No matter of the type of match you play, when it comes to tennis - preparation is everything. In the recreational world of tennis, there are all sorts of players who come to the courts carrying along different items. The profile of the players ranges from those who just bring a single racquet, to those that carry several extra large tennis bags, resembling the ATP Tour pros. To be honest, there is nothing like being “too prepared”.
Here are some of the items that every tennis player should have in his tennis bag:
It’s a common practice to always buy tennis racquets in pairs. There are several reasons behind this, and one of them is that you’ll be playing equally with both of them, thus the feel of the racquets will remain the same (or similar) over time, as the racquets are used. You need at least two racquets in your tennis bag, just in case your strings break during the match. Don’t lose the match, just because you were forced to play with an old club racquet or the one that your opponent gives you as a spare. Changing from one racquet to another during a match usually never works out well.
Tennis players need to be hydrated well, and drinking water is so essential in this sport. Always bring water in your tennis bag. Tennis is an exhausting sport and we lose a lot of water during those long, sweaty points. Bring water and preferably a sports drink with you to every match you play. This way you’ll avoid cramping up, and also other common injuries that result from being dehydrated.
We have all been in a situation where we suddenly get hungry before or during the match, and we don’t have anything eatable in our tennis bag. Don’t make this mistake, rather pack some “tennis food” in your bag, just in case. You could pack bananas, peanuts and other snacks that you can eat during changeovers, at times when you feel you need a boost of power.
Don’t ever forget a towel! Pack several towels in your tennis bag as you are going to need them for sure. There is nothing worse than realizing too late that you’ve forgotten to pack the towel. You can separate fresh from used towels using different tennis bag compartments.
Always pack a bunch of overgrips in your tennis bag. This is really essential gear! Overgrips need to be changed regularly, and playing with an old, worn-out overgrip will decrease your performance on the court. The racquet might feel slippery, the blisters might start to form on your hand and the tackiness and feel just won’t be right. Many tennis players have this trick of changing an overgrip during the match. This instantly gives them more comfort and feel, also it helps them push forward mentally through tough matches.
Playing tennis outdoors means that you’ll be playing in the sun. You should have your tennis hat in your bag all the time, as you never know when you might need it. A hat is especially helpful in keeping the sweat out of your face when playing. You should also consider sunscreen, to protect your skin from the burning sun.
Bring a spare shirt, socks and underwear to the courts. Always have a set of extra clothes packed in your tennis bag. Also, you should bring along plastic bags to pack your sweaty clothes and keep them away from other items in your tennis bag. Changing a shirt during a close match can feel so rewarding and this action can have a positive influence on the outcome of the match, as you’ll feel renewed and much more comfortable in dry clothes.
It takes just one shot to lose the precious vibrastop. These have a tendency to fly off the racquet, never to be seen again. Those players who are used to playing with a vibrastop, just can’t imagine playing without one. So for them, it is a horror story when they lose it. To prevent this accident, have an extra vibrastop in your tennis bag. Chances of losing two in one match are almost non existent.
You definitely need a pack of these in your tennis bag. You never know when you might need them, and when it comes to tennis - you are bound to get blisters on your hands or feet. Especially if you are playing a tournament, then you might surpass your physical comfort zone and blisters might start forming due to long hours of playing tennis.
Always have an extra can of tennis balls in your bag. Keep in mind that this is truly essential gear. You should avoid playing with old, worn out tennis balls. Playing with new balls will help you prevent tennis elbow, and the feel and responsiveness will be much better as well as the playing characteristics of the balls, characteristics such as ball bounce and weight. Finally, some tennis partners like to assume that you must be carrying the can of new balls in your tennis bag all the time, so they just don’t bring theirs. How many times did you witness a situation where both players forgot to bring the tennis balls to the courts? Another benefit of carrying new balls in your tennis bag is that you get to play with your favorite tennis balls brand, ones that you are used to hitting.
When heading to tennis courts, you should come prepared. Preparation brings a piece of mind. You’ll be able to fully concentrate on your game this way, knowing that everything you might need is right there in your bag. During tough matches you’ll have enough food and water as well as a fresh t-shirt when starting a new set. If your string breaks, you just whip-out a new racquet with a fresh pair of strings on it. If your overgrip starts to feel slippery and absorbs too much moisture, you can just wrap a new one during a changeover. If you are playing tennis regularly, you should definitely consider getting a tennis bag and filling it with the items mentioned above. It’s all just in case stuff, but be sure - you’ll need it sooner or later.