The GTN Tennis Blog

The official blog of Global Tennis Network

Beginning racquet stringing Q & A

I have just started writing a new blog feature at my site geared toward the beginning racquet stringer, trying to breakdown some basic questions that might come up will learning this fun and exciting trade.

Racketstringingtips.com

Thanks

Patrick

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252 Hits
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Restringing and reanalyzing the frequency of stringing.

Back in February I wrote a post about the frequency of restringing.  I was happy to see the editor of RSI -Racquet Sports Industry Magazine in the July issue make mention of restringing and the need for a new campaign to promote more frequent stringing, especially in light of the new string technology and the poly strings that dominate.  Read the brief at RSI here. Please drop me a comment and let me know what your thoughts are on this subject.

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238 Hits
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New Tennis Ladder Feature

I just completed a new feature that I know will help initiate more ladder matches. It is called "Looking to Play".

You will now see a new "Looking to Play" tab on the ladders. On this page, players can view and post listing of specific times they would like to play a match. For example, you could post a listing that you are looking to play a 4.0 player next Saturday morning at your local park.

The idea is, other players will see these listing, and initiate a match. 

Send me your comments and suggestions. I would love to know what you think.

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277 Hits
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New Network Features

If you haven't seen the networks in a while, you don't know what you have been missing. For those of you who don't know what a network is, think of it as a sub site to the main GTN site. 

All your ladders, tournaments and leagues, stay within your network. When someone signs up for the site from one of your network pages, they will be automatically registered for your network. Basically this means your members never have to leave your network.

You can also customize the look of your network. Just upload a header image, and change a couple color options. It is that simple.

Another new network feature, is the ability to collect a yearly membership fee. You can either collect it yourself, or use PayPal to do all the work for you.

These are just a few of the new features. Check out the networks and let me know what you think.

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263 Hits
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Shoes for Flat Feet

I'm searching for a good pair of shoes for flat feet.  I'm currently playing with Adidas Barricade 6.0s, but they're THE most uncomfortable pair of shoes I've ever worn.  Look at these Dawgs:

What I would love are some tenniis that won't hurt and fatigue my feet.  Anyone have suggestions?

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267 Hits
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Do you have what it takes to be a professional tennis racket stringer - part 1

I am often asked about professional racket stringing and how the doors opened in my favor.  There is no overnight success or easy road to being a professional racket stringing.  With a little luck and a lot of hard work that dream can become a reality.  There are a few prerequisite skills that need to developed before even starting your journey.  You must be able to string a tennis racket within a 30 minute period without making a mistake and be able to do it for hours on end, use proper technique and not need to refer to a manual for string pattern help.  Becoming familiar with computerized stringing equipment, stringing tools, stenciling rackets, understanding stringing techniques, tie off knots, pre-stretching string, etc are all important things that you will need to know and understand.  These things alone will not make you a good stringer but will give you some background in stringing.  Time is your friend as well, most professional stringers have been stringing for years before stringing at the professional level. 
If you think you have what it takes than its time to find a way to break in and get your feet wet.   Stay tuned for more to come on this series on getting started as a stringer.  Tomorrow I will discuss some strategies to get you started. 

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384 Hits
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Think about the frequency of which you restring your tennis racket

THINK ABOUT IT:  A quick note regarding racket stringing and the frequency of which you should be restringing.  While searching through various websites and blogs today I ran across a Prince Tennis blog titled "PrinceNextblog" and I was reminded about the phrase "string as often per year as you play in a week".  I never really spent much time analyzing this statement but found myself replaying the phrase over and over in my head.  I can't even count how many times I have seen this stated on a website from the 'experts', I too have probably said it once or twice.  But the fact is that if tennis strings lose about 10% tension within 24 hours of stringing, weather condition and ball contact will also wear strings down.  So if you seriously play twice a week I would not recommend waiting 6 months to restring your racket.... If your goal is to improve your game and you call tennis your passion than I would recommend keeping your rackets tuned up and restringing more frequently.  WHO CAME UP WITH THIS PHRASE ANYWAY?  It's been used for years and people keep repeating it because they heard it from somewhere.

 

Compare your tennis to that of a golf outing.  Green fees and golf equipment can be costly, each day out on the course can run you upwards of 100 dollars or more not to mention the time commitment.  Don't get me wrong I am not knocking the golf experience but wanted to compare to what many of us don't spend on our tennis game.  Remember how your racket felt after you strung it last time, how it felt crisp and the ball stayed in the court and if just felt right, well keep that feeling going more often.  Spending 20-30 dollars a month on your gear shouldn't be a big issue if you play 8 times a month!.  If you have two rackets, restring one every month so you alternate or every 6 weeks and see if this improves your game.  These are just my thoughts and I think we understate the importance of racket stringing.

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308 Hits
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Understanding that not all hybrid tennis string combinations are successful

The idea behind playing with a Hybrid string job is to combine the 'best of both worlds' in regards to the playing characteristics. Combining two various types of strings in order that the benefits of the combination out weight the benefit of just installing one type of string all the way around is the basic idea behind this theory.  Our hope is that we pick the correct combination and make it work for us.  Many players rely on the pre-packaged combinations to meet their needs but sometimes the trial and error along with a knowledgeable racket stringer / tuner can help you achieve the optimum combination on your own.  Prepackaged hybrids have been around for some time and offer a wide range of options such as with the Prince Hybrid EXP -this combination offers thin poly with multifilament hybrid.  In its basic form a hybrid will take one of  two basic approaches - durability or playability and all others stem from this basic concept to some degre.  There are some combinations that for various reasons seem viable on paper but in application they fall short.  I will give a specific example below.

Take the stringing client example with a Babolat Pure Storm Limited has been getting performance and playability he likes out of a Tecnifibre NRG 18g in the mains and a Volkl Cyclone Polyester string for the crosses.  The playability is fine and the topspin adequate but the issue lies with the friction element of this particular string combination and the premature wear in the string.  Tecnifibre NRG is a soft 'rubber' feeling string that notches easily although great care is taken when stringing in order to reduce the risk to notching.  The surface appears smooth but when pulling across other types of strings over the main string bed like a textured poly, the strings tend to need lubrication in order to move smoothly.  One thing that tends to happen to many stringers is that they ignore the friction and just 'burn' the strings as they go, causing the strings to already be partially worn before the installation is finished.  One way to alleviate the problem of string wear while stringing is to lubricate the main strings with a little wax stick to smoothen the strings, this will make the installation of the crosses go much easier.  Generally you won't need to worry about this when stringing the racket with one string type.

In this particular tennis frame the racket string pattern is dense and this also makes additional work for the stringer.  If the string combination was reversed and the main strings were the Volkl Cyclone and theTecnifibre NRG was in the crosses you would have much less friction and less premature notching.  The client wanted to stay with the multifilament in the mains and therefore we changed up the Cyclone and went with a smoother poly such as Tecnifibre Red Code.  The strings still where a bit difficult to install but the overall stringbed felt great.

Experiment, apply trial and error and continue reading so that you can become more acquainted as to the string hybrid issues that can arise when we take our racket to be restrung.

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679 Hits
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Understand your racket stringing patterns

With experience you will start to understand racket patterns and know which holes to skip when stringing rackets.  Sometimes it is still helpful to know which holes to skip,share and if the mains end on the top or bottom to help you determine if you will be stringing a one piece, around the world or two piece string job.  I am configuring a 'string pattern' page on my site for helping you with just that.  Check out how its getting started (currently have Babolat racket pattern info).  I will be adding other manufactuers this month and hope to have the page done by the end of February.  Please check it out at racketstringingtips.  Patrick - USRSA MRT

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786 Hits
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Pete Sampras and what is his new prototype frame.

Pete Sampras has literally used one racket type in his entire professional playing career.  The St. Vincent Model along with heavy modifications helped propell him to the top of the tennis world.  It appears now that he is using a new prototype of sorts, a Wilson or Babolat? read more at my blog here.

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332 Hits
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