Bag check. Racquet Bag Must-Haves for the Serious Tennis Player.
What's in YOUR racquet bag? With no pro entourage to cover the details, the serious player needs a well-stocked tennis bag, ready to handle just about any situation that could arise at a match or tournament.
Mario Llano, director and owner of Rhode Island Tennis Academy, suggests every tournament player use a 12 pack bag (like the bag pictured right) with three compartments, one for racquets and the other two for the essentials listed below. In a tournament setting, you might play two, sometimes three matches in one day. The list looks long but all too often the devil is in not having the details. Llano recommends:
- Between 2 and 5 ready-to-play racquets depending your level (intermediate USTA level, 2 racquets; pro player 4 or more)
- Extra Overgrips
- Tennis Sneakers
- Flip-Flops or comfortable shoes to wear between matches
- Running sneakers
- 2 extra t-shirts or tops
- 1 extra pair of shorts
- 2 extra pairs of good tennis socks (Thorlo, drymax, etc.)
- Underwear (nothing better in a third set than to come out dry all over)
- Jump rope
- Hat/visor/head band/hair elastics and clips
- Snacks — energy bars, banana etc.
- Water/sports drink/ sport drink packages (bring a cooler for this)
- Extra packages of string
- 3 good tennis balls
- String savers
- Vibration dampeners
- Wrist bands
- Thera bands or Rip cords (exercise bands that help you warm up shoulders especially)
- First aid kit with: flexible fabric band-aids (they are really good with sweat or on humid days),tape, scissors, ace bandage, antibiotic cream, acetaminophen and ibuprofen.
- Ankle brace
- Nail clipper
- Chap stick.
- Sunscreen (lotion for before and stick so you can reapply during a match without getting your hands greasy)
- Score cards (in the juniors, some kids carry a set of score cards in case the court doesn't have them)
- Extra contact lenses (if you wear them), contact solution and wetting drops for contacts that dry out in heat
- Small pad of paper and pen in case you feel like writing something you don't want to forget about an opponent during the match
Make like a scout and be prepared.