USTA Virginia Training Series - Racquet Service

Richmond, Virginia
Sunday, October 28, 2012
USTA Virginia Training Series - Racquet Service
Sunday, October 28, 2012 8:00 AM -
Monday, October 29, 2012 12:00 PM (Eastern Time)

Rain Tree Swim & Racquet Club
1703 Raintree Drive
Richmond, Virginia 23238
United States

Map and Directions
Grand Slam Stringers 
Racquet Service Seminar

                                                            Sponsored by      

Sunday October 28th        8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Monday October 29th       8 a.m. to 12 noon
Raintree Swim & Racquet Club
1703 Raintree Drive
Richmond, Virginia  23238
Cost: The cost for this event is $150 per person. This cost is all inclusive and covers all seminars presented on Sunday & Monday. There is no discount for attending partial days.
Hotels: Raintree has an arrangement with Spring Hill Suites by Marriott. Ask for "Raintree" special rate of $85 per night with free breakfast. This is the only hotel that we are familiar with that has a working relationship with the club where this training will be held.  

Spring Hill Suites Northwest
3500 Pemberton Road
Richmond, Va

Training will be provided by USRSA Master Racquet Technician's Tim Strawn and John Gugel of GSS. To view instructor profiles please go HERE

Grand Slam Stringers (GSS) is pleased to offer a unique learning experience for those interested in racquet stringing and customization – the GSS Racquet Service Seminar, October 28-29, 2012 at the Raintree Swim & Racquet Club in Richmond Virginia.


GSS is based in Roanoke, Virginia, and is the first and only company of its kind that specializes in training racquet technicians from around the world. GSS is owned and operated by Tim Strawn, a veteran tour stringer who has worked for the best players in the world at tournaments like Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, and the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida. Strawn and his associate, John Gugel from Orlando, Florida, are both Master Racquet Technicians with the United States Racquet Stringers Association.


GSS Racquet Service Seminar participants will learn how to improve the quality, consistency, professionalism and profitability of their racquet services, and learn the latest methods used on the pro tours to customize racquets and stringing to optimize player performance.

  • Sunday October 28th is a full day session titled “Stringing A-Z”. This session will cover the basics of stringing and then delve into some of the tricks of the best stringers in the world. Hands-on time on the stringing machine is planned so that all participants have the opportunity to practice what they’ve learned while the pros are there to oversee their work. The first day session will cover everything you’ll need to successfully provide professional racquet service for your clients.
  • Monday, October 29th, is a comprehensive 4 hour session on Racquet Customization. Customizing racquets can be a serious revenue generator for your business and this class will give you the knowledge and skills needed to take your racquet service skills to the next level.

The GSS Racket Service Seminar is designed to benefit all racquet stringers whether they are home stringers (non-retail), shop owners, pro shop stringers or tour stringers.


Sponsored by USTA Virginia, Babolat and Wilson, the GSS Racket Service Seminar is an abbreviated version of the international 5-day GSS Symposium which offers 16 different courses from the very basics of stringing to a pro tour simulation stringing room for those interested in stringing at the tour level.


To register for the GSS Racquet Service Seminar or for more detailed information please go to:


For more information on GSS, including video testimonials of their trainings, please go to

Scheduled Seminars


PRO SHOP OVERVIEW 8:00 - 9:20 A.M.

  • Recommendations--Constant pull, manual lockout or drop weight. How to decide what's best for your shop.
  • What's the single most important deciding factor in selecting a stringing machine?
  • Consider service after the sale
  • Does your machine accommodate all head sizes? 
  • Revenue generator--Is your machine a revenue generator or a dust collector?
  • Calibration--What's that and how and why should I do it
  • Repair & maintenance--can I fix it myself? How does down time affect my business?
  • Tools--what you need to get the job done
  • Strategic positioning of your machine 
  • What you need and why
  • Justifying cost versus return on investment. What real value is there in being able to customize racquets?
  • Accessory items needed to customize a racquet
  • Can I really make some serious money customizing racquets? 
  • What are the different kinds of string?
  • Where do I get my strings and why should I buy there?
  • How do I know what to stock? 
  • How much should I stock
  • Do I buy reels or individual sets
  • Are buy-in programs really that beneficial?
  • How do I determine re-order levels?
  • What's the proper way to store my string?
  • Displaying your string
  • Pricing your string?
  • What to stock & why
  • Specialty grips
  • Pricing your grips
  • Colors--are they necessary or should I just carry black?
  • What works best with over wraps? No tack, Semi tacky, Very tacky? 
  • Durability with over wraps--who has the best?
  • Are multi-packs worth stocking?  
  • What's available?
  • The real value of accurate record keeping
  • Increasing your stringing revenue with software features
  • How do you currently contact your customers when their racquet is ready for pickup? There's a better way--
  • Professionalism is the key and software is the answer

This seminar will cover:

  • Racquet considerations--why is this relevant?
  • Player considerations--matching string type, gauge, and tension is key
  • Economic considerations
  • What effect string has on anything.
  • String construction
  • String gauge
  • 21st century string technologies
There will be a separate section in this session on natural gut strings to include:
  • Why you should stock natural gut
  • What natural gut should you stock?
  • How to properly store natural gut
  • Preparation for stringing natural gut--why is it different and things to avoid
  • Do's and don'ts of working with natural gut
  • Pre-stretching--yes or no and why
  • A short video on the actual manufacturing process of natural gut 
An optional question and answer session will follow.

STRINGING PART 1   11:00 A.M. - 12 NOON

Before you weave the first string....
  • Racquet Inspection -- why is this first?
  • Tools of the trade -- basic tools you need to get the job done
  • Removing strings -- there's a right way and a wrong way
  • Machine preparation -- machine set-up, calibration, height adjustment, cleaning clamps, clamp adjustment
  • Racquet mounting
  • String selection
  • Measuring string -- how do you know how much is enough
  • Tension selection
STRINGING PART 2  1:00 - 2:20 P.M.

Getting down to the nitty gritty of stringing the racquet. Here's where we start to look at what we're doing after we have all the necessary preparation out of the way.
  • 1 or 2 piece stringing -- what should I use
  • Who dictates whether I use one or two piece stringing?
  • Are there advantages & disadvantages to the two styles of stringing
  • Correct clamping
  • Starting procedures including clamp placement and starting clamp use
  • Installing the main strings
  • Installing the cross strings
  • Tie-off knots
  • Precautions with knots
  • Do I always use the manufacturers recommended tie-off hole?
  • Precautions with knots
  • 4 basic knots can get any job done
STRINGING -- HANDS ON  2:30 - 5:00 P.M.

Ok you've been sitting and watching long enough. Time to get off your butt and get to work. This is where you get the opportunity to put into practice some of the techniques and new methods we've taught you throughout the day. 



This cover the basic of customizing a racquet. We'll look at the various pieces of equipment including the Babolat RDC, the Howe Flex Four, the Beers ERT 300 & 1000 and the Alpha AccuSwing II. We'll talk about the terms you should be familiar with and explain them in detail. Next we'll show you how those terms directly relate to what you're doing to the racquet. Terms like:
  • weight
  • polar moment
  • swing weight
  • recoil weight
  • twist weight
  • effective stiffness
  • static balance
  • string bed stiffness
Equipment overview
  • The Babolat RDC (Racquet Diagnostic Center)
  • The Howe Flex Four (now the Flex Infinity)
  • Beers ERT 300 & 1000
  • The Alpha AccuSwing
  • What you need and where to buy
  • Discussion overview with regards to weight, string gauge, string bed stiffness
Discussion as to how the data obtained from each piece of equipment translates into useful information that the technician can apply when working with their clients. 

Q & A follow-up


Time to dive in and get your hands dirty! The hands-on session is designed to give you the opportunity to actually work with the equipment we've covered 

Handle modification
  • Build-up sleeves
  • Modifying the build up sleeve
  • Installing build-up sleeves
  • Installing butt caps
  • Adding weight
  • Can I really modify this grip? If not, why?
  • Tools needed
  • Replacement
  • Installation techniques
  • Tools needed
Adding weight
  • Where to add-how do I know exactly where I should add the weight
  • What to add-is lead tape my only option?
  • How to add-is one way better than another?
  • How can I protect the work I've done? Won't that lead tape come off?
Matching racquets
  • What you can and cannot do
  • Where do you start?
  • What's the most important measurement I should be concerned with?
  • My customer wants his heavier racquet to match his lighter racquet. Can I remove weight?
Recording your work
  • Now that you've made your changes where will you record your work for future reference? 


Contact Information

  • For more info please
    call: 540-772-4418
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