Imagine that you're playing an important tournament, you really want to win, and you can't finish the match because you break a string in your only racket, or you run out of energy and can't continue without food or water. All the practicing in the world won't help you win the tournament if you aren't prepared.
You see most pros carrying several rackets onto the court in a bag that also contains other essentials. In some cases, they carry a second bag with even more "stuff". Do you ever wonder what they have in those bags? And why do they need all that just to play tennis?
If you want to give yourself the best chance of winning a tennis match, you need to be prepared. What if the temperature on court climbs over 115 degrees, or if you're playing in extra humid conditions? You may not have anticipated every possible scenario, but you're already at a disadvantage if your opponent has.
Here are some useful items that you may want to consider bringing with you on court for your future matches --
Most players carry their rackets in a bag to protect them from the elements (i.e. sun, heat, etc), and it's always a good idea to have one or more spare rackets in case a string breaks.
- Tennis Balls
You never know when you'll need balls, and your generosity will be greatly appreciated if you have an extra can to loan to the court next to you.
Your body needs to be kept hydrated to work efficiently during a tennis match, so always bring extra water in case there is none available on the court.
- Sun Protection
Sunglasses and a hat or visor are the best way to play your best tennis on a bright day. The hat also helps to keep sweat out of your eyes, the bill shields your eyes from overhead sun, and the cap keeps your head cool. The sunglasses elminates you having to squint, plus it protects your eyes from harmful UV rays. Also, don't forget the sunscreen.
- Extra Towels
You can't have enough dry towels during a match - to wipe sweat from your forehead, to dry off your hands/arms/legs, to sit on instead of directly on the wood bench, etc.
- Dry Clothes
There's nothing like putting on a pair of dry socks between sets or matches, and it's a good way to avoid blisters on the feet. A clean shirt will make you feel refreshed and ready to continue. You might also want to throw in a couple extra headbands and wristbands so you can change out the wet ones.
- Snack Food
You should try to eat a few hours before your match, but if your start time is delayed or you split sets in a long match, you may need extra energy on court, so try to bring along healthy snack food like bananas or granola bars.
Because everything doesn't always work out the way we want, you may not feel well or could sustain an injury during the match, so best to always carry asprin and bandages. You should also consider carrying a couple extra overgrips in case you have problems keeping your grip dry. And don't forget the extra dampeners as they do have a tendency to pop out.
- Pencil and Paper
It's handy to have something to record stats about the match you just played, or to swap info with prospective new players.
Now you can see why it is handy to have a bag for all your tennis gear. Have fun on the courts!