Episode #:28 Bobby Schindler and Shaun J Boyce

Arturo Nieto of Lacoste & Tecnifibre shares plans for the Atlanta market and confirms how often you should get your racquet restrung

[email protected]

https://www.instagram.com/arturo.nieto3/

Born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. Played top junior tennis growing up. Earned a scholarship to Jacksonville St. Played for 4 years, moved to ATL to coach and be closer to family. Coached mainly at the country club level for 20 years. Stepped out of coaching and tennis for about 1.5 years. Now back at tennis as Regional Sales Manager, Southeast with Tecnifibre & Lacoste. Really enjoying being back in the tennis industry and learning a new side of the business.

https://tfselect.net/

https://www.tecnifibre.com/en/tennis/

https://www.lacoste.com/

Shaun Boyce USPTA: [email protected]

https://tennisforchildren.com/ 🎾

Bobby Schindler USPTA: [email protected]https://windermerecommunity.net/ 🎾

Geovanna Boyce: [email protected]https://regeovinate.com/ πŸ’ͺπŸΌπŸ‹οΈ

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Transcript
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Welcome to the Atlanta Tennis Podcast.

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Every episode is titled, "It starts with tennis" and goes from there.

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We talk with coaches, club managers, industry business professionals,

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technology experts, and anyone else we find interesting.

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We want to have a conversation as long as it starts with tennis.

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[MUSIC]

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Hey, hey, this is Shaun with the Atlanta Tennis Podcast powered by GoTennis!

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Check out our calendar of Metro Atlanta tennis events at Let'sGoTennis.com,

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where you can also find deals on equipment, apparel, and more.

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In this episode, we talk to Arturo Nieto, certified tennis professional,

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and regional sales manager for Tecnifibre and Lacoste.

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Have a listen and let us know what you think.

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Tell us who is Arturo and what are you doing now?

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>> Yeah, so born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela.

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So I played junior tennis through my years at a high level.

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Good enough to get a scholarship in Jacksonville State, in Jacksonville, Alabama.

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So I went from Caracas to Jacksonville, Alabama.

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So that's a whole other podcast.

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[LAUGH] Club by itself.

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From, you know, play college tennis, I love that great four years.

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And then I moved to Atlanta where my sisters were already leaving.

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And I started coaching, started coaching at Windward Lake Club to start with in their academy,

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in the heyday of Windward Lake Academy.

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And then from there, I kind of moved through towards the country clubs side of things, right?

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So from there, at that point, Windward also took over Creekstone,

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which is a big neighborhood in coming, and then from there.

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So I was kind of doing both for a little while.

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And then I went over to Sugarloaf Country Club, TPC Sugarloaf.

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And I was there for a year and a half or so with Darryl Lewis.

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And some other guys, they're really great experiences.

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So kind of opened me up to that.

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With Windward, I had that academy high level junior experience and

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what it's like to travel with these kids to tournaments, wrong Georgia and Columbus and

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mobile in those places.

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But then the country clubs had all things just kind of opened me up to that more like a service industry oriented.

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A little more about the member experience and what it looks like.

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So I learned a lot there.

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And I went over to Standard Club and I was there.

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Keep layman, hire me.

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It was a smaller program.

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So I had a chance to kind of get my hands into every program there.

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Plus for indoor course, you know, wasn't bad to deal with.

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So, you know, it would never rain out or too windy or too hot.

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So we always had our lessons, which was nice.

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Again, but I knew after kind of going into the industry, especially after Shigelov that I wanted

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to become a director of rackets at a country club.

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So after Standard Club, I became director at Polo Golf and Country Club.

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And I did that for four years.

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And that was a really great experience.

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Fantastic members.

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I learned a lot there.

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Now throughout all of these changes, right, Windward and Shigelov and ending up at Polo.

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met my wife in three kids later.

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You know, the coaching hours were not necessarily super family friendly.

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So I left coaching really just because of that.

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I wanted to spend more time with my kids and my wife.

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And so I did recruiting, exactly recruiting, consulting for a year and a half.

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And the people that I've worked with were fantastic.

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But it just wasn't me.

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And I kind of learned that maybe a year and a half into it.

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And then thankfully, I've been always interested.

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I always get my eye on different things in the industry.

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And I was sort of kind of thinking about, you know, I miss tennis.

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I miss the people that you meet through tennis.

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But the coaching hours I just can do with my family.

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Thankfully, timing was right.

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Where Technifiber and LaCoste were looking for someone in the southeast that was already living in Atlanta.

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Area that has experience throughout these 20 years of me coaching at different clubs.

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I met a ton of different people in the Academy of Business in the Counterclubs, out of things.

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USPT-A, PTR, USDA, out of the offices, you know, just from being in the industry, as you guys know.

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And so it kind of was a really good marriage between my experience and what Technifiber and LaCoste

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were looking for. And so I've been with them since November of 2022.

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So, yeah, that's what I am now.

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What's interesting about that is that, okay, the recruiting wasn't you,

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but now you're doing this.

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And is it just because you're back a little bit in the tennis industry, because

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personalities like me and like Bobby are just, we're just so magnetic, you can't not be around us.

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That's exactly, that's exactly, it's part of my resume.

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Talking to you guys.

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Yes, I mean, recruiting, you know, my wife goes to the best year and I have best year ever,

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because I was from coaching to late hours and putting events on weekends and socials and whatnot.

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I did recruiting for a year and a half and it was no commute, no travel, no evenings, no weekends.

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So, you know, it was awesome for the family, but because of working from home, I realized after a while

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that I wasn't getting used to it. I needed to see people, I needed to connect with people in which I

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miss from the coaching side of things, right? So, not just in that on top of the fact that meeting with

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tennis people, right, that's kind of the ultimate for me, right? It's just, it's like we stick a different

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language when it comes to tennis, right? And only a few people understand that. And so I miss that.

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So, I knew I need to see people and I need to be around people and just so have their interaction

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in growing those relationships. And so, when tennis fabric came about, you know, I thought about,

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this could be really, really good because my office is my laptop, so I can work from anywhere, right?

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But because I have accounts throughout the city of Atlanta, I also have Alabama and Mississippi, I have

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to go see them every so often. I get to, you know, to connect with them. I get to travel not too far,

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and sometimes it takes me a day, so it doesn't take me two days, maybe, you know, I'm overnight somewhere.

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But throughout, I'm learning a lot of different things, right? So, through my 20 years in the industry

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coaching, I became really good at knowing a lot of things about the plan of tennis industry. And

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especially with the country club side of things, because that's what I did for like the last, you know,

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15. But now I'm talking to a lot of people like you guys, you know, like you saw that have a different

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take, right? You don't do quite that country club side of things with tennis for children and go tennis,

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you know, I'm talking to academies like UTAs and Cherokee Academy and all these academies in the

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area, seeing other country clubs like I went to Augusta Country Club a couple of weeks ago, like a month ago.

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And it's just all these places that after all this year I've never been to. So, I'm loving, I'm learning

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a lot about, you know, different people that have, you know, the tennis centers, the country club,

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the academies, the independent pros in all of those I'm sort of learning and how can

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they can fight for their own costs, help and partner with these people at different levels. Not, you know,

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what the independent pro needs is know what a country club needs, right? And learning that it's

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being a great six months learning that and how can we partner with them and, you know, all these things.

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And so it's just been really, really good. And that's where I want to hand you to Bobby. It's okay,

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can you guys talk about one of things go tennis is working on doing is helping, as you say, the

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independent pro, but then down to the end user, the person that actually gets the tennis racket,

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because otherwise we all know, I say, we all meaning the three of us, of course, we know what I

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wrote a pro shop in a country club because, you know, we buy a racket for $100 and we sell it for $200

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and we say, yay, we made money and the member got a racket, but it doesn't, it can't really work

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that way. I think Bobby, you don't actually have a physical pro shop at Windomere. And so, how does,

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how does our Toronto help somebody like you where you actually have more maybe than a,

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than a Rob Carver who doesn't even have necessarily his own, his own club, so to speak, more of a,

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more of a guy who comes to you. And how does Technifyver work with somebody like Bobby and those guys

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to really help that end user specifically? Yeah, so, you know, again, different approaches, right,

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depending on the person that, of the business that we're talking to, right? I'm actually in talks

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with some independent pros to sort of figure out, okay, how are you getting, because independent

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pros, for example, they can get, they don't get anything in bulk, they can't afford it, they don't need it,

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like a country club shop needs it, right? Let's say they need a country club shop might come in and

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need 20 balls at once, 20 cases of balls at once. And independent pro doesn't go through 20 cases of

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balls per year. So, a lot of times have to go to a retailer and pay retail pricing for those,

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for balls or maybe even teaching equipment. So, how we are, like I said, we're working with some

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independent pros of how can we take me for one of the great things about Technifyver is that we don't

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have minimums. So, if someone wants to just get a case or two balls, we can help with that, right?

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If they want to get just a racket, they want to get a, you know, a tenant under net, we can help that,

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right? Which at the beauty of Technifyver being a little smaller company than some, that we're not

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going to require, hey, you want one case of balls, are we going to send you, we only want to send you

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15? And so, the good that kills that independent pro, that small owner, that small business owner.

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So, we are working on how can, you know, what price ones are they're paying, you know, how many

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cases of balls are they going through the year? What other materials are they using? Where are they

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sending their, the clients, right? Someone needs a racket. Where are they sending them to, right?

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Independent pros usually are connected to a retailer, right? And obviously, we, we, we,

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we do that too, right? So, we, we, obviously, we, we, we, big partners with your surf tennis in Atlanta,

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in some, in oftentimes we connect that independent pro to a retailer so that when a customer needs

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something, then they go straight to the shop. But also, if they have, maybe they leave too far away

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from it, you know, that for your self-location. So, then how can we partner up? So, it really depends

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on, on, on the, on the pro, on the size of the business, what, you know, the price ones are paying

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and kind of what they want to do with the, with their business. But we're open to ever conversation.

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I think a lot of times what I find in this is people is like, oh, you know, we love to work with you,

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but, you know, I, I, I can't because I only do a handful of cases or, um, only need like a

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reel of, of strings every so often. And, and, you know, that's when I come in and say, okay, let's,

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let's work it out, right? Let's work out a, a price point that works for you. Uh, we don't have any

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minimums, like I said, um, in the, in the quality of the materials are, are really good, you know,

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that that's one, one thing I say working with Technify, but I'll cause they don't make anything

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that is just putting a few things together in here. It's a, a tennis ball, right? Everything they do,

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it's, it's of quality, it's meant to last for a while and not just be a one time use and then,

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and they're done. So, so that is a great thing to, to, to work for a company like that. Bobby,

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that's a different relationship than you're used to, right? Historically, yeah, that's,

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it would so exciting about what they're doing is, and even just listen to Arturo because, hey,

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like you said, the independent pro is not going to make your rich. Pro shop business is tough for

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everybody. Let alone the independent guy who's worried about, like you said, if I go through 20 cases,

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well, I do want now, but I mean, you know, an, an independent goes through 10 cases of balls a year

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or 20 cases of balls a year, you're not meeting any minimums. And, you know, you're, they're asking for

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a lot in part of the competitiveness of Atlanta is you want to be able, if you're that independent pro,

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you want to be able to offer something. Why do you, you know, choose me other than,

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unfortunately, too often convenience, you know, price point of what the, the independent pro is

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teaching and it goes against what we're trying to do, which is also build up the pro and, and show the,

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the value and the importance of finding a certified pro. So, you know, this is a, a great way

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to elevate the independent certified pro and show them, look at because of the, the relationships

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they've created with the technical quality companies and quality people that, you know, they're,

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they're the reason why you want them in your subdivision for a couple hours a week is opposed to

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somebody else. So, I, you know, right off the bat, I think that's, that's awesome. And that's what

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got us excited. Obviously, we've known Arturo for a while. We've crossed paths on worked in several

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of the same companies for during time to time, but, you know, this was just what they're doing is,

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is somewhat out of the box and it's, it's exciting and hopefully other companies will follow into the,

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the equation with it and, and talking about high quality too. I mean, we're not talking about, you know,

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I tried to rep Mantis in this country for a little bit. It's a great racking, but there was no funding

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and, you know, you're just another component in the stringent, you know, Arturo taught us,

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because I know most people are saying, we're in the industry. So we get it. Most people understand

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that the stringing business is really the, the pro shops number one revenue producer.

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Right. Yeah. It looks at the beauty of, oh, look at the great clothes, clothes stink,

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clothes cost you money. Yes. Yes. They are for sure. Look, it, technology fiber has been a,

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a stringing company and they've been around for, for a long, long time, especially the huge,

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especially their, their French, you know, so a little background on that, right? Henry La Costs,

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obviously started, we found the, La Costs a long time ago and, you know, they did great things and

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obviously very popular brand in about 2017. They, they, they figured out, do we want to go back to our

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roots or do we want to continue kind of on that path that we're going and they decided let's go

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back to our roots, with roots, which is on, on, on, on, on, on tennis and golf. So part of that,

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going back to the roots was acquired on the technology fiber, both, uh, into very high quality

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products, both into both French and quarter in pairs, in pairs, um, and, you know, through that

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collaboration, you know, a lot of great things have happened, right? And obviously we have been lucky

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to have people like Daniel, the member there, the, the, both, you know, number one in the world,

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at one point last year, or a couple of years ago, and obviously still doing great playing with

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our rackets and our strengths. Um, and, and it just speaks of, of, of the quality of our product,

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right? I mean, you, you won't find, you know, that war more, um, you know, brand, uh, winning grand slams

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or, you know, being top 10 in the world or number one in the world. So speaks very highly of that,

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of that. And again, with that collaboration, you know, La Costs found himself as a, like a innovator,

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right? An inventor. Uh, it was all about performance, elegance while you play tennis, right? Uh, he invented

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the, uh, the tennis polo that we sort of take for granted now, right? Back in the day, they were

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playing basically with dress shirts, uh, in the, in the 20s and, and, and so on. And so in, he introduced

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that, so he introduced things that were, you know, that, that are now the, the fabric over sport,

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right? And, and so that company, La Costs again, according to Technify, through that collaboration,

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Heritage and history, Technify, being one of, you know, if you will, a new kid in the block,

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um, for a lot of people, you know, they're doing a lot of things. So when it comes to,

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everybody know, nobody, but a lot of people know our strengths, right? Strengths is kind of what

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it gives us our, our names, right? It's, it's a great strength, um, it's high quality performance,

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again, played in for, with, for many players on, on the tour, um, in, in, so that's, that's,

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it's an exciting time for a company to kind of take over, uh, the US, uh, market, as we speak.

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Well, and that, that's something that you told us about the, I didn't even realize, and, and, uh,

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I'll let you let the cat out of the bag, how excited you, obviously you lease, or you have licensing

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agreements with other stringers because who makes Wilson's NXT string, their most popular string?

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Where does that come from? Um, I will just have, you know, and the grounds of liking my job,

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leave it, uh, leave it like that, just hang it out there. Okay.

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But at that. So, yeah, we, we make very high quality string. We own the process from, from beginning to

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end, um, so from, from raw materials all the way through production and, and sending it out to

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the customer. So again, it's a very exciting, uh, part, you know, company to be powerful, right?

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So because of the, of the high level of commitment to, um, uh, you know, to, to quality materials,

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right through out, right? Any where from clothing to shoes to, um, to strings to rackets,

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you know, and everything in between grips and everything else and balls, obviously, as well. So,

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but how do we get the, how do we get like the end user again? We talk about the player,

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and the player probably isn't doing that kind of deep down research as to where these things come

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from. And they're going to walk in and say, okay, and they're going to look at this wall of string.

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And, and the wall of shoes, we might be more likely because we've tried a bunch of different shoes,

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and we know physically how they feel. So we might have a little more, we is the, is the general

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player. Have a little more idea on, on rackets or, or shoes, but the string, just, I'm guessing, is just

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this magic behind that you've got to rely on the, the expert, you got to rely on, what do we

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rely on? The, the 17 year old standing there at the stringer to go, no, you really want this string

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over here. So, what information can we hand out and say, okay, you guys, you make a great string.

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Yes. Okay. But you've got what, 47 different strings, which ones write for me? How am I supposed to

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figure that out? I'm the random calculator out there that says, I'm a three oh, and I have a Wilson

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giant head, snowshoe racket, and I'm 48 years old, and I'm 33 pounds overweight. What string do I need?

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Like, where, how do we do that for the, for the person at the end? And you said, yeah, me,

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educating the coaches is a big part of it, right? The, not putting the wrong string of the

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wrong racket, the wrong weight of the racket on someone's string is huge, right? It's, and we

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have to understand, again, I see myself some, a little times it's still as a coach, that if we put

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our clients, our customers, our members on the right equipment, they will enjoy

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tenis even more, and therefore they will stay on it longer. Less injuries, they will perform better,

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they will just go home and talk about it with their spouse and their neighbors, and we, as a

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sports, we grow when we do that, right? So, it's jobs like mine, it's educating, you know, anyone that

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cares to listen to me, right? You know, that even though you want to, you look at the pros on TV,

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and they're exciting to watch in old dust off, you're not a pro, right? You, you, you are, you know,

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you played tenis on the weekends, and maybe, maybe an extra time or two a week, you know, you have

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a full-time job, and these guys live for tenis, right? They eat, they breathe, they train, everything is

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around tenis, so we can't really compare ourselves with some of those guys in the pro tour, but we can

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try to, obviously, try to play as well as possible, with that being said, a lot of people maybe are

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on poly strings, they should be a little more on multi-filaments, right? There is software on the

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arm, the easier, you know, for you to, a little more pop, they're just going to play better for you,

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so it's our job as a company to try to get, you know, how can we get someone, how can we get more people

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to play with the right equipment, right? What's the equation, right? Like you said, I'm a 3045,

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your player, like, what should I play with, right? How many times a week do I play in that equation,

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right? You know, you wait, for example, you know, we talk about restringing rackets about at least twice

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a year, all right? But really it depends, so a good equation is if you play tenis, let's say four

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times a week, you should probably string a rack of four times a year, right? And so on and so on.

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Is that a real thing? All right, I've heard that before. I've even said that to people

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here in my career. I'm like, no, if you play 14 times a week, you need to play four, like, is

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that a real thing? It should be, it should be because think about this and someone told me this,

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one of my friends told me this and it's true. If you are not breaking your strings, the strings

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are breaking you, meaning they're breaking your tendons, your, you know, your, so your elbows, your

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wrist, your, your hands, your shoulder, which is so important, right? We see so much tenis elbows and

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shoulder elbows, shoulder problems, um, intense, right? And a lot of it has to do with the wrong

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equipment, right? Or the rack or the string just being there for too long. So it's encouraging people

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that yeah, it may be a small investment of 30, 40 bucks for, for, to risk your racket, but then you're

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going to be able to keep playing for years and years and years versus, you know, string your racket,

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you play, you get injured and you are for six months. And so that education that needs to happen,

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and, and we are doing, but of course it takes time educating the end user and the coach to believe in

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that, that it's, it's okay to, to break, to, to string your racket, no, don't wait till it has to be

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breaks. Some people that have no choice, they break all the time, so great, right? Because those people

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that are playing and they're only breaking, you know, I know women that I used to coach, never broke

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string, right? So they thought, well, do I need to string right my racket, right? And so we try

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to be like, well, you know, especially before autism, the string your racket before spring and

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before fall autism is at least something there. And we try to stay with it and, and, and whatnot, but

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like you said, he said, educating the end user and the coach that if you know breaking string,

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the string is probably breaking you. So Bobby, you're going to start now offering the

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Windomere Stringing Special. It's a monthly cost of $7 a month and will string your racket as

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often as you need and will just have a subscription like Roger Federer shoes that come in the mail

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when we just ship them back when they get dirty, right? We have a subscription monthly payment,

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we'll string your racket, whatever. Okay, sorry, crazy idea Bobby, go.

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No, like, like I said, first of all, if you're playing five days a week and you're not breaking strings,

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you might want to fire your coach or just, you know, figure out what you might have the wrong racket,

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what, what's going on there? But one of the other thing, another part of the equation, which I always

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used to get a kick out of and I can give them a little bit of a hard time because they theoretically

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do not exist. The pro shop that we worked with in Al-Foreta, I would send in the player with what I

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wanted them to and they would come back with something different. I'd be like, guys, they're in the

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business of selling to you. I'm in the business of improving your game and let's start with the

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rackets, you know, you the 45 year old, I'm learning how to play and they would, I'd say, you know,

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go get something that's going to provide a control, do you want to get better? You in this, yeah,

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I want to play and they'd come back with the snow shoe, you know, weighs six ounces. I'm like,

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would you give this if a kid walked in the door and said, I'm a beginner and I want to learn how to

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play tennis? Would this be the racket? You'd hand to a child. Well, then don't hand it to the adult

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because you're going to be hitting it just as far out of the ballpark as the kid would and,

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you know, when I get anywhere. So, you know, how do you bridge that gap? Not just the, the pros,

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because I agree with you, the pros did a terrible job when we introduced Polly in this country,

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everybody's stronger, too tight. Oh, you're well, I'm stringing my racket at 58. Oh, yeah, go ahead,

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string Polly at 58. Let's see how you feel. You know, where other countries were way down,

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way down in the mid 30s, years ago and it took us a long time to get there. How do you convince

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not only the player, the coach and the pro shop to get all on the same page? Yeah, I mean, it's a

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process, right? I mean, it takes a little time, but, but yes, we Polly for the most part a little

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weekend players, right? USDA adult players shouldn't be on Polly, right? There should be a multi-file man,

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that easy on the arm, right? We actually, interestingly enough, we created something called triax. It's a

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string that it has both multi-filament five percent and Polly five percent week together to make it,

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it's a Polly feel, but it's a multi-filament string. So a lot of people that think they should be

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in Polly, that's a string that we recommend a lot to a lot of people. It's as easy, friendly on the

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arm, but it's going to give you that sensation of playing with a Polly, but it's not going to kill

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you arm. It's not going to kill you elbow, right? But for a lot of those people, really, we have to

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main multi-filament strings, one's called X1 by face, in place, really, it's a multi-filament by a

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place a lot like a natural gut, because it's uncoded. It goes through a two-part process, and it's very

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crisp, right? And it's very much about that feeling touch that you need a lot for the country club

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players and the NRG too, which is, again, another string is very comfortable, it's coded, but

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so it's a little different, premium fibers. So I will say between, if you talk about technique

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fiber and our strings, right? You've got X1 by face and NRG on the most different, and you've got

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the triax, I saw in between that Polly and multi-filament. And now we just introduce race or soft,

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which is a string that is what Mepedev switched to at the beginning of 2023, and he's done really

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well with it. And, you know, because, again, when you think about Mepedev, he's playing, you know,

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10-50 behind the baseline, a little more power, and he kind of, we were working on it, and then

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halfway through last year, he came to technique fiber and be like, hey, I want to change something

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about my game, but he's not the racket, because he's already playing with the T-5 through your five,

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you know, for from us. He kind of played with the tension, he wasn't it, and then they said, well,

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we're working on this string, and why don't we give it a try? He was already playing with the

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race or code, which EGA is to replace with. But again, when you think about EGA, it's to replace

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with the baseline. So, Chinesa, you need more control versus power. Mepedev playing 10-50

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behind the baseline, right? He needs a little more power, and then he's used to getting that control

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from the string. So, anyway, we came out with race or soft, which is what Mepedev is now using.

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And again, back to my point, the race or soft being a premier, more polystring, but he's softer on the arm.

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So, we really believe this string is going to become our best string in the market, just because it's

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going to talk to everyone that wants to play with poly, or is playing with poly, but it's a little

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softer, but it's not a cheap string. It's a softer poly that is premier. Mepedev is winning the Miami

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Open with it. It's probably good for you, too. So, you know, and again, you should, but back to your point,

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Bobby, it's really trusting the coach you're working with, right? And that was just so important that

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even with independent pros, we need to get them, make sure that they are staying up to date with

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all these things. They are getting certified. You know, I believe that there shouldn't be, you know,

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you, I listen to your podcast, a lot of people just popping up the trunk and going out and teaching and

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leaving. And we need to be better, right? tennis needs to be better on that, right? We need to be,

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we need to incentivize these coaches. Why is it important to stay, to be certified and stay certified?

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And again, I think companies like TechnicFiber and LaCos, we can help with that, right?

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Indicating because as you get certified, maybe we can kick something back to you, right? It could be

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a racket. It could be strings, right? It could be a pair of shoes. So, there's, there's something

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there for them as well, right? As well as you're going to stay connected with the industry and the trends,

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right? And, you know, back in the day, that big racket that it's 120 square inches or 115,

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that's, again, technology has gone a long way. So, we don't need that anymore for power. I,

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I turn, I see that a lot when I'm doing demo experiences. And we have these people that have

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these humongous rackets and they think, well, I can't get power anywhere else. I was like, well,

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A, your racket is 15 years old, so, that is that essentially.

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To know, our biggest racket that we make is 105 square inches. Everything else is either it's

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a hundred or 98 because really, your power is now is going to come one with a better frame,

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with a, with a right string and the right tension, right? And then you add the right coach to it,

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and then your game can really take off, right? We believe in that. We don't make that big 115,

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120 square inches because we don't believe in it. We believe that, and the power is going to be coming

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mainly from a new technology on the racket, the strings and the tension.

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I want to want for one more second, I know we're going to, but it's a great point. I think people,

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when they think technology immediately jump to the racket, I need a new racket where you,

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you're talking to the pros, I remember in Aguicy, he said, he said, forget about the racket. He said,

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these strings, I can't miss. They, they, oh, the ball so long, I can hit it as hard as I want.

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Most of the play, oh, just put, you know, go do this. They, they, they don't think about, they go price

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point too often. And it's unfortunate because the string really does, you know, is, is an equal

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partner as the racket. Correct. And you can think of with the string so much, right? You can change

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strings. You can change the tension. You can maybe do a hybrid setup. There's so much you can do with

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the string. So, which, you know, I'm going to change rackets every couple months or, you know, I mean,

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so obviously finally, the right racket is important, but then figure out which tension, which string

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work for you, right? And that's where the coach helps. That's when companies like us help educating

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those people like, why would I recommend this string and this tension for you versus, you know,

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what that, but yeah, price point is obviously a big factor. But yeah, a lot of times you get a

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price point. You need to chip string that is going to just make, give you a terrible experience playing

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tennis and you won't come back, but you won't play as often. You only play once in a while, but if you

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have a great experience, then might you, you might play twice as much, three times as much. So that's

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what we have to convince the coaches that that's, that's what it would have been. And that's, is a great

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point. We had lunch the other day. We left that we talked about the importance of having your

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students walk off the court smiling because they're going to remember the less. So, you know,

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how do you construct a lesson? And it's true. It's the positive reinforcement. Whether you're dealing

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with juniors or dolls, you want them to play again. If they play again, they're going to get better

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through osmosis. So that, that's an important ingredient. And, you know, the equipment is such a,

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and we saw that during the pandemic that, oh, do you have rackets tennis supposedly went up,

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you know, exponentially. Well, it was a bunch of Walmart rackets that got sold because they were,

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they were, they were accessible. You know, how many of those people were retained? And how many do we lose

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because you go out there or, or even worse, when you see the junior out there with the, you know,

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the full-sized light racket that the ball weighs more than, and you won't get why they can't control

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the balls. Like, well, there's nothing about this equation. It's math, guys. Nothing about this

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equation is working. You know, how do we get the players in? And again, I love what you guys are

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doing. And I think it's important for the technophob is the world to keep the good fight, because

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the bigger brands historically cannibalize their lines. They may get very difficult for the small guy

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to enter. So, I try to speak to some of the things you guys are doing from a promotional standpoint,

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to try it, as you said, educate and overcome the barriers that the Wilson's put up, because it is

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important. You know, what you guys have done has influenced the way Wilson builds their rackets.

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And, you know, people don't understand that either. They just say, oh, Wilson came up with a new

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racket. Well, because they're getting heat. They need to, you know? Yes, yes. So look, we, you know,

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doing a lot of, we call them demo experiences. Again, because of that education being out in the

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marketplace with the people, being where people, tennis has been played, right? Whether that is

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tournaments, where that's, you know, social events, charity events. And being part of that

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education is a huge part. You know, we obviously, we believe strongly on our brand and what we're doing

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with our equipment, right? Whether it's rackets, whether it's grips and strings, even even our balls,

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you know, we have a, you know, when you talk about balls, like to your point, Bobby, a lot of the

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US market, it's a lot about price point, price point, price point, price point. And we see that a lot

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when it comes to balls, right? It's, it's, you know, what are you paying for balls, but what kind of

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ball are you getting, right? It's a Costco ball. I mean, it can be any good, right? I mean, Costco is not

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a tennis store. Costco is great. I mean, I got three kids. So I'm in Costco every week, but I'm not going

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to Costco for tennis balls or tennis rackets, right? And, you know, again, we're technically

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being a French company in Europe. The balls are more about durability than it is about price point.

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So our balls are a lot more like they have natural, they have a higher concentration of natural

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wool. So it has a truer bounce, even our core, it's natural. So we call it the natural choice for

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our balls because they're going to last longer and they have natural materials built into that.

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Versus some of the balls in the market here are, you know, again, because of the price, they're synthetic

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fibers. It's, it's, what it's inside of the ball. So it's not, it's not giving you, it's going to be

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cheaper, but it's not going to give you that true bounce, that true experience. They won't last us

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long either. But yeah, so back to your point, Bobby, we, yeah, educating being, being part of the

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industry, being part of, of being in the, you know, where tennis is being played. And that's,

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that next time, but we also feel like once that catches on, you know, like a fire, right,

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stars small and he catches on and catches on and next year, you know, you can contain it. And we

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believe that over time, we can, we can educate our customers in our coaches that these are the way to go.

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So compete, let's say, and we talked about it, we looked at some of your clothes, even with

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taking the farmers like, wow, you wore the vest as I can I try that on? I want to see if it fits.

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You know, how can people, because a lot of this stuff isn't carried yet,

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because people go to your websites and pick and buy clothes even though they might have,

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they give all the fight even on the, on the big, you know, online retailers. Yeah, yeah. So we,

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again, so we have a website called TF Select, the net, which is almost like an online catalog,

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if you will. The best way for now is it's, you can use that as a reference point, but the best way

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would be to reach out to, to me. And then again, having that conversation with the rep for the,

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for the area, which happens to be me and how can we work together, right? A lot of people is like,

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well, I want this or that. And some people, you know, I, if it's a customer, I might say, hey,

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go to, to Bobby shop, right? Or go to the, your service tennis and, and, you know, we have that there.

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But if it's not a lot of times, we, we are able to open accounts for customers, not customers,

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for clients that they might not feel like, oh, we, again, we don't have any, we don't have any

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minimum. So, you know, maybe Bobby like, like you said, like if you, you, you, you, you have an

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account for, with us and you, you need clothing for yourself or your staff, you know, we can, we can

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help you with that. And there's a lot of people that don't know that. And, and they just really a matter

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of, hey, give me a call and, you know, we can discuss and see how we can, you know, help you out.

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But Arturo, we always finish with a king of, king of tennis question. And you know it's

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common. So I'll just jump right in. If you were king of tennis for a day or however long it would

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take, do you have any ideas as to what you would do or change if you were king of tennis?

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A ray, a ray of tennis.

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Yeah, we are thought about this a lot, right? And I had all these ideas and, and, and, or, you know,

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obviously, after years in the industry, there's a lot, right? So, you know, locally,

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I would, I would get Alta and USDA to sit down together and work together versus compete against

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each other, right? Work together. How can we work together? For example, like one example that I hated

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when I was coaching is that Alta will have a game process for juniors. But then USDA was a four game,

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two four game sets. We know what scoring a type of, I mean, I mean, scoring along is really hard for

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a kid. And if you tell me that these two months of the year, I played this format and then kind of

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when I'm getting it, now you're going to change the format for the summer. And then again, back to

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the fall, but I am confused as like guys, let's get together. Right? Let's, let's, you know, so

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Alta and USDA are getting together locally. I would do that. But the biggest one that I kept coming

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back to is it's, I will love for the King of Tennis to figure out how we can have the data to,

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you know, tennises have good, I feel good sport. And a lot of times, you know, we talk about tennis

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is like, oh, it uses money in the country club side of things, right? People join, people may join

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for the golf, right? But a lot of times they stay because of the tennis, right? And traditionally speaking,

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the guy plays golf and the, and the lady and the kid play tennis. And, but a lot of times,

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those clubs wouldn't exist without tennis because then the guy wouldn't necessarily have an excuse

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to join. And so I think we have gotten away a little bit away from the director of tennis or

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racquet, now, or being a true director of racquet, managing the, and not so much about a glorified

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head pro, right? There's way too many directors of racquet and tennis are spending way too much time

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on the court and not enough time, managing the facility, their pros, coming up with events

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and running those events for the members. We, we spending way too much time on the court teaching

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and it's sort of preventing and it's taking people away from the industry. And we got to figure out,

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again, my King of Tennis would be figure out how can that we can have data of say like, no,

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it is an important piece to bring in more staff so that the director continues to direct to manage

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and not sipping to becoming a, basically, another head pro in the, in the, in the industry or in the,

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in the club and the staff. So that would, that's the one thing that I came up with the most.

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That in, and that these might be on popular, but I would love for women's tennis to play three out of

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five sets in majors. I would, I would, I really would. I know, I know that's not a popular opinion.

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I'm really just because I grew up with two sisters that play college tennis and they're both,

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we're, our amazing players and they're both whole of famous in their colleges and I'm not.

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And I enjoy watching them growing up. I mean, my, my, especially my, my bigger sister, you know,

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we watch her, I grew up watching her play tennis and my little sister as well. We play tennis together.

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I would love for women tennis to also be terrified because I enjoy how a three out of five match

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develops in different than a two out of three set. And maybe we can start with the final is three out of

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five and see how it goes for a couple of years and maybe semi-final's if he goes well and kind of see

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that will be another thing that would do us a king of tennis. But again, it's just a, a noise,

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no, popular, but personally, I will, I will, I will enjoy it. So Arturo, what are you, what are you

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doing now? What are you doing for go tennis? You, you and we're talking about what's coming up

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with us. We've got some plans, some super secret plans. What's good for you right now, Bobby?

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You looked like you had an idea. I want to say something because I know he's going to be too humble.

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All the donations he's just made to the various pros across the city, how tech the

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fibers helping out. Sean, you can speak on that, but I wanted to make sure that he gets props and

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people are aware of how much they're giving back as well to various organizations in the, in the

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community, to get people, young players, tennis raccots in their hands. Okay, this time I'm really done.

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But yeah, I will because that's one of the things we're doing is tennis for children. We'll do,

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I'll do my shameless plug, which because of Arturo and Tech the Fiber, we have a free racket deal

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going on through the summer. So if you register for summer tennis, which tennis is usually down

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in the summer unless you're running a camp, so those weekly classes slow down. We give you a free

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tech the fiber racket as supplies last. I have to say that, right? But because of tech and the

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fibers donations, because of what Arturo is doing for us specifically, and I know a few others you've

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spoken to, a few others, AYTEF, Ben Hesley, I think you've spoken to. So we've got quite a bit of

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that going on. Arturo is doing a great job of that and we really appreciate that because that is

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going against, going to take away that barrier. If the entry is the barrier, here's a good way to

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do it that we can get you in at least a decent junior racket. And then in that case, we say, hey,

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I look like a Medvedev out there, or IGA, right? Yes, or Chris Eubanks, which is local.

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Oh, even better. We got to talk to him too. Yes, yeah, yeah. But now thank you, Bobby, and Sean,

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yeah, look, I love that I get to help out different organizations that are introducing tennis to kids.

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So I'm really excited that we're able to do that with you guys in a few other organizations. And

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you know, that's again, part of our mission. We want to be in the grassroots of tennis, right? So

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when these kids are starting playing tennis, we wanted to be with Technifyver. So we're happy to

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to make donations to be part of it. And we are donating some stuff to an Alzheimer's events,

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out of white columns. I know Bobby used to be there that it's happening a Memorial Day weekend.

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Because again, we want to be part of the of the industry, you know, part of the of the fabric of what makes

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tennis a planet. Part of the fabric, what makes tennis in Atlanta, all right, hang on, I'm going to write that down.

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That's good stuff from Arturo. So what do you have now? You got anything special going on,

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or are we just going to make sure we keep working with GoTennis and see if we can get something up

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for our members? Yeah, yeah, so we're going to work together on that. You know, that's going to take

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some time to figure out the logistics, but yeah, so look, you know, anyone that is listening to

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here or thinks that, you know, we can partner up, you know, give me a call or email me, and, you know,

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my email is a, [email protected]. Just don't be afraid. I mean, there's just no, any conversation

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could lead to something pretty significant, right? And again, I think there's a lot of things that we

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can do, and a lot of people like I was having dinner with a group of friends and someone so, you know,

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like a demo experience that I had at a country club, and they're like, oh, man, I wish you could do

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this for us here at our subdivision. I'm like, I can't. This is not just for country clubs. Like,

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let's say, you on you, you on me and you're pro and I can figure out a good night and let's go. I

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mean, I love because again, I love being around people. I love talking tennis. So, hey, it's a, it's a

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good, it's a good for me anyway. So, selfishly, I love doing that. So,

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then it's a good fit. Yeah, it's a very good fit. Good. Well, our tour, I appreciate it. And we will

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definitely be in touch because we've got some, like I said, some super secret things coming up between

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go tennis and tech to fiber and the cost and we'll get those things running. And otherwise, we will

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make sure that what you're doing gets, gets put out and make sure that you and Bobby are connected.

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I know you and I are already doing some things with tennis for children and we'll tell everybody

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the great work you're doing. Awesome, guys. Thank you so much. And I love you, podcast and what you're

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doing and talking to all these different people from the first one, you know, through, you know,

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now me. So, but I love the fact that you are talking to all these different people in the industry.

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And I mean, I learned just from listening to the podcast. I learned what people are doing and

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how they went through the pandemic and the other things that they're going through and obviously

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pick a ball and how does that either affect or not, you know, and all those sort of things. And so,

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keep, keep it up. Well, there you have it. We want to thank rejoveneat.com for use of the studio.

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And be sure to hit that follow button. For more tennis related content, you can go to Atlanta

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tennispodcast.com and while you're there, check out our calendar of tennis events deals on equipment,

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apparel and more. And you should feel good knowing that shopping at Let's Go tennis.com helps

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support this show. You can also donate directly using links in the show notes. And with that,

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we're out. See you next time.

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[Music]

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