Stringer of the Year: Tom Parry
Tom Parry’s career started when he couldn’t find anyone in his small northern Minnesota town to string a Wilson T2000. “There was an older guy nearby who used to string,” says Parry, who was 16 at the time. “He gave it a try. I was fascinated and asked if he could teach me how.”
During college, Parry strung at a local club, then started stringing for Babolat at pro events. He’s owned a tennis shop, revamped the service center at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy, worked for Wilson, went on the road with Pete Sampras, and designed racquets and took care of tour pros for Volkl. His association with the USRSA goes back 30 years. In fact, he helped develop the USRSA’s Master Racquet Technician test.
Parry joined Pacific in 2007 as part of the global management team, with diverse responsibilities. His experience at other racquet companies was helpful when Pacific recently acquired Fischer racquet technology and in launching Pacific’s own frames.
Parry also is in charge of Pacific’s player services, including running the extremely active stringing team at pro events (and often sharing stringing info with the USRSA). And as one of the world’s best, Parry is RSI’s 2010 Stringer of the Year.
“Tom is one of the most consistent stringers out there,” says Roger Petersman, senior category manager for Head. “His knowledge of customizing is second to none.”
“He’s one of the most respected stringers in the world, and he continues to be generous with his time and knowledge,” says David Bone, executive director of the USRSA (and co-publisher of RSI). “Tom makes time for anyone who shares his hunger for learning and improving their skills.”
Tips for success
- Educate consumers on strings and grips; they’re not getting this information from other sources.
- Look at what your customers want, not what you want, then try to limit things to a few vendors instead of throwing darts at every brand out there.
- It’s about consistency. “Don’t be creative and say, ‘I think I’ll do it this way this time.’”
See all articles by Peter Francesconi
About the Author
Peter Francesconi is editorial director of RSI magazine.