Need to prove something!

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by Parker512, Nov 25, 2010.

?

Did you string or start stringing young.

  1. Yes

    24 vote(s)
    53.3%
  2. No

    21 vote(s)
    46.7%
  1. Parker512

    Parker512 Guest

    I need to prove this to my mom that there's plenty of 13 y/o out there that string there own raquets. she thought i was crazy and said that even the 21 y/o at my club cant string which means nothing probally he just did'nt even put in the effort to learn. So please particapate in this poll the sooner the better.
     
    #1
  2. Doubles

    Doubles Hall of Fame

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    I started at 15 if that helps...
     
    #2
  3. Parker512

    Parker512 Guest

    Thanks. I apreciate it.
     
    #3
  4. bugeyed

    bugeyed Semi-Pro

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    I can't imagine why age makes a difference, but your mom knows you better than I do.:twisted:
    Things that do matter:
    Desire to learn how to string properly.
    Access to proper training. Preferably, one on one, in person.
    Attention to detail.
    Respect for the craft.
    Understanding that, if you do it wrong, you can ruin a racquet.
    Patience.
    Manual dexterity.
    Consistency.
    Plenty of your own racquets to practice on. (Very important)
    A machine that is sturdy & anything that locks or tightens should do so securely.

    That's a lot of stuff, but every one is important IMO.

    Cheers,
    kev
    P.S. Stringing is a skill that can turn to a craft once you get good at it. It is very gratifying when you know that you have done a great job. The more you know about the technical aspects of stringing racquets, the more you can respect the craft & the more pride you can take i your abilities. Most people don't know how much of a skill/craft it is.
     
    #4
  5. banter

    banter Semi-Pro

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    I started string when I was 18; I'm 19 now.

    Whenever I think of those who strung early, I think of kids that were raised in tennis. One of my high school teammates was one of those kids. He now plays for UCSF and I would put money down that the majority of those who play at a collegiate level and above, strung their racquets at an early age.

    However, these upper level athletes do not make up a majority of the tennis population, so I doubt there are a ton of 13 year old who know how to string; but there are indeed plenty.
     
    #5
  6. Donny0627

    Donny0627 Professional

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    started at 13... i dont see a problem with it and it is very easy after you get the hang of it...
     
    #6
  7. jim e

    jim e Hall of Fame

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    I started stringing in 1968. I was 13 years old at the time. The old timer I bought the machine (An old Seranno machine) , from taught me to string. Here you have poeple on the internet like the nice people here, and videos, the USRSA,. None of this was avail. when I started.This is a good age to string, and highly recommend it. Your parents should be proud that you want to string, and doing a job like this and being meticulous while you string, that will follow you being precise on whatever you do. Do all you can to convince them. Learn to do a decent job, and you will make some $ as players do look for a quality service. Like others said, its a craft, and treat it as a craft and not a job, and people will know that you know what you are talking about and you will get racquets.

    BTW: Look for used machines, you will not only get a better deal you can get more of a machine for the $ spent, and the better the machine, the more enjoyable the process is, the better you will string.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2010
    #7
  8. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    I started stringing at 17 but one of my pupils got a machine for his 14th birthday earlier this year and I taught him how to string - he has a very good understanding of the process and string types. It is very possible to string well at a young age if you're dedicated.

    Cheers

    Ash
     
    #8
  9. Mighty Matteo

    Mighty Matteo Semi-Pro

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    I started stringing at 13 and was in the same position as you and the way you have to convince your mother is that the money you spend in labor charges at the stringer will exceed the price of the machine as you get older and start hitting harder and breaking strings. plus, you will string for customers and make a lot of money and the machine will pay itslef off in no time. now my family is so happy we have a stringer. It is really easy, just watch Yulittle's videos on youtube. hope this helps!
     
    #9
  10. sunray13547

    sunray13547 New User

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    I started at 14 but paid for my stringer myself, Gamma Progression STII with stand...still have it today upgraded with wise electric head, 10 yrs and at least 7,000 racquets later!
     
    #10
  11. Parker512

    Parker512 Guest

    Thanks thats some god hard help. She softening up today.
     
    #11
  12. MomentumGT

    MomentumGT Semi-Pro

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    Started at 16. . .stringing helped almost fully pay for senior prom. LOL.

    -Jon
     
    #12
  13. Mighty Matteo

    Mighty Matteo Semi-Pro

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    You can make a lot of money stringing for people in your family, friends, maybe a high school team etc. It is also really fun to string racquets.
     
    #13
  14. Steve Huff

    Steve Huff Legend

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    I started at 18. Now I'm 53. Nothing wrong with starting young. I've taught some middle & high schoolers to string.
     
    #14
  15. MAX PLY

    MAX PLY Hall of Fame

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    I started playing at 10 and we had a family friend who was a teaching pro who taught me to string at around 12 or 13. My parents paid half of my first stringing machine (I paid the other half with money from my paper route)--it was a Tremont TR-145(?), which served me well (albeit slowly) into my late teens until I was lucky enough to buy a used Ektelon from a sporting goods store that was going out of business. Still stringing in my 50s. As for stringing my own, even in the days of wood I broke strings--the stringer paid for itself and stringing was a useful skill to supplement my income in college.

    Offer to pay half or all (if you have the cash) and show how responsible you are--should be a slam dunk for your folks.
     
    #15
  16. westside

    westside Hall of Fame

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    I started at 17, worked at a tennis store at the time. Nothing wrong with starting young, very handy skill to learn
     
    #16
  17. kensan

    kensan Rookie

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    Might be reading too much into this, but maybe she thinks you will string a few then never again? I would have been in that camp when I was your age.
     
    #17
  18. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    ^^ You and me both may be reading too much into this. I think maybe fewer than 2% of young players may string their own rackets. And lot of the people that start stringing their own rackets quit because they think it is too boring. You have to remember that many of the people on this forum are stringers so you poll is going to be biased.

    Irvin
     
    #18
  19. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    i started at 15 (1985) on a used k-mate i bought from my hitting buddy/young club pro/former college player.

    it (the k-mate) taught me alot.

    personally, i think that being a tool user since i was
    6-8 years old (bikes and skateboards, etc) made all
    the difference in the world. tools users have a "feel"
    for things that i don't think non-tool users do.
    not trying to be snob, whatsoever....everyone has a
    skill, just sayin'.

    edit: i have not been stringing since 1985, but i started then for a few years, then got back into it this year.
    my tool user "statement" still applies, IMO.
     
    #19
  20. Parker512

    Parker512 Guest

    Im blinking my eye right now and shakeing my head.:)
     
    #20
  21. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    Parker512 - you never mentioned your motivations to start stringing.

    It could be the typical "string for yourself to save money" reason, or you could be rather enterprising to string for your local community. Or you could be a budding string junkie and want to use a different setup every time you play.

    Curious to know. I'm sure your mom would be too.
     
    #21
  22. Donny0627

    Donny0627 Professional

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    if you are a smart kid who is good with his hands and has common sense you will be fine. I am a junior who strings and I could see alot of my tennis friends not being able to do it simply because they arent the sharpest knives in the drawer...
     
    #22
  23. Game-Set-MATCH!!!

    Game-Set-MATCH!!! Rookie

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    started when i was 11
     
    #23
  24. Parker512

    Parker512 Guest

    ALL of those.:)
     
    #24
  25. Dags

    Dags Professional

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    ^^^ To say 'all of those' suggests you haven't fully though it through, as the first and last reason will generally be at odds with each other. To help you out, let's go through those reasons one by one.

    1. To save money
    On a very basic level, in order to save money you need to avoid enough trips to the stringer in order to pay for your machine. We'll make a few assumptions to simplify things: that you don't put a value your own time (i.e. you're happy to be stringing when you could be doing something else), that the cost of string will be the same who ever is stringing, and that you have no problem investing capital in strings and the machine. If you pay $20 labour now and buy a machine worth $200, then you need to restring your racquets 10 times before you start saving. You need to ask yourself how often you restring, and work out how long it will take before you start saving.

    2. To string for others
    Obviously, you can start saving money more quickly and even making money by stringing for others. Where are those customers coming from? Realistically, a 13 year old begins at a disadvantage regardless how good they are at stringing - a prospective customer who knows nothing about you and has the choice of handing their racquets to you or an adult will most likely choose the adult. Yes it's unfair, but that's the reality of it. For you to break that trend you will need to build up a reputation as someone who can do a good job, and the only way to do that is to have customers who can then recommend you. The group that naturally sits as your initial customer base are your friends. How many of them are there? The other big potential customer is your coach - if you can string for him and do a good job, then he can potentially send a lot of custom your way.

    3. To try out different setups every time you play
    This is one of the most fun parts of being a stringer, but it can get expensive. Unless you break strings extremely frequently, then constantly fiddling with your setup means you restring more often than you otherwise would and that costs money. I have been stringing for 2 years, and have spent considerably more on this hobby than I've received in return. This is of no concern to me though - saving money isn't the reason I started stringing.


    My general feeling is that those who start stringing when they are young are likely to be very good players who break strings weekly, and it will be born out of necessity rather than anything else (perhaps those of you who did start young can confirm or deny this).
     
    #25
  26. jazar

    jazar Professional

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    i started stringing when i was 18. and i started stringing on tour when i was 20.
     
    #26
  27. jim e

    jim e Hall of Fame

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    Your general feeling is wrong!
    I do not fit that profile that you listed.
    I was 13 years old when I started to string, back in 1968.
    I was not a string breaker, nor was my brother who also played.
    I started stringing back then as there were no other local stringers at that time,(none within a 25 mile area), and the stringer that we used back then was willing to teach me, and sell me one of his machines.
    Since there was no local competition, I had a great buisness right from the beginning.
    Also back then, I'm sure that there were not many machines around like there are now.I'm sure most of the machines were commercial machines for the buisness, like the old Seranno machine that I had, (still have it), and I bet there was not many small hobby type machines avail. like today.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2010
    #27
  28. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    Considering i'm not your mom, i say go for it. however, like some other posters above have said, maybe your mom knows you better than you think you know yourself. If this really is something that you want to do, and dedicate some serious time and effort into doing WELL, then by all means, go for it.

    IMHO, it makes a lot of sense to start stringing for yourself, regardless of age. If you are a frequent string breaker, break down the cost and return on investment period. If you break strings more than 2x a month, it generally goes positive with in a year or two, and that's ONLY from the labor charges you SAVE from stringing for yourself. If you start stringing for others (and I cannot stress enough NOT to string for others until you are fully trained and ready to accept any consequences (aka ponying up for a broken racquet if you made a mistake)), then the repayment is much faster.

    13 is definitely not too young to start stringing, but how long have you been playing? Are you certain that you'll continue to play for years to come? A (cheap) stringing machine is only a modest investment, but if you are serious about starting to string, you should push and invest in a higher end machine, IMHO. Many (if not most) people start stringing cheap, and many that take their stringing to the next level (sorry to offend anyone that disagrees..) will upgrade their machines down the line. If you know yourself well enough to know how serious you're going to be about this, and you are certain you plan to get pretty serious, go for the nicer machine to begin with.

    I started stringing at 14-15, i don't exactly remember... I'm 24 now, and have strung large volumes for a Div 1 team. I have a natural tendency to get pretty entrenched in "technical" hobbies, though, and i've always been pretty good with my hands. If you really think you're ready, go for it. If you have ANYONE around you with a stringing machine, ask if you can borrow some time on it, and see if the process is something you'd be interested in. While stringing for us gear nerds is a relatively glamorous proposition (how cool is it to say you can string your own racquets?), for most people, they don't have the chance to practice and drop their time significantly, and hover in the 40-50 minutes per racquet range. While this may not seem very long to you now, when you get older, and you start having much, much more responsibility thrust on you, the time sink is much more. I'd say if you get a cheaper machine, you're looking to average in the range of ~40 mins if you're stringing reasonably quickly at a reasonable volume.
     
    #28
  29. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    WOW! That was my first machine as well. Unfortunately I had to pay for mine myself. I'm in my 50s and still stringing.
     
    #29
  30. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    When I was 16, I recall a huge desire to buy an electric guitar and amplifier. The cost was nearly $1000 USD. Of course I wanted to use their credit card (back then, it was my only option) :)

    At first my parents were completely against it, but I gradually brought them around. I had a part-time job and made monthly payments of $100. The agreement was, if I skipped a payment the guitar would be sold. I paid it off within a year. It was a valuable lesson and I still respect my parents to this day for giving me that opportunity to prove myself.

    Your purchase is peanuts compared to that and you have your own money to pay for it. Your mom should absolutely give you this chance as it's a perfect (and inexpensive) teaching moment. It's also much more practical than an electric guitar :)

    You may want to direct your mom to this thread or print it out if she's still against the purchase. If you're really into tennis, it's the most practical $150 you'll ever spend.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2010
    #30
  31. Parker512

    Parker512 Guest

    Great Post :). Buti was going to give her the $150 upfront.
     
    #31
  32. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    This is really the only argument against buying a stringing machine. Since the resale value of a used stringing machine is not that much less than a new one, there really is not a great argument against buying a stringing machine. Even if you only string a few rackets you'll still be saving a decent amount of money in labor charges that will probably offset the reduced money you get from selling the machine.

    I learned how to string rackets at 16 from my coach at the time. I only did a few though. Finally bought my own machine 2.5 years ago and have saved a ton of money since I'm a string breaker.
     
    #32
  33. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    Completely agree. If you decide to sell, you'll get most of what you paid for it.
     
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