The upcoming Queen’s Birthday long weekend will see many tournaments held across Victoria and Australia, with hundreds of players competing at JT and AMT level. The added time commitment of tournaments means that players are often spending long days at the tournament site. Therefore, players must be much more strategic when packing their bag for the day’s play.
Here are ten things that every properly stocked tennis bag includes.
Let’s cover off on the essentials first:
- Rackets and balls – A keen tournament player should always have a couple of spare rackets just in case strings break. Extra practice balls are also useful if you manage to find a spare court to warm-up, or if you get to the site before the commencement of play to practice.
- Water and sports drink – Proper rehydration is crucial, especially at tournaments where multiple long matches a day are common. Sports drink isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but can be useful for some extra energy for those who prefer it.
- Long sleeved clothes – Melbourne mornings can be nasty at the best of times – an extra layer or two is crucial for warming up and waiting off court between matches.
- Towel – A towel is a must for wiping off excess sweat in between points and to ensure that you don’t lose grip on your racket
- Hat/visor – Especially important in sunny weather; it blocks your eyes from the sun’s rays and is a vital form of sun protection
Some other useful items for players can include:
- Spare string – Many tournaments have on-site stringing machines, and if you have a specific string that you like, bringing your own reel can be both cost-effective and beneficial for your game.
- Food (lunch and snacks) – If a tournament venue doesn’t have on site food, bringing your own lunch is vital to ensure you are stocking up before and after matches. Healthy snacks such as fruit can also be useful to eat shortly before or during your match
- Spare clothing – Long three set matches can often leave your clothes sweaty and dirty, having a change of clothes can be helpful in avoiding this
- Reading/study material – Long waiting times are unfortunately a reality at tournaments, especially during rain delays. Bringing a book or some study material can help pass the time in between matches.
- Warm up/recovery equipment – Equipment such as a skipping rope can help you warm-up before matches to ensure you aren’t going onto court cold. Recovery equipment such as a foam roller can also massage tired muscles and cut recovery time, to ensure you’re ready for the next day’s play.
Being prepared for play brings you a step closer to having a successful tournament. Ideally most of these items should be packed and ready to go the night before, with items such as food and drink being packed before you leave.
Good luck to everyone playing tournaments this weekend!