Other than the obvious, tennis racquets, there are so many other things you can stuff in your tennis bag that can/will be useful. I have created a very simple list of the 11 things you must have in your tennis bag at all times. Share your comments or something that you keep in yours and why you think it is important. Enjoy!!
1. Extra grips
If you play a lot of tennis you know how important this one is, especially in the summer months. When you sweat a lot it gets all on your grips and makes them slippery and can cause them to fall apart, these Tourna Grips are the best for keeping dry. The Tourna Grips are nice for those that are heavy sweaters, but I personally like these overgrips from Wilson. There is nothing worse than trying to hit the ball and your grip is slippery.
2. Extra Socks
I cannot stand it when my feet are all nasty inside my tennis shoes. It doesn’t matter if it’s freezing outside or the middle of the summer, ALWAYS keep a change of socks in your bag. When your socks get nasty and sweaty you can get blisters from your moist foot rubbing on your shoe. Nobody likes blisters, right?
3. Change of clothes
If you have watched professional tennis on TV you have probably seen the players run off the court during a set break and change, especially if it is a long, hot match. Guys more than the ladies use this one, but I even kept extra clothes in my bag for after a practice/match. When you are sweaty and wet you get cold and stinky. Change your clothes!
4. Extra String
Some people are very particular about the type of string they use in their rackets, I was one of those people. By keeping an extra set or two of string in my bag I could take my racket to get re-strung even when I was out of town. Plus, it is cheaper! Usually, when you take your racket to get re-strung they will charge you labor and the price of the string. Buy your string online and then keep it in your bag for a rainy day!
If you are looking for string recommendations, I recently posted an article about different types of strings, strings if you are looking for more spin and information about natural gut strings.
5. A notebook
I don’t know about you but I remember things so much better when I write them down. It makes more sense when I can put it into my own words. I don’t even remember how my parents found this out, maybe they just made it up themselves, but they made each of us keep a notebook in our bags.
It seems kind of silly, but when you get down in a match and nervous it is hard to think clearly. You pull out that notebook and in it, you have written down simple things/goals to remember while you play.
You aren’t allowed to have someone telling you what to do on the court but you certainly can take your own notes out there. No matter what level you play this is such a helpful tool. You go to your clinics/lessons and get tips and instructions from your coach after the lesson go write them down! They will be fresh in your mind and that’s when you will remember it best.
A towel can serve so many purposes. It can provide shade, wipe off excess sweat, and even cool you down if you have the right kind, like these cool ones! Just cotton towel works great for wiping your grip and face during a match, but these work great for keeping you cool on changeovers.
7. Energy/ protein bar
You never know how long a match will go or maybe you need a little energy in the middle of a lesson. Always having a snack in your bag is a good thing! Some of my personal favorites are the Luna bars, Cliff Bars and some of the PowerBar flavors.
8. Jump rope
Whether you are playing at a really high level or just a recreational player a jump rope is great for a lot of things. For those that are just beginning or recreational, using a jump rope several times a week can improve your footwork drastically.
For those of you that play at a high level keep that jump rope going! It keeps your footwork sharp and is a great warm-up. I used to jump rope if I was having to wait a while to go on during tournaments. It was WAY better than running!
9. Extra tennis balls
Always keep some extras in your bag!! If you are an adult of junior player these always come in handy during tournaments. Juniors usually have a lot of wait time during tournaments. They play a match then wait a few hours to play again.
There is usually a hitting wall or backboard to play on to keep entertained and avoiding sheer boredom. You never know if the person you are playing with is bringing balls or you might lose one during a match.
Don’t know what type of tennis balls do you need? We got you covered! Check our best tennis balls article.
10. Hat or visor
Growing up I was never big into wearing a hat or visor. Mostly because we played inside half of the year so I never got used to one. When I came to college and only really played outside a hat became a necessity, especially if I wanted to avoid more crispy, sunburnt noses! I got used to playing in one and now I can’t imagine playing without it. I would recommend using a dry-fit or lighter weight hats like these.
I think we all know that sunscreen is a MUST if you are doing anything outside, especially for long periods of time. When you are playing sports or sweating a lot it makes that sunscreen runoff, so reapply during your match if you can.
Even if you don’t feel it get all the way into your skin, it is better than not having any at all. I always found it beneficial to apply the sunscreen 30-60 minutes before I started playing and then again before I warmed up. It helped the sunscreen get into my skin and dry well before I sweated it off. I hope these tips were helpful.
Some of them might seem obvious or silly, but they are very helpful and you never know when you will need something. Good luck and please share your comments I would love to hear what you keep in your bag!