If you’re like me, you love the game of tennis, all aspects about about it. You love the new tennis racquet releases, the new tennis string advertising, the shoes, and you might even enjoy perusing the line up of tennis bags.
If you are unlike me, you probably don’t pay attention to the real art of tennis…stringing a tennis racquet. It really is a true form of art, it takes practice, dedication, patience, a little bit of luck, and more importantly a passion to string the perfect tennis racquet. I’m sure that most of you don’t really pay attention to the art that your local stringer does, however; I can tell you with confidence the guy or gal that is spending an hour or two threading your weapon to tennis ball smacking perfection created specifically for you, knows exactly what they expect from themselves and the performance their equipment.
If you ask your stringer where he or she learned how to string a tennis racquet, I’m pretty sure they’ll tell you that they picked it up by practicing, reading, watching, and especially talking to other tennis stringers who were happy to show them the ropes. I know from experience, starting off can be a pain in the butt, however; I’ve found that there is a very large, welcoming stringing community in the world. I’ve asked questions to people I’ve never met before and each one of them have been extraordinarily friendly and helpful. I guess I felt that I was taken under their stringing wing.
A couple of the pioneers of the modern tennis stringing world are John Gugel and Tim Strawn. Tim Strawn had the idea of gathering an assortment of industry professionals and put on a conference to learn and share with each other. Strawn contacted some of his contacts in the tennis industry and started the Grand Slam Stringers Symposium about 5 years ago. John Gugel has been a presenter at the GSS Symposium for several years now and has joined forces with Tim to create the GSS Alliance, where people like you and I can virtually get together and learn from each other. Combined the two have well over 60 years experience stringing tennis racquets and have both strung at the professional level…at Wimbledon, the US Open, and many more ATP/WTA events. Don’t confuse them for just stringers, they are both highly decorated Racquet Technicians – which is serious business.
Tim will be hosting the 5th annual Grand Slam Stringers Symposium at the Saddlebrook Resort in Florida this coming September and John will be presenting as well. Why would anybody want to attend a conference/show about stringing tennis racquets? To be 100% with you, it’s the opportunity of a lifetime, not only will you get an inside look at how the professional technicians operate, you will be around people just like you. You can expect to meet people like yourself, wanting to learn more about the art of tennis racquet servicing; everybody from the at home stringing all the way up to the aspiring professional tour technician. Beyond meeting industry leaders, you will rub elbows with some of the most influential stringers of the open era, Ron Rocchi – the guy who created the Wilson Stringing Team – who you can learn priceless tips and tricks from.
If you string tennis racquets out of your garage and have dreams of opening up your own real shop some day, the Symposium can teach you all about doing just that. You will learn how to run a tennis shop properly, keeping customer records, proper customer service, consulting your customers to get fitted properly, and of course you will have the opportunity to get your USRSA (United States Racquet Stringers Association ) certification. You will also be shown everything from replacing grips to completely customizing a tennis racquet – balance, weight, stiffness, etc.
Basically, the Grand Slam Stringers Symposium is not only fun, but you will learn from industry leaders to be a better stringer and get a great education on the art behind the tennis racquets…stringing.