Originally Posted by Dags
Trip reports are my favourite threads. Thanks for posting!
Drak, when you're working alongside these guys, is there anything you've observed that sets apart seasoned tour stringers from a 'mere' professional like yourself? I remember reading a thread a few years ago (it may even have been one of yours) where someone strung alongside a very experienced stringer (whose name I can't recall... yep, I'm a little hazy on the details here...), and they said the thing that stood out most to them was economy of movement. The experienced stringer moved as little as possible, making the machine do the work. That sort of thing really interests me, but you can't really pose it as a direct question - if I asked Ron, or one of the other pros that post here, 'what tips do you have for us home stringers?', I doubt I'd get 'try standing still' very high up the list of answers...
dags, thanks for the question. One thing I suppose would set apart a seasoned tour stringer from someone like me would be experience stringing at large tournaments such as this one. There are little things that are important that one can't get without being at the actual tournament such as dealing with the actual pro players, coaches, managers, or whomever else comes to the stringing room. You need to keep in mind, I've done plenty of tournament stringing, just not at the level where the entire draw is filled with such "high profile" players. If you ask me, the futures I did by myself this year was much more physically demanding than Cincy. On the other hand, the mental aspect was much more difficult at Cincy, simply because there are hundreds of thousands of dollars riding on your work, ranking points, race points, etc.
As for what sets apart someone who strings at home vs someone who strings at this high level, there are a couple of things that immediately come to mind.
- Volume of work completed day, after day, after day. One could find themselves stringing up to and over 40 frames in one day.
- Hours of work completed. Hours are very long, starting early in the morning, and ending at times after midnight.
- The physical demands of the above. Standing on your feet all day for those amount of hours in the same space is both taxing, and exhausting on the body and mind.
- Having to stay focused every time you complete a racquet.
- And yes, economy of movement. I wrote once that this is really where when you simply dissect a stringer to only look at the actual physical performance of putting strings in a racquet, a tour stringer is hands down more fluid, wastes much less energy, and simply more efficient. There are no "wasted movements", which comes in extremely handy when a racquet has to be turned around very quicly and run off to the court, hopefully, before the changeover.
I could go on, but hopefully you get the point.
As for a "tip" I could give, be consistent on every aspect of every string job you complete, never cheat or take shortcuts that would effect the performance of your work. I guarantee I could look at a "home stringers" completed string job, and even if they strung two of the same racquets, using the same pattern, I could find differences in the string job.
One quick example of what I am referring to above. A player I was assigned sent two racquets during the match to be completed. Myself and one of the other guys had to complete the two run-offs. Being that I was the one who had been stringing for this player all week, I was asked (while both of us were stringing the frames) by the other guy how I started the mains, where I tied my cross knot (the string job was two piece), the cross overs, etc in order to ensure the string jobs were identical. Both frames were completed in about 11 minutes and were identical.
One more thing I want to stress on in regards to tournament stringing. You have to have team work. This means helping out the others cut out strings, set up machines, or even pre-stretch the crosses while they are completing the mains. Much more to it than this, but again, I hope you get the point.
Hope all this helps answer your question.
by the way, you may want to take a look at this thread:
Originally Posted by Rabbit
just saw this, great thread. Thanks so much for taking the time and making the effort.
have you guys ever considered a stringing camp? Hell, I'd probably buy the beer if y'all would let me string with you for a week!
You may regret that offer. The beer may end up costing you more than you budget for.
Originally Posted by Roger Wawrinka
Hey Ron, When you are stringing one piece for guys like Tipsarevic and Wawrinka, do you string from bottom to top? I was told that was bad for the racquet because of the stress on the frame (I do not know if that is true) but what do you do? Also, Can you explain how you tie your double half hitch? If you do not want to it's okay, I'm just very curious.
Roger, players, for the most part determine how they want their racquet strung,,,,, be it one or two piece, atw, bottom up, etc. Of course at times, it's up to the stringer if the player doesn't specify, but typically, the stringer wants to build some sort of relationship with the player and will ask.
Originally Posted by blackfrido
Rick, how would you fell if I take any of my old Fischers to your shop?
Man you a re a famous guy now! That's why we haven't played anymore
stop by any time. Would be great to see you and catch up. Hope all is well.