Not really sure what tennis equipment do you need for a tennis match, and what not?
How to blame you 😅! Some tennis players go around with tennis bags so big it looks like they fit their entire wardrobe in there 🧳. Others, on the contrary, just seem to carry as little as possible 🎒.
So I get it if you're a bit confused on how to pack your tennis bag for your match! Who wouldn't be 🙈?!.
But hey, guess what?! I've got quite a lot of experience when it comes to packing my tennis bag with all the tournaments I've been doing all my life.
(And yup, I did sometimes end up overpacking just like those guys we were gossiping about one second ago 🤫.)
But now that I've finally perfected my tennis bag packing skills 😎 (it was about time), I feel like I must share them with you so you won't have to learn them the hard way just like I did. You know, I've banged my head against the wall enough times, you don't need to do the same 🙊.
Btw, if you've just hopped on my blog and have no clue about who I am, I'm Elena Margaria 👋🏻 and just like you, I'm on a mission to become the best tennis player I can 🥇. Even without a fancy team, or too much talent. Just with a huge desire to make it. That's why Tennis Rematch exists: to share everything I learn along the way 🤓, so you can get better faster, and together we can prove that we can achieve anything we set our mind to 🔥.
But let's get back to the content of this blog: what can you expect to find here❓
The essential tennis gear I always carry with me to a match, and why you should too.
Because yes, it's nice not to end up overpacked, but it's just as nice (and perhaps more important) not to end up underpacked and be wishing you hadn't forgotten this or that.
So you ready?!
As always, here's the Table of Contents so you can jump around as much as you want 🐸. Have fun, but don't skip anything! You don't want to risk forgetting something essential at home, do you?!
My tennis bag essentials
Essentials because without this tennis gear there's no way I'd go in the court for a match! (And no, I'm not just saying it, I mean it 😌).
And even though some items may seem more obvious than others, you want them all in your tennis bag the day of the match, trust me!
🏸 Tennis rackets
I have two rackets and I always bring them both. You never know when the strings are going to break, so it's better to be safe than sorry 😅, isn't it?!
If you have just one racket though, don't get crazy about it: you'll do just fine! But if you have more, don't think twice and bring them all.
In addition, just to avoid any surprise 🤯, if I haven't changed my strings in a while, I make sure I have them changed just before the tournament.
✅ Good To Know → Some strings, especially polyester, tend to go "dead" after a while as they lose their tension and elasticity, so the new strings might feel quite different at first.
That's why I prefer to have both rackets with new (or almost new) strings and hit some balls with one of them to get used to the feel just one or two days before the match.
At least if my strings break during the match, I won't be shocked by the change of racket 😬!
👟 Tennis shoes
I have a pair of tennis shoes for every surface (hard court and clay), and according to where I'm gonna play my match I take one or the other.
The only exception is when the match is scheduled outside on clay, and I know that in case of rain ☔️ the match will be moved indoor on a hard court. In that case I bring my hard court shoes as well, as a backup.
✅ Good To Know → If your match is on hard court and you're still wondering whether you really need tennis shoes or running shoes are fine too, then let me tell you: you really do need them! Not only for better comfort, agility and stability, but also for safety as they protect your feet and ankles from twisting in the fast paced lateral movements on the tennis court.
Last but not least, I never ever go to a tournament with new shoes, not even if my old ones have a hole in them or are falling into pieces. (I’ve actually played with broken shoes 🤭 and got new shoes as a prize: they must have taken pity on me, but anyway, good for me!)
⭐️ Pro Tip → If you’re planning to buy new shoes, make sure you have some time to try them out in practice before your match.
💧 Water and sports drinks
During my matches I always sweat like a pig (do pigs sweat for real 🐷💦 or is it just a way of saying btw?), and getting dehydrated is something I really want to avoid. You know, I'm not much for feeling low on energy or having cramps in general, let alone during a tennis match!
That's why I always take at least one liter of water (about 35 oz) with me, plus some kind of sports drink with minerals and salt (such as Gatorade) to help absorption and hydration and prevent the dreaded muscle cramps.
Nevertheless, at times those are just not enough and I start to feel low on energy and all the water or sports drink I've drank just seems to stay splashing around in my stomach.
Well, then I know exactly what I need: a pinch or two (about half a tea spoon's worth, or 1 to 3 grams) of salt in my mouth and a bit of water right after and voilà, I'm suddenly back in the match!
⭐️ Pro Tip → Keep a small bag of rough sea salt or Himalayan salt in your tennis bag for emergency cases. It may not be the most pleasant taste (agreed 🤢), but it'll help you feel much better in just a few minutes!
🍌 A banana
Another must-have in my bag is a banana, which I take a bite of at every single changeover. Once again, I really don't like cramps and that's by far the easiest way to stay away from them!
⭐️ Pro Tip → Don't wait to feel hungry or out of energy to start eating the banana, as it will still take time for it to digest and start working in your favor!
💦 A towel
OMG, I seriously cannot imagine playing a match without a towel in my bag 😱. That would be a nightmare, and I'm not joking. Not even sure I'd be able to hit a forehand without letting my racket fly away 🙈!
So if you sweat like me (or a pig 🐷💦), you don't want to forget your towel at home and have to dry your sweat with your clothes. Of course, when there's no choice there's no choice, but why not avoid that disgusting feel since you can?!
Nice-to-have tennis gear
Nice to have just because you can do without, but if I were you I wouldn't leave it at home 😏. It doesn't even take much space, so I really don't see why you shouldn't take it with you!
Band-aids and blister plasters
I don't know about you, but I'm always full of blisters and oh boy they hurt sometimes 🥺!
That's why I never go anywhere (neither to practice nor a match) without band-aids and blister plasters in my bag (these saved me so many times!). They're so quick to put on the fingers or the bottom of your feet, and (magically) take away most of the pain in no time.
I highly recommend you keep a bunch in your bag: you never know when a new blister is gonna come up, so you better be ready for it!
Although I always check and change my grips (if needed) the day before my matches, I still keep a couple in my bag.
You know, I use to expect the best and prepare for the worst, so the extra backup grips just make sense.
What if I pour some water on it? Or it just suddenly breaks? There's practically no chance it happens, but still 🤷🏼♀️. At least I feel more confident!
A skipping rope and a tube of tennis balls
The usual warmup routine I do before my matches include skipping the rope as first thing, to get my muscles and coordination going and my heart pumping ❤️, and a few exercises with tennis balls to wake up my reflexes 🐸.
Of course, I could achieve the same result in many other ways. Which is why I don't get crazy if I occasionally forget them at home 🏡, but you know... having a routine I follow every single time helps me focus while staying relaxed, so why not!
Plus, it's never a bad idea to hit some balls just before stepping on the court, even if that means doing it on the parking lot! (I do it all the time actually and seems to work just fine, so give it a try too 😉.)
And voilà, now you know exactly how I pack my tennis bag for a match and what tennis gear I consider essential and what not.
But how about your tennis bag? Does it look anything like mine or not at all?
Let me know what else you bring with you and why it's so important to you! My bag is not exploding yet, so I might be able to fit it in as well 🙈.
I hope you found this blog useful and have no more doubts on how to pack your tennis bag for your matches 🤗. If so, click on the clap button below so I know you did 😊. Otherwise, just ask away in the comments and I'd be happy to help you 💕.
ps - If you're wondering what and how else you need to prepare for a tournament, check out my ebook on nailing your first tennis tournament!
Then you're one of us! We're a community of passionate and motivated tennis players who work hard every day 💦 to reach their goals, motivate each other 🔥 to keep going when things get tough and share their own experiences 💬 so everybody can get better faster.
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