Tennis Industry magazine


Racquet Tech: Reliable Results

When it comes to consistent racquet service for your players, make sure you’re using your “best practice” techniques.

By Bob Patterson

If you’ve been stringing frames for as long as I have, you’ve seen a lot of innovations in racquets, strings and the equipment we use to service them. Decades ago, I started stringing on a Tremont Research stringing machine — which is light-years away from the computerized, electronic machine I use today. But despite all of the technological changes, the actual act of stringing a racquet has not changed all that much.

For many years, I had the privilege of stringing on the pro tour with many great people, and have seen a variety of new techniques, some of which I incorporated into my craft. But even after all this time, I’m still learning — and that’s the way it should be. The older I get and the more experience I have, the harder it is to see something that hasn’t crossed my path before, but it still happens.

When it comes to stringing and servicing racquets, there often is more than one correct way to achieve the desired result. For example, I’ve lost count of the number of ways I’ve seen a string job started. From my point of view, as long as the frame or string is not harmed and each string is tensioned individually and fully, then there are multiple ways you can start a job.

Choosing the method that is right for you is simply about finding your “best practice.” Once you choose a technique that you feel is best, use it for all stringing and customization jobs. That is not to say you won’t discover a new technique you might consider using. Experiment, as you should always look to improve your “best practice.”

The key to continual improvement in this industry is to never stop learning. Interacting with and discussing things with your peers is always educational. Seek out new methods, learn why that person uses them and think about any advantage or disadvantage it provides over your current method.

Often, there is a give and take: The new method may be better in some ways, but it may create problems in other ways. You’ll need to evaluate these pros and cons to see if it’s worth implementing into your routine.

Consistency is always the foundation of good racquet service. If you are constantly experimenting with various ways of doing things, you cannot expect consistent results. Practice on your own frames or demos, but make sure you are using “best practice” methods on your clients’ frames. And never stop observing and learning.

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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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