Racquets. Court. Coaching staff. Travelling. Tournaments. Supplements. Strings. What does connect all these words? It is tennis. If you want to play competitively you have to be well-prepared. Lack of one little detail can decide about the final result of the match so it is crucial to take care of all necessary factors. Unfortunately these things are quite expensive…
There is a notion that tennis is a sport for rich people. I believe that partly it is true, partly it is not. Of course we have to consider our own goals and level of performance but in this article I will focus on high-performance players. This group of athletes play tennis because they want to achieve big dreams. The final goal is to become the next number one in the world so this is definitely worthy to work hard and make some sacrifices. Tennis is an individual sport but if we take a closer look we can see that top players work with teams to get the results they want. This approach is also visible at the junior level because parents who can afford these expenses want to make sure that their kids have professional environment around.
Professional sport requires a lot of expenses. Is it worthy knowing that only really small percentage of players make good living out of tennis? For answer you have to ask every player separately. I would like to focus on reality and reality is challenging. If you want to play at the top level you need solid financial support to afford adequate preparation and possibilities to grow. Day to day practice sessions are quite expensive. Travelling to tournaments around the world covers most of the costs. Then add equipment, nutrition, recovery, and other areas needed to constantly improve and the final amount is pretty huge. If parents can take care of all these costs then player can totally focus on training and competing. But there are also players who have less than required or who are supported by sponsors and the money they can spend on tennis is limited. This fact doesn’t have to mean that players have smaller chances to reach their dreams but proper approach have to be taken to save some money and afford more for less.
Apply these tips and you will see that you can professionally continue your career with less money than your rivals. Here are the areas you should focus on:
- Restaurant can wait
A lot of players eat lunch and dinner in restaurants. I understand the need to eat lunch but do you really need restaurant visit right before going to bed? I don’t think so. Go to the store and choose healthy products that will help your game and your wallet at the same time. You will see how much money during the year you can save by limiting your restaurant visits in the evening.
- Buy stuff in store
It is not surprising to see players buying snacks and water on the tournament’s site. I know it is comfortable but it is also much more expensive. You can buy these products and many more in any store so planning and spending few minutes before going to courts is another way to cut tournament’s costs.
- Check travelling possibilities
Airplanes are great but if you have other possibilities to get to the tournament you should consider them. Sometimes you can find much cheaper way so unless it won’t impact your game (tiredness, danger etc) you shouldn’t take an easier option. If you will be training hard one day you will fly in business class so be humble and work your way up by taking bus or sharing a car with friend.
- No for official hotel
Do you know booking.com? Of course you do. Official hotels are close to the courts but they are not the cheapest ones. Check possibilities and you will see that you will be able to stay in comfortable room without spending a fortune on that. By the way you will be on the courts most of the day so ask yourself whether it is worthy to pay extra 50$ for 8 hours of sleep.
- String racquets on your own
If you travel by a car it is a great idea to have own stringing machine. Playing few tournaments in a row can require restringing your racquets quite often and we all know how pricy on-site stringing service is. Having your own machine gives you an opportunity to get your racquets ready whenever you want and without any extra costs.
So here you have 5 areas that can make a difference in your budget. By implementing these changes your performance won’t be hurt and you will save some money that you can use to play several extra tournaments or to work with a better coach. Any other ideas or experiences to make tennis more affordable? Comment below:)
Marcin Bieniek is a professional tennis coach and founder of instructional website http://tennisisland.us. Marcin has been working with USTA, top 60 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.