Stringer of the Year: David Yamane
In just over six years, David Yamane of Big Time Tennis in Winston-Salem, N.C., went from stringing racquets for friends in his garage to stringing for Kei Nishikori a few weeks before he made the final at the US Open. And from his shop on the campus of Wake Forest University, he services the men’s tennis team, local USTA League players and juniors, as well as ATP players when he works at tournaments.
Yamane modestly attributes his success to “hard work, good business practices and some luck.” But we know there’s a lot more to it. And that’s why Yamane is Tennis Industry’s 2014 Stringer of the Year.
“After I met David, we started talking through stringing and possible racquet changes to suit the way I play,” says client Jackie Hege. “His professional manner and meticulous detail in tracking my preferences is refreshing. Many people who have a small business tend to lose those details.”
Yamane has a thirst for knowledge. “Becoming an MRT in 2008 was important in establishing my credibility,” he says. “But even more so, what I learned about equipment, stringing, and customization was invaluable to serving customers well, and thereby generating more business.”
His willingness to use that knowledge to help his clients is the reason Yamane’s business continues to grow. “David is my go-to guy,” says customer Jim McCormick. “He has a very in-depth knowledge — way beyond most people in the business.”
Adds client Steve Kash, “David’s service is the best I’ve ever had.”
— Bob Patterson
Tips for success
- Create your own opportunities. You can’t count on luck.
- Connect with your local tennis community and don’t wait for people to come to you. “I don’t worry about the people at the country club as much as the 2.5 players using a racquet from a department store or the high school kid who doesn’t know what an overgrip is,” Yamane says.
- Sweat the small stuff! “I clean every racquet I string, put a sticker on it with date, string, and tension, and bag it. These details tell people they’re dealing with someone who cares.”
See all articles by Bob Patterson
About the Author
Bob Patterson , the founder of the RacquetMAXX customization service, is a Master Racquet Technician with more than 20 years of experience. He was RSI's Stringer of the Year in 2005. He is Executive Director for the U.S. Racquet Stringers Association.
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