Have never thought about stringing your own rackets? Maybe you should after all. Here are four really good reasons why you should get into it… or at least try!
After playing years of junior and college tennis, I learned how to string a tennis racket at age 24. I used to think it was such a technical thing and that it required a lot of practice and skills. When my friend finally showed me how it works, my reaction was “that’s it?”. I promise, just anyone can learn how to string and do a great job, even as a teenager.
The first few rackets you string will require a bit more time, because you’ll have to remind yourself of the steps and details, but it’s not hard… just tedious. After no time, you’ll be doing it with your eyes closed, while chatting with friends or listening to a podcast. The strings will just roll in your fingertips.
If you know a friend who has access to a stringing machine, ask them that they teach you. Otherwise, YouTube will do (yes, it’s that easy).
Think about it. How many times in your tennis career have you paid someone to string your racket, giving away 15, 20 or even $30 at a time? Let’s say you break your strings once a month and get them restrung for $20… that’s $240 in the year that you could have spent elsewhere. Now, let’s say you break every week. For that same rate, you’re spending almost $1000!
Now I know you’re going to say: “yeah but what about those stringing machines? Those are expensive.” Good point, except they aren’t all that expensive. You can get a basic manual machine for $179, and you can probably find great deals on good machines if you go hunting for a used one that’s still in good shape.
Knowing how to string means that no matter what happens, you can always count on yourself, and don’t depend on anyone. For example, if you break your strings right before a tournament and the pro shop is closed – NO PROBLEM! You have the skills and equipment you need to do it yourself and save the day.
By stringing your own racket, you’ll also become more in-tune with your equipment, perhaps discover new ways to string your racket that give you a better feeling on the ball, or will be able to achieve a better quality consistency than if you carry it around to different stringers.
Perhaps the best reason of them all, stringing rackets is the perfect little side job for tennis players. As athletes, it is almost impossible to have a part-time job because our schedules are so atypical and inconsistent: you go to tournaments on weekends, need to sleep early at night, and train daily. That makes it very difficult to earn pocket money, like some of your non-athlete friends.
If you know how to string and own a stringing machine, you could become your high school or college team’s stringer, meaning that you could earn about $20 every time you string a racket for your friends. It’s something you can do in your own time, whenever it works best for you. Also, it pays a lot more than any minimum wage job your non tennis player friends are currently working.
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