2015 – Schedule

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The IART will celebrate it’s 9th year of presenting their training symposium in 2015. The event focuses on the small business entrepreneur working in the service side of the racquet sports industry and since it’s inception, has trained people from over 20 countries. During our 8 years of hosting this event we have offered over 65 different training courses covering everything from basic to advanced tour level stringing, racquet customization, pro shop management, the effective use of social media in business and marketing and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The theme for this year’s conference is Back to Basics.

2015 Lineup


Welcome…..Begin a late evening check-in at 9 p.m. with a brief welcome highlighting what to expect during the course of the event. Any schedule/speaker changes are announced and the evening is open for attendees to stay as late as they want to network and catch up with friends from past symposiums as well as an opportunity to meet new people attending for the first time. ID badges will be handed out at this meeting so be sure to attend


The “Meet & Greet” has been transformed into a totally different experience at the symposium. One of our main sponsors, PRINCE, will have you on the court early on Saturday with a great format that encourages interaction among participants with a spirit & atmosphere that denotes a true meet & greet. On court activities begin at 8 a.m. and attendees can opt in on the registration form by selecting their NTRP rating. The on-court activities conclude at 11 a.m. giving everyone time to take a short lunch break and then, from 12:30-3:30 p.m., we open it up with some dedicated time with our sponsors. From 3:30 – 5:30 we have a special surprise event that you won’t want to miss. We’ll be announcing what this event consists of at the Friday 9 p.m. meeting. Evening activities continue after the dinner hour (5:30-7 p.m.) at the Lagoon Pavilion with an introduction from IART Executive Director Tim Strawn and symposium Creative Director Ron Rocchi. Seminar leaders are introduced and after a few words from Prince, some fun trivia begins. Finally it’s time for the now famous IART symposium gift bags and at the conclusion, everyone moves to the Pegasus South pavilion for the Wilson/Luxilon speed stringing contest.

Bernie Chen
2014 Winner Bernie Chen
Stockton Morris
2014 Runner-up Stockton Morris

The “Wilson/Luxilon Speed Stringing Contest” is always a favorite activity at the IART symposium and this is scheduled to begin immediately after the activities at the Lagoon pavilion. Stringers compete to see who can knock out a frame in the fastest time. Many past winners have gone on to realize their goal of stringing at the tour level. Last year’s winner, Bernie Chen joined the Wilson team and got his opportunity to work at the 2015 Australian Open. Runner-up Stockton Morris faired equally as well and most recently, joined the Wilson team to work at the Miami Open in Key Biscayne, Florida. The speed stringing contest is a challenge for the contestants and always a crowd pleaser!


8a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Wilson BAIARDO Stringing Machine

“Comprehensive Stringing”  An entire day will be dedicated to “all things stringing” with several separate rooms, each with a seasoned professional leading a team to assist and provide instruction to the group. If it’s stringing you want then you won’t want to miss this day. Think about stringing racquets and every aspect and little nuance that goes along with it and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what to expect. The focus will be on the attendee working on the machine, NOT watching the course leaders. The leader will give a brief overview and then turn it over to the attendees, offering insight and instruction as the participant goes through the motions.

PLEASE NOTE: We are encouraging all attendees to bring their own stringing tools this year due to the nature of what we’re presenting on our first day.


8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

John Gugel
John Gugel
Roc at US Open2
Ron Rocchi

“String Education 101 with Wilson’s Ron Rocchi & John Gugel will take you on a journey into the manufacturing world of racquet strings. Understanding your product is vital to knowing exactly what string will work best in any situation and this class will give you the knowledge to do that. Learn what strings to pick and why for a particular application. You’ll also learn about the composite make-up of strings which can give you a decided advantage when dealing with various player types and styles. Do you know the major types of string? How about what works best inybrid combinations? Product knowledge can give you a decided advantage when working with your clients and this class can be the catalyst that takes you to a completely different level of understanding all you need to know about strings.

social media

Lance Andersen
Lance Andersen

“Social Media for the 21st Century” Join Lance Andersen for this interactive presentation on social media. Bring your laptops or tablets and get ready to connect and follow along to learn some really nice tips and tricks when it comes to social media. Lance is a senior software engineer in the Java Engineering group at Oracle Corporation and has a vast tennis resume. He is a member of the National Cardio Tennis Speaker Team, a USPTA and Etcheberry certified coach, and a member of the USRSA. He is also the chairmen of the PTR technology committee, the PTR Massachusetts state representative, the USPTA New England Lesson For Life Chairperson, a member of the Tennis Industry Association Technology Committee, a USTA New England adult comittee member, and USTA Eastern Mass Association League committe member.

Bruce Levine
Bruce Levine

maximizing“Retail Therapy 101” will be presented by Bruce Levine. In this class we’ll talk about how to increase sales via  racquets and strings and offer some ideas on how to create more sales both on and off the court.  We’ll be covering tracking frames and strings within your client base and then go into a Q&A session to generate some discussion.

Bruce has a very diverse background including playing and coaching from the grassroots to high school, college, and the tour levels as well as working as a certified tennis pro. He currently serves the tennis community in many volunteer capacities as a USPTA Board Member and Regional Vice President in the Middle States Section as well as on the USTA Middle States Board of Directors. Bruce is also been the head racquet tester for Tennis Magazine and tennis.com for nearly 20 years.

Proper grip measurement

“Racquet Selection 101” will be presented by Will White, Tennis Director for Camel Back Village Racquet & Health Club in Scottsdale, Arizona. Join Will as he cuts through the confusion on exactly how to select a racquet for any player at any age. Often one of the most frustrating processes, especially for parents of junior players, Will will provide valuable information and useful tips on where to start and what to look for when choosing a racquet. This topic is applicable to adult recreation players as well as touring professionals. Choosing the right racquet can mean the difference between reaching peak performance on court and floundering away wondering why you’re struggling so much with control or power.


7:30 – 5:30

On the Court with Saddlebrook Head Tennis Pro Howard Moore” (begins at 7:30 a.m.) In 2011 this class conducted by Saddlebrook head tennis professional Howard Moore offered some insight to high level training at the Saddlebrook Academy. Howard brought along a very special guest, Craig Boynton. At the time, Boynton was well known as the coach of John Isner, now a top 10 player on the ATP tour. Boynton shared his insights into professional coaching which was definitely a highlight for those in attendance. Mr Moore will once again be joining us to share his extensive knowledge as the head pro at one of the premier training centers in the U.S.


“Racquet Customization”  (begins at 9 a.m. after on court session) This is always a favorite and in 2015 we are dedicating an entire day for this class. This is an expanded and much more intense customization session than we’ve presented in past years and is the perfect course for those who want to increase their customizing skills. The course will cover a variety of topics over the entire day in 3 separate sections: #1 classroom from 9 – 12 noon, #2 classroom from 1:30 – 3:30 and the last section from 3:30 – 5:30 will take place on court. Topics include (1) Equipment overview-what you need and where to buy it (2) a Discussion overview with regard to weight, string gauge, string bed stiffness (3) Customization to include: weight/mass, swing weight w/calculation & diagnostic equipment (4) Static balance with balance board (5) Recoil Weight (6) Twist weight (7) Effective stiffness (8) Typical charges for customization work (9) Materials needed and sourcing materials and equipment (10) Q&A to follow

John Gugel
John Gugel
Ron Rocchi

This class is taught by Ron Rocchi who heads up the Wilson Innovation Center where all customization for Wilson sponsored players is done. Joining Ron will be John Gugel, one of the most experienced racquet technicians within our industry.  You won’t want to miss this opportunity to learn from these two highly qualified professionals.

A brief wrap-up session follows the customization class from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. to conclude the conference

Whatever your level, whatever your goals, there’s something for everyone at the IART training symposium. This is the best event in the world for racquet technicians to meet with their peers from around the world to exchange ideas. Networking opportunities are endless and the atmosphere is always fun and laid back. You’ll find all seminar leaders to be very approachable and always willing to share their wealth of knowledge with the attendees. If you’ve been telling yourself that you’ll make it one of these years maybe this will be your year to come. We’d love to see you at Saddlebrook.

 Misc Information

LOCATION……Saddlebrook Resort Tampa, Florida

The location for the 2015 IART symposium will be the beautiful Saddlebrook Resort in Tampa, Florida. Recognized world wide as one of the premier training centers for the ATP/WTA, Saddlebrook offers the perfect setting for anything tennis with over 40 courts including all 4 Grand Slam surfaces!


Registration Fee =  $595
Early Bird Discount of $50 if you register on or before July 1st, 2015


Saddlebrook offers some great accommodations for the IART symposium with condo style living with room costs as follows;

  • Deluxe guest rooms at $110 per night
  • One bedroom suites at $135 per night
  • Two bedroom suites at $200 per night

This does not include resort fees or state sales tax on rooms of 9%. You can take a closer look HERE for a more comprehensive look at the accommodations.


Saddlebrook Resort lists 5 different dining experiences including the newly revamped Dempsey’s Too Bistro located just around the corner from the main check-in desk. Dempsey’s Too has completely changed their menu to offer a variety of food at reduced prices so if you’re in the mood for a light meal in the evening Dempsey’s Too is the place for you. Plus, Saddlebrook has a super coffee bar to get you started each morning. The cost of dining is really dependent on what you’re in the mood for. Have a sandwich and fries at the Poolside Cafe , check out the Tropics Restaurant, the new Dempsey’s Too or go ahead, indulge in the ultimate dining experience at Dempsey’s Steak House, renowned for some of the best steaks on the planet. For more detailed information on resort dining please go HERE. If you have a car there are several great places to eat very near the resort like Applebee’s and Cracker Barrel plus the usual fast food eateries.


We recommend flying into the Tampa International Airport. Transportation to Saddlebrook can be booked 24/7 by calling Erin at 1-813-907-4455Be advised that you must book transportation 24 hours in advance of your expected arrival date. Saddlebrook resort does not offer public parking, only valet so there will be a daily fee for parking.


Saddlebrook is a tennis lovers paradise with over 40 courts in all 4 Grand Slam surfaces. As a recognized training facility for top ranked professionals and aspiring juniors Saddlebrook offers everything a tennis player could ever ask for! You can go HERE for more details on the tennis facilities. If golf is your game Saddlebrook also offers two Arnold Palmer signature golf courses as well as golf lessons!


If you have any questions at all regarding this event please feel free to call IART Executive Director Tim Strawn at 540-632-1148 or send an email to tim@gssalliance.com

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