The IART (International Alliance of Racquet Technicians) training symposium is an annual event that offers a variety of seminars and hands-on activities geared towards those in the service side of the racquet sports industry. The event was started in 2007 by IART Executive Director and professional racquet technician Tim Strawn. If you’re in the tennis business you probably have a pretty good sense of what’s available within the industry with regards to training events. Various organizations host annual events that focus on the teaching aspects of tennis like the USPTA, PTR or the USTA and others. But in 2007, Strawn ask one very important question. Why isn’t anyone offering professional training for those who are interested in the service side of the business? Strawn saw a void that needed to be filled and thus, the IART training symposium was created.
WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT TO LEARN AT THE IART SYMPOSIUM?
Over the past 8 years the IART symposium has offered over 65 different course seminars covering a broad spectrum of topics. A partial list includes:
- Basic stringing
- Intermediate/Advanced stringing
- Stringing for the professional tour
- Successful business/pro shop management
- Social media
- Understanding strings/string construction/string application
- Matching the player to racquet, string & tension for maximum performance
- Working with specialty strings like natural gut & Zyex
- Racquet construction from the manufacturers perspective (presented by Wilson’s Ron Rocchi, principle racquet designer, Wilson Racquet Sports)
- Comprehensive racquet customization (revised in 2014 to a full 6 hour course)
- Handle modification
- Stringing aesthetics
- Stringing more efficiently and increasing speed
- Badminton/Racquetball/Squash stringing
- Pickleball & platform tennis
- Wilson/Luxilon speed stringing contest (winners are interviewed as potential candidates for the Wilson Pro Tour stringing team)
- Private one-on-one stringing lessons with the pros
As mentioned, this is just a partial list but should give you a good idea as to what to expect if you attend this event.
TENNIS DIRECTORS, CLUB OWNERS, RETAIL STORE OWNERS, HOME BASED STRINGERS & COACHES
What’s in a name? A reputation? Why do people patronize your business or belong to your club? It’s all about service and trust. If your employees are properly trained and provide unparalleled service, word travels like wildfire. Your club, pro shop or retail store quickly becomes known as THE “go to” place when players are looking for professional advice on racquet selection, strings and stringing. What does that mean? This is what separates you from the pack and places you head and shoulders above your competition. The IART symposium can serve as a major step towards improving anyone’s bottom line by transforming you or your employees into highly trained professionals. Anyone looking to increase revenue should consider investing in themselves or their employees by sending them to the IART symposium. We can pitch the importance of our event to you until we’re blue in the face but there’s no better way to convince you than to have you check out testimonials from past attendees HERE
WHO WILL I LEARN FROM AT THE IART SYMPOSIUM?
Each year a group of dedicated professional technicians and industry professionals come together for this one of a kind event. Each is uniquely qualified and has many years of experience within the racquet sports industry. Here’s just a partial list of past leaders:
Tim Strawn – the founder of the IART Racquet Stringers Symposium, Tim is also the owner of crazydiamond23.wpengine.com, an interactive web site dedicated to serving the worldwide community of racquet technicians. Tim is Master Racquet Technician and certification tester with the United States Racquet Stringers Association (USRSA), and an original member of the Wilson Tour Services Stringing Team. Tim has serviced racquets for the ATP/WTA tours for 10 years at such tournaments as Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. He was recognized by RSI Magazine as Stringer of the Year in 2007 and continues his role in developing and training racquet technicians from around the world at the annual IART symposium.
Ron Rocchi – is a principle designer for Wilson Racquet Sports and has been creating and developing the best selling Wilson racquets for the last 10 years. As Global Tour Equipment Manager, he is responsible for servicing all Wilson touring professionals with their racquet customization needs. Ron serves as the Director of the Wilson Tour Services Stringing team, the official stringers of the U.S. Open, the Austalian Open, and the Sony Ericsson in Miami, Florida as well as other events across the globe. Ron was also a creative force in the development of the Wilson BAIARDO stringing machine. He was recognized by Tennis Industry Magazine as Stringer of the Year in 2009.
John Gugel – is a Master Racquet Technician and certification tester with the United States Racquet Stringers Association (USRSA), veteran tour stringer, and is the former owner of e-Tennis in Winter Park Florida. John is the winner of the “Top Design” award from Industrial Design Magazine for innovative racquet design and the winner of the “New Top 100 Products” award from Popular Mechanics Magazine for designing a series of six racquets, one of which was named to the top 100 list. John is highly regarded as one of the most experienced and knowledgeable racquet technicians in the world and has been involved in the IART symposium from the very beginning. John was recognized by Tennis Industry Magazine as Stringer of the Year in 2013
Grant Morgan – is a Master Racquet Technician with the United States Racquet Stringers Association (USRSA) and a veteran tour stringer of 7 years and over 75 tournaments worldwide including all four Grand slams and all Master series tournaments. Grant has served as the official stringer for the U.S. Men’s Davis Cup team, was recognized by RSI Magazine as Stringer of the Year in 2006. Grant also traveled as the personal stringer to Andy Roddick during the 2003- 2004 ATP seasons
Richard Parnell – is a Master Racquet Technician with the United States Racquet Stringers Association (USRSA). He is a Master Pro Tour Stringer and certification tester for the ERSA and serves as manager of the ERSA in Spain. Richard is a professional racquet technician based in Fuengirola, Spain, where he has his successful tennis boutique which specializes in racquet sports, customization and stringing. Richard has worked with the major stringing teams (Babolat, Prince/Apollo, Tecnifibre) as either team leader or team member for all levels of ATP/WTA events. Richard has worked extensively with various Davis Cup teams and has been a member of the Wimbledon stringing team for the last decade. Richard has been stringing for the last 34 years with 20 of those at the highest competition level.
Bob Patterson – is one of the most accomplished and well-respected racquet technicians in the United States. His diverse background within the racquet sports industry qualifies him to address any and every subject in the field. Bob started as a home based stringer and grew that business into one of the most successful stand-alone tennis specialty stores in the country. In 2004 his business, Player’s Choice Tennis, was recognized as the “Retailer of the Year” By Racquet Sports Industry magazine and selected to the “Top Ten” retail specialty stores by the Tennis Industry Association. Bob sold the retail business in 2007 to concentrate on his new business, RacquetMaxx. Bob was also recognized by RSI Magazine as Stringer of the Year in 2005. He now serves as the Special Projects Manager for the United States Racquet Stringers Association.
This is just a partial list of the people you’ll have the opportunity to learn from when you attend the IART training symposium. As you can see, this is a very diversified group with a wealth of knowledge in all aspects of the racquet sports industry.
WHAT’S IN STORE FOR FUTURE IART SYMPOSIUMS?
2015 will bring new changes to the IART symposium. We’re looking at scholarships for potential “up and coming” young racquet stringers, adding a day specifically for tennis parents and their kids and making changes to the overall format. More time with the pros focusing on small groups to increase stringing and racquet customization skills and bringing in new speakers with different ideas and topics to speak on. We’re also considering a change in the number of days our event lasts to make it less stressful for folks who simply cannot be away from their businesses for extended periods of time.
If you want more information on this great training opportunity you can contact IART Executive Director Tim Strawn directly by using the “Contact Us” form found on the home page of the IART website.