Tennis bag is a spacious place. You can pack there hundreds of items. If you think like professional player you want to make sure that your bag has all items that can help you perform at your highest level. Racquets, shoes, and what else?
Nowadays juniors live in a comfortable world. Smartphone gives you everything in one device: camera, music player, internet and many more. Unfortunately tennis world is different and to play your best tennis you have to take with you lots of stuff. You need racquets to play, shoes to run, water to drink, and banana to snack to count the basics. Most of tennis players take care of this equipment (there are some who forget to bring shoes with them…) but they are not creative enough to think about other products that can be helpful on and off the tennis court.
As we know tennis is a complex sport because the final result is dependent on your technical quality, tactical proficiency, physical relentlessness, mental control, nutritional consciousness, and recovery implementation. We have a lot of impact on all of these aspects so taking care of all of them demands a lot of work and preparation.
While working with many juniors at national and international level I am constantly surprised that their bags don’t have such important items to improve their games. Here is my top 5 lists of items that most of the juniors (yours too!) don’t have in tennis bags:
- Big towel („Coach it is dirty here. I can’t stretch”. I love this one. Firstly if dirt is the reason you can’t get better you should start thinking about changing profession. Secondly little thing like a big towel can save a day and let you stretch wherever you want)
- Foam roller (This great small item not only will help you feel better and recover faster but it will also let you save a lot of money on massage. Keep it in your bag and you can feel like a pro)
- Practice balls („ Coach do you have balls?” is a typical question of many juniors. If you are a real tennis player you can’t leave home without tennis balls. They are great for hitting, doing fitness workout or for massaging)
- Cones (Yes! Targets are not only for coaches. If you go to tournaments you should take care of your own physical preparation. You need targets to work on your speed, coordination and agility but mostly you need them to effectively warm up before the match)
- Tennis journal (Let’s get to the past. How many of young players have notebooks in tennis bags? Almost nobody. Why do you need them? To set practice goals. To set match goals. To write down conclusions after the practice/match. To keep track of your eating habits. All of this information is beneficial for your game. Don’t waste this opportunity)
Coaches and Parents! Don’t believe me? Next time you are on the tennis court ask your players for these 5 items. I am curious how many of them can even come close to the score 3/5. Please let me know your results:)
Marcin Bieniek is a professional tennis coach and founder of instructional website http://tennisisland.us. Marcin has been working with USTA, top 100 ITF and WTA/ATP players. He is a frequent contributor to TennisPro and TenisKlub magazines and he was a speaker at International Coaching Tennis Symposium 2016 at Hilton Head Island, USA.