

Camp #2 Pros

Sept. 19-24, 2021



John Sperling

John Sperling is a professional pickleball player and instructor with over 30 years of teaching experience. John has achieved success with well know companies such as Grand Oaks Resort, PPR (Professional Pickleball Registry), Country Club of Ocala, Engage Pickleball, and Bollettieri Tennis Academy, to name a few.

John grew up in the Detroit Metro area and attended Trenton High School in Trenton, MI. It is here where he started playing tennis and began his junior tennis career. John quickly became one of the best young players in the area and reached a top rating in the state of Michigan by the time he was 17. After high school John attended College of DuPage and played tennis for Chaparrals. He reached a collegiate ranking of #7 and led his tennis team to a Top 5 Finish at Nationals.

While attending college in Chicago, John started his teaching career at Evergreen Bath and Tennis Club in Evergreen Park. Over the years, John was blessed to learn from some of the best professionals in the industry, which helped him develop into the instructor that he is today. After 30 years on the tennis court, John left the tennis world to bring his experience and expertise to pickleball. He has a style of teaching that appeals to all levels of play, from the beginning player all the way to top professionals. His passion on the court is unmatched and this transfers through to his students.

John has played professionally for the past two years and has won many local, state, and regional tournaments. He has had success at the national level by capturing a Gold/Champion medal at the 2017 US Open and followed it up with two more medals at the 2018 Open. He was also a two-time medalist at the 2018 AAU National Indoor Championships. John likes to spend his down time working with underprivileged kids by teaching them pickleball and other sports.



Scott Tingley

With an outstanding background as a player and instructor, Scott brings both his passion and his expertise to the court, helping you to believe and achieve your pickleball goals!

Scott Tingley was born in Clearwater, Florida and started playing tennis at the age of 10. By age 14 he was nationally ranked gaining exposure to players from all over the country.

In 2012, Scott found the incredible sport of Pickleball. His pickleball passion grew quickly and before he knew it, he was playing 15+ hours per week and loving every second of it. After 9 months of playing he placed fourth in a tournament at the 4.0 level and that fueled his fire even more. Since then Scott has over 40 medals and still counting . . .

• 2018 Riverbend Bronze Medal (Men’s Doubles Open)
• 2018 US Open Silver Medal (Men’s Doubles – Age 40+)
• 2016 FL State Championship Gold Medal (Men’s Doubles 5.0)
• 2016 US Open Bronze Medal (Men’s Doubles – Age 40+)

Scott Tingley was one of the lead instructors at the 2017 U.S. Open in Naples, FL. Over the years Scott has enjoyed teaching and coaching many different sports. He has been working as a private Pickleball coach in the Punta Gorda area and has done group clinics around the country. His teaching techniques help students feel comfortable on the court and is now a IPTPA Certifier for pickleball instructors. It is Scott’s passion to sharpen the abilities of both students and instructors so they can take their game to the next level.



Gigi LeMaster

Gigi began playing pickleball in 2011 and worked her way through the various skill levels to reach the PRO level in 2013. In 2013 she won both events in the first ever professional Tournament of Champions with the biggest prize purse ever paid out at that time for a Tournament.

She won the 2017 US Open Women’s Doubles Age 30+ Champion, 2017 US Open Senior Pro Women’s Doubles Champion, and the 2017 USAPA Women’s open Senior Champion. Also, Gigi is a four time US Open Champion, twelve time Nationals Medalist. Gigi has medaled in all the major tournaments since 2011. She is a five time International Champion including Canada, Finland, The Netherlands.

When she is not playing in tournaments around the country or world, Gigi spends her time teaching and coaching as a Certified International Teaching Professional. She is a volunteer teacher who instructs pickleball in the local Dysart High School District. In addition to being a top level Pickleball Pro, Gigi is also a USAPA Ambassador and a USAPA Certified Referee. Gigi is a member of the Engagepickleball Pro Team.



Mindy Yoder

Mindy hails from Fort Wayne, Indiana. She was introduced to Pickleball four years ago by her father. Since then, she has played in tournaments across the United States and has been on the podium more than 75 times, including a Gold medal at the 2018 Nationals in California and three medals at the 2021 US Pickleball Open in Naples.

Mindy is a certified International Pickleball Teaching Professional Association (IPTPA) instructor, Level I Referee and serves as National Events and Team Building Coordinator for Pickleball Rocks. She embraces The Pickleball Rocks mission which is “to help Pickleball grow”. She is passionate about helping others to have fun and be healthy through the sport of Pickleball.

She is passionate about helping others to have fun and be healthy through the sport of Pickleball. Mindy says, “attending clinics and camps, like Coach Russel’s Suncoast Camp at Montreat have been instrumental in my growth as a player, so I’m excited and honored to be an instructor this year at Montreat!”

Major Tournament Wins:

• 2021 US Open
Womens Doubles Age 50+
Silver: Mindy Yoder (with Laura Frank)

Womens Skill/Age Doubles 4.5:50+
Bronze: Mindy Yoder (with Laura Frank)

Mixed Skill/Age Doubles 4.5:50+
Silver: Mindy Yoder (with John Kleinschmidt)

• 2020 Cincinnati Pickleball Open (APP)
Mixed Skill/Age Doubles 4.5:35+
Silver: Mindy Yoder (with Doug Abell)

Womens Skill/Age Doubles 4.5:35+,50+
Bronze: Mindy Yoder (with Jen Roach)

• 2019 Atlanta Open - The South Pickleball Championships
Womens Singles Skill/Age Groups 3.5:19+
Bronze: Mindy Yoder

• 2018 Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championships Championships
Womens Skill/Age Doubles 4.0/4.5/5.0 4.0:35+
Gold: Mindy Yoder (with Carla Walker)


Michelle Esquivel

Michelle is an IPTPA certified instructor, Founder Ultimate Pickleball Academy and top 3 Women’s Singles Player in the World.

In 2015, Michelle was introduced to Pickleball and within a few years she decided to teach and play Pickleball Full time professionally. Since then, Esquivel has medaled in singles and doubles at several Major Professional Pickleball tournaments including the Hawaii Open, US Open and Nationals.

She graduated from Concordia University, Irvine on a full tennis scholarship with a BA in Exercise Sports Science with an Emphasis in Teaching and Coaching. After graduating, she became an USPTA instructor at Matchpoint Tennis Academy, and collegiate tennis coach at Cypress College. She later obtained her Masters Degree in Physical Education at Azusa Pacific University and began teaching Kinesiology classes.

Michelle established herself in the Pickleball community as one of the top instructors in the game and has experience teaching with: EngagePickleball Camps, LevelUp, Pickleball Getaways and Suncoast Pickleball Academy. Her passion and love for the sport has made her a fan favorite. She’s made appearances as a live commentator for several professional pickleball events and has also been featured on the Eddie and Webby show.



Rob Cassidy

Rob Cassidy is a certified IPTPA Instructor and Director of Ultimate Pickleball Academy.

As a leading pickleball professional, Rob specializes in focusing on developing one’s personal game while maintaining a strong emphasis on the fundamentals.

With 4 years of teaching experience, he is known to transform a players game at any level. Rob has coached in over 30 states and 3 countries with LevelUp Camps, EngagePickleball Camps, Boost Camps and Pickleball Getaways.

Rob Cassidy has been competing professionally since 2013. He has won several titles and has medaled at the following pro level events: International Indoor Championships, New York State Championships, Hawaiian Open, The Toronto Cup Championships and US Open. His most recent stand out was at the APP Las Vegas Open taking the Pro Mixed Open bronze medal with partner Susannah Barr.

Rob also holds a Bachelors degree in Psychology and comes from a diverse sports background which includes: ultimate frisbee, volleyball and ping pong. With over seven years of Pickleball experience, Rob Cassidy brings a positive and insightful perspective to all players. "I enjoy giving back to the game and teaching is a great way for me to do that.”



Ty Petty

Ty Petty is an IPTPA Level II Pickleball Instructor who teaches at the Pavilion of Pickleball in Knoxville, TN. He is a Babolat Pickleball Ambassador and a frequent tournament player. Ty has won 14 gold medals in 5.0 events and is the 2018 U.S. Open Over 40 years old Mixed Doubles champion. Ty is known for his ever-present smile, tye-die headbands, and never say die attitude. His diving ATP shot became a YouTube sensation and was ranked as the second best shot of all time last year. Click here to see his diving ATP shot.

Before discovering pickleball, he played table tennis and was ranked in the top ten under 18 years old in the United States. Ty enjoys playing pickleball with his wife, Cindy, and they have three children. He likes the long rallies in pickleball and enjoys helping players maximize their game by adopting advanced strategies.

To find out more about Ty, click here to see his interview on the Pickleball Central Blog.

Major Tournament Wins:

• 2018 USAPA INAUGURAL Mid-Atlantic Regional
Mixed Doubles Age/Skill Groups 5.0:19-49,50-59
Gold: Ty Petty (with Mary Helen Atkins)

• 2018 Minto US Open Pickleball Championships
Mixed Doubles Age 40+
Gold: Ty Petty (with Lucy Kitcher)

• 2017 USAPA Atlantic South Regional
Mens Doubles Skill/Age Groups 5.0:19+
Bronze: Ty Petty (with Brad Tursky)

• 2017 USAPA Great Lakes Regional/Pickleball Fever in the Zoo
Mixed Doubles 5.0:35-49
Bronze: Ty Petty (with Kat Smalley)



Coach Russell "E"

Coach Russell, was a 36 year employee with the Hillsborough County Parks & Recreation Department-Tampa, Florida has been involved in Pickleball since 2009. He was first introduced to the game by officiating matches at the Tampa Bay Senior Games.This sparked a fire and soon after he began playing, officiating and developing Pickleball programs in the Tampa Bay, Sarasota and now Asheville, NC areas.

As a past USTA Tennis Professional, Coach Russell received his IPTPA Certification in 2017 and his IFP Certification in 2019. As a USAPA Ambassador, he started free pickleball lessons and clinics to beginners and advanced players.

He is the current owner of Suncoast Pickleball Association which was established in 2015. He hosted 15 sanctioned and non-sanctioned pickleball tournaments in the state of Florida in 2015-2018 and finally sold these tournaments to Gamma's Lucy Kitcher.

Coach Russell was recognized by the IPTPA as having the very first Pickleball Boot Camp in the United States in 2016 in Montreat, NC. He has since established additional training in Punta Gorda, FL, Knoxville, TN, and is looking at Mentor, OH and Austin, TX for future training sites. Suncoast now primarily provides TOP Pickleball Development Training to players of all levels!

Coach Russell is an accomplished player winning medals at the German Open, US Open, the Florida Senior Games as well as many other tournaments. He has benefitted by learning from all the World's Top Pickleball Professionals and he is willing to share these fantastic tips with you as well.

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Meet the Pros for Montreat 2021