Brenda Schultz McCarthy

Co-Founder at Brenda Schultz Sports Camp & The T.E.D.S. Foundation

Tim is a great help to the players at our camp. The average tennis player has no idea of the importance of equipment management. In tennis your racquet is your weapon. You cannot expect to perform if your weapon isn't balanced, weighted correctly, strung properly and suites your game. Tim delivers exceptional service and guidance for managing your equipment as well as enhancing your play through your racquet having the correct specifications. This is important at every level but it's really important when you are rotating racquets and breaking strings on a regular basis at advanced levels of play. He not only handles things for us locally at the camp in Virginia he also works with our players when they are traveling playing events all over!

About Brenda Schultz McCarthy.....

Schultz' career high was in 1996 when she reached World No. 9. She reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon and the US Open in 1995. She retired from tennis in 1999 with longstanding injuries. She came out of retirement in 2005, playing Fed Cup and WTA tournaments in 2006. The best result of her comeback came in June 2006 at the Tier III Ordina Open in the Netherlands, reaching the quarterfinals with wins over two players ranked in the top 70 on the WTA Tour.

In July 2006, Schultz-McCarthy claimed her place as the fastest server in WTA history, recording a 130 mph (209 km/h) serve in the first round of the Western & Southern Financial Group Women's Open qualifying tournament, held in Cincinnati, Ohio. Venus Williams previously held the women's record set in 1998 of 127 mph (204 km/h) in a match in a quarter-finals win against Mary Pierce in Zurich. Williams would tie the record in 2008. In June 2007, Schultz-McCarthy won an ITF tournament in Surbiton.


When club directors and shop owners decide to invest in their racquet technicians some very positive things happen. Here are just two emails IART received after club directors decided to send their racquet technicians to the IART symposium.

From John Fraser, Director of Tennis, Princess Anne Country Club, Virginia Beach, Virginia

 Dear Tim,
I wanted to let you know how much my stringing business has improved over the last year.  When Charmagne returned from the stringing symposium, she had a lot of new techniques not only with regards to stringing but repair and general maintenance.  We had no idea we were just scratching the surface of the stringing world. We have been experimenting with customization and have had rave reviews. When customers question my staff about strings, we feel so much more knowledgeable about hybrids, natural gut and new items on the market.  I can not say enough about how the money spent was well worth it and how much more professional we look to our customers.  It’s great to have a symposium to continue our education in this area every year and to learn about all the new products out there.  You can count on us to be a part of it every year from now on.
Thank you,
John Fraser
Director of Tennis
Princess Anne Country Club
IART note: Charmagne has become an integral part of the symposium and for the first time in 2014, she will become one of our featured speakers.

From Steve Tidball, Director of Tennis, Congressional Country Club, Bethesda, Maryland

Dear Tim,
I would like to take the time to thank you for organizing the 2007 stringers symposium. At the time that we had become aware of your symposium we were in the process of improving our stringing business. Our primary racquet stringer, Jeremy Plumley wanted to attend in the hopes of making our stringing business more professional, and also to test for his Master Racquet Technician certification. We could not be happier with the results of his attendance.After returning from the symposium Jeremy had a huge database of information to share with the staff and members, especially in regards to customization and the benefits of natural gut. Through his sharing of information we as a staff are much better informed in the areas of stringing and customization. We even decided to purchase a Babolat Racquet Diagnostic Center upon his recommendation after he used one at the symposium. This has made our stringing center look much more professional, and it has given us a new tool in increasing excitement among our members.In 2007 our stringing business more than doubled, with a majority of the growth happening after Jeremy’s return from the symposium in April. Most impressive is the number of natural gut string jobs that we now do. Before Jeremy attended the symposium we had one request for natural gut in five years. Since April 2007 we have now strung more than two-dozen racquets with natural gut as a whole or as a hybrid. You can imagine what that has done for our total sales! We have also experienced a greater interest in racquet customization.In my opinion your stringers symposium really gave Jeremy the learning tools and confidence to take our stringing business from a member courtesy, to a professional, and very profitable aspect of our facility. We now have several non-members who choose to have Jeremy string their racquets rather than take them to their club’s stringer. We look forward to next year to see where our business can go from here.

Thank you,
Steve Tidball
Director of Tennis
Congressional Country Club
Bethesda, Maryland

FROM SHOP OWNERS & Racquet Technicians

Dear Tim,

I sent 2 of my staff, Peter and Nattie to the 2013 Symposium,. Both have learned tremendously. Peter has become a more accomplished stringer and understands the nuances of strings, stringing and customization much better. Nattie has networked her way into stringing at several ATP 500 events and is also auditioning for the Wilson Stringing Team. The investment I put in to improve our staff's skills at the IART symposium was definitely worth it. I encourage business owners to do this for key employees as well. Simply put the trip on your points card. It will also improve employee satisfaction like you wouldn't believe.

Brandon Luu
All Court Stringing

Dear Tim,

I wanted to shed light on why Tennis Specialty shops would benefit by sending their stringer / stringers to the symposium.I have been stringing for 25 years and the owner of Tennis Junction in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania for 15 years. We have 4 MRT certified stringers on staff, and always felt that there was a void in the sharing of information between stringers. The symposium opened our eyes to the aspects that have made us more professional – racquet customization especially. We purchased a Babolat RDC after using one during the symposium, deciding it was one of the more important tools available to enhance our business.The symposium has given my staff a broad knowledge base and we are more capable and professional, when it comes to offering string choices to our customers. Tim is joined by a core group of full time professional stringers such as John Gugel, Ron Rocchi, Richard Parnell, Mark Gonzalez and Grant Morgan. What I took away from the symposium was their passion for our profession, and an unwavering principle that each and everyone one of us stands to benefit when knowledge is exchanged. Too often, we work in a vacuum and we don’t share information that benefits all of us.I'm more confident today that our stringing at Tennis Junction is at the highest level it's ever been, and also know that further improvement cannot occur without putting our ability on the line and stringing in front of other pros. It's wonderful to receive feedback – positive and negative in the quest for knowledge, and the symposium puts ones techniques on display.I'm looking forward to this year’s symposium and will hopefully bring two or more of our stringers to the symposium. My only question now is- Who is going to step up and string at the shop when all of us are in Tampa?

Many thanks
Philip Van Asselt
Owner Tennis Junction
Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania

I am someone who attended the 2012 symposium and let me just say this. From technique to aesthetics, great stringing lies in the details. Whether you are a novice stringer looking to improve, a good stringer seeking the next level or an expert stringer searching for those details, all will be found at the IART symposium in Saddlebrook. Don't miss it

Randy Houston
Head Tennis Professional
Indian Wells, California

I would like to share with you how the IART symposium took me in a new world! My first time at the symposium was in 2008 and it was a great journey. I came from Brazil, I spoke another language, and it was a very long trip, especially since I didn't know what I would find. I was amazed with what I saw and learned. I felt  like I was blind and after the symposium I felt  like I was seeing the light again. I learned so much that now I can't wait to come back every year to improve my knowledge and have new experiences. I was a stringer in a small town in Brazil and now, because of my symposium experiences, the world has opened up to me. Now I am a MRT with the USRSA, a Pro Tour Stringer, and I have had the opportunity to work at ATP and WTA events here in Brazil. Recently I had the experience of a lifetime because I was one of the technicians stringing racquets for the Federer Gillette Tour. I strung for players like Rafa Nadal, Joe Wilfried Tsonga, Maria Sharapova, Venus & Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka and many more. A few years ago this was just a dream for me but now my dream has become a reality because of the IART Symposium. I would like to thank Tim Strawn and all of the seminar leaders for their efforts, professionalism and dedication for sharing their knowledge with us.

Andrea Amaral
Vassouras, Rio de Janeiro

I want to share a bit of a personal story.  I attended last year's symposium (2014) based on the advice of Tim Strawn with one primary goal in mind; to learn some advanced stringing skills and to test for my USRSA certification. What I failed to realize is the true impact this one week would make on my life. I was not only able to complete my testing for Master Racquet Technician, but the people I met with had such a meaningful impact on my life. When I traveled to the symposium, I kept asking myself why would a guy like me be attending such an event. It didn't take long to realize why I was there.
I left Tampa last year with a new vision for my life. It was there, when I first realized the dream of owning my own stringing company. The idea of String Sensation was born in Tampa last year. As I make plans to attend my second symposium this fall, I look forward to learning new skills and concentrating on racquet customization.

Mike Stephens
Soddy Daisy, Tennessee

"The IART training symposium is one of the best places to acquire anything from base knowledge to specialized customization skills in all racket sports. The chance to meet fellow racket technicians and share knowledge is immense. Then there is the instruction from the industry's leading professional's. Anyone wishing to further their knowledge base this is the place to be. I've been to the last 5 of these Symposiums and would not miss this yearly opportunity".

Randy St Pierre
Ecclesfield, Sheffield
United Kingdom


Babolat has been involved with the IART from the beginning and we are proud to support and be a part of an organization like this! The communication and the contacts this symposium and website fosters for stringer across the world is something like I have never seen before. That type of collaboration is awesome, and it is good for stringers and great for the tennis community!

Jason Costello
After Sales Manager

“Stringing is such an essential part of the game of tennis, and one that is too often overlooked. As a brand that takes performance seriously, Dunlop is proud to partner with the IART for their annual symposium.”

Hunter Hines
Director of Marketing and Product Development
Dunlop Sports Group Americas

"The IART Symposium is like non other and definitely raised the bar for any other tennis symposiums in the industry. How much fun to start a Symposium with a round robin for all available to attend, which gets the ball rolling for a great week of networking. YTEX acted as sponsor for the 2014 Symposium along side the industry brand leaders (Wilson; Babolat; Dunlop etc.) and very chuffed to be awarded the official tshirt sponsor for the 2015 Symposium in September.
Besides having this venue at the beautiful Saddle Brook Resort in Tampa which is just plain paradise, you'll leave there with a bunch of new friends all obsessed in being their best at their craft of stringing racquets. You can skip a few others but dont miss this one"

Ivor Savage
YTex Strings

Tim, While I no longer work in the string industry the reason I am still involved in the GSS is because you and your team are top notch. True industry professionals who care about their craft and want to share their skills with other for the good of the sport. There are many conference in the industry that you question why you went but the GSS Symposium is not one of those. The days are filled with great seminars that even the most seasoned strings still have the ability to learn more.

David Malinowski
Sr. Director HBS NAM


Dear Tim,I wanted to thank you for putting together such an incredible event. I also wanted to thank you all for the way you welcomed my son to the symposium and
for all the advice and guidance you provided. His confidence was bolstered and he came out of there so energized and even more excited about what he is
doing. I have never seen him take so many notes in his life and never ever have I seen him review his notes so often.

This is the training I was hoping he would receive. He actually received much more than expected.  I know you probably don't usually receive a note from your stringers' moms but since he is still my charge for the next 2 years,  and as his home schooling parent,  I considered the symposium one of his courses and I wanted to provide feedback.

He will definitely be returning next year.

Best Regards,
Meghan Kofod