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What You MUST Have In Your Tennis Bag To Win – Tennis Quick Tips Podcast 173

By Kselz @TennisFixation

Just what are you carrying around in your tennis bag? Are you sure you have everything you need to give yourself every possible advantage in your next match? In this episode, I'll go over the items I believe you absolutely must have in your tennis bag to play your best tennis. You can listen to this episode by clicking on the media player in this post or by listening in with your favorite podcast app. You can also subscribe in iTunes by clicking on this link:

What You MUST Have In Your Tennis Bag To Win – Tennis Quick Tips Podcast 173

One of the very first Tennis Quick Tips episodes I ever did was called What's In My Tennis Bag? That was way back in Episode 12. And the reason why that was one of my very first episodes was because I kept seeing players who would show up on the tennis court without many of things they should have with them. I once had a partner show up for a doubles match without her tennis racquet. She forgot her tennis racquet!

Why Is Your Tennis Gear So Important?

Here's the deal on tennis gear - if you are not bringing the right stuff with you to your match, you're not going to play your best tennis. If you have to borrow something like a tennis racquet from your partner, or if you have to play without something that you wish you had but you forgot, like a hat or sunglasses, you're obviously not going to be playing your best tennis. And why would you let your opponent have any type of advantage at all just because you weren't properly prepared by having the right gear with you on court?

So I'm going to go over the stuff I think you must have in your tennis bag to ensure that you play your best tennis. Now, just FYI, these are the things I think you need. You may agree or disagree with some of the items on this list. You may carry more items than this or you may carry less. I carry a lot more than this. I might not have some of the items in my bag that you absolutely require in your bag.

Just know, I'm a middle-of-the-road recreational player who plays against similar players on a very regular basis. I never played at the pro level. I never played in college. I started playing tennis as an adult. I live in a part of the United States that has very hot summers and very mild winters. So I'm listing the things I think every player should have with them no matter what level they play at or what conditions they face. But I'm well aware that every player is different and may need different gear than what I need. So take what I'm saying here not just as recommendations about what gear you need, but also as a reminder to consider what YOU actually need to play your best tennis.

Okay, let's get going with my list of the gear you must have in your tennis bag. I'm going to start with the four things I think every single tennis player, no matter what their level, should have with them.

The 4 Items You MUST Have In Your Tennis Bag

1. Two Tennis Racquets

How many times have I talked about having two tennis racquets with you for matches? A lot I know. I believe that, at a minimum, you need two tennis racquets with you at all time. And if you're a high level player, you may need more than two! Unfortunately, I continue to see players show up for matches with only one racquet. I guess they're not listening to this podcast.

Why do you need two racquets? First, if you have two, one can be getting restrung but you can still play with the other one. So you never, ever have to play a match without the racquet that is perfect for you.

Second, you are going to break a string during a match one day! Even if you think you're not, even if you think you'll never hit the ball hard enough to actually break a string, you will. Because strings don't just break because we hit the ball hard. They break because we wear them away by putting spin on the ball. They break because they degrade over time. I don't break strings ALL the time but I have broken strings during matches enough times that I know the value of having that back-up racquet in my bag. So, two racquets in the tennis bag - that's something you must have to help you play your best and win matches.

And - FYI - I'm pretty sure I'll be getting a new racquet in the next few months. So be prepared to hear all about that experience because I do not take the process of selecting a new racquet lightly at all. Especially since I have to buy two of them to make sure I'm always carrying two racquets!

2. A Can of New Tennis Balls

This seems so obvious but I'll bet, just like me, you've shown up at a match where you were the one responsible for bringing the balls but you forgot. Then you have to ask your partner if he or she has balls or you have to go in the club and buy a can of over-priced balls or, and this is the worst, you have to ask your opponents if they have balls you can borrow. I've shown up with no balls more times than I want to admit. So, keep a can of new tennis balls in your bag at all times. And the easiest way to make sure you do this is to just buy a case of balls so you always have plenty of balls around.

I'm going to throw a little footnote out here. My friends over at provided me with one of their tennis trunks to try out for the holidays. Tennis Trunk is a long time supporter of Tennis Quick Tips and I always love getting one of their subscription boxes to try out. So the one I received this time included a can of tennis balls, which they always include, and a Restore Tennis Ball Pressurizer! I had heard about this thing and really wanted to try it out so I was super excited to get one in my Tennis Trunk. I'll let you know all about the Restore Pressurizer in an upcoming episode. And I'll include a link to Tennis Trunk in the show notes for this episode which you can find at and a photo of my Tennis Trunk so you can see just what I got. I've said this before - I happen to think getting a Tennis Trunk subscription is a fantastic holiday gift to give to the tennis player in your life. Or to get for yourself! So thank you Tennis Trunk for gifting me with a tennis trunk and be sure and check them out.

What You MUST Have In Your Tennis Bag To Win – Tennis Quick Tips Podcast 173

3. Water

Okay, here's the next thing I think you absolutely need to have in your tennis bag to play your best tennis - water. I've done several podcast episodes about why I think being properly hydrated is so important to play your best tennis. I've also mentioned some of my experiences showing up for matches where there was no water, or just little tiny cups of water, or, the worst story of all, where I saw kids reaching in the common jugs of water to wash their hands and fish out ice. Yuck! I'll put links to some of those hydration episodes in the show notes for this episode so you can review those. Bottom line, bring your own water so that you know it's nice and clean and you have plenty of it.

4. The Tennis Rules and the Code

Okay, you know this one. I just did a whole episode on why you need to know the rules and the Code and why you need to have a copy of those things in your tennis bag to whip out on court when a dispute arises. That was Episode 170 called You're Giving Away Points If You Don't Know Your Tennis Rules! and I'll have a link to that in the show notes for this episode. Having the rules with you is not that big of a deal. So get them and keep them with you and be prepared to use them when you're on court.

The 10 Items You Probably Should Have In Your Tennis Bag

Now, what else do you need in your tennis bag to play winning tennis? I'm posting a photo of everything in my tennis bag in the show notes for this episode and, if you look closely at that photo, you can see that I carry a lot more than five things in my bag. I carry EVERYTHING I think could possibly help me in playing my very best tennis. So here is my list of ten other things I think it's a really good idea to carry in your tennis bag.

What You MUST Have In Your Tennis Bag To Win – Tennis Quick Tips Podcast 173

1. A Towel

A towel seems obvious. This is perfect for wiping sweat off your hands, your face, your racquet. It is also great for clearing sunscreen from your eyes, stopping a bloody nose or sitting on in your car when you are soaking in sweat.

2. Sunglasses and/or a Hat

These items are crucial for me but may not be for everybody. I personally do best with sunglasses AND a hat but you may just need one or the other to block the sun from your eyes.

3. Sunscreen

Sunscreen is important for everyone to wear, not just us ladies who are concerned about anti-aging. I did a whole episode on why you need to be wearing sunscreen all the time and which ones I prefer for on-court usage back in Episode 164 which was called How To Have Tennis Fun In The Summer Sun and I'll include a link to that in the show notes for this episode.

4. Grip Tape or Sticky Stuff

So I like to wrap grip tape or overwrap on the handle of my racquet tape to keep it from slipping around. But you may prefer a gel or rosin. You just need something that will keep your racquet from slipping around in your hand when your hands are getting sweaty. Also, since I prefer to wrap my handle with grip tape, I also carry scissors around to make it quick and easy for me to change out my overwrap.

5. Snacks

I'm pretty sure I've talked about bringing my own snacks for matches after I showed up at a league match and the only snacks available were Easter candy. I'm not big on eating candy at any time let alone when I'm in the middle of a serious athletic endeavor. So I bring the kind of snacks I know will help me play better tennis, not send me into a crazy sugar rush. Right now, I'm carrying these fig bars because I like the taste, they're easy to eat on changeovers, they won't melt in my bag because no chocolate, and I can pretty much carry them around indefinitely.

6. First Aid Items

I think you should always have, at a minimum, a few band-aids for blisters and some Tylenol or Advil in your bag. If you don't need these items, your partner probably will. If you're playing doubles, you definitely want your partner to play their best tennis too.17buzz

7. Paper and Pen

I always have paper and pen with me in my bag and I try really hard to take a few notes after each lesson I take or match I play. This helps me remember what I've supposedly learned and reminds me of what I need to do better in my next match.

8. Phone Numbers

You really need to have the phone numbers of people you play with in your bag, especially if you're on a team. You may get lost on the way to a match and need to call for directions. Your car might break down. You might need to call around and find a sub really quickly. Or you just may find yourself with three people on court and want to find a fourth for a fun match.

9. Old Tennis Balls

While I don't think a can of old tennis balls is a necessity, it is a great thing to have in your bag. This way you can warm up before a match without opening the "official" match balls. Hopefully, I don't have to tell you that you should NEVER open the official match balls before your opponents show up.

10. Measuring Tape

This is my last one - a measuring tape. Have you ever had an opponent measure the net before a match? While I am not that person, I do carry a measuring tape with me in case I need to become that person. The net is supposed to be 36 inches high at the center strap and 42 inches high at the net posts. And sometimes you get out on court and start warming up and you can just tell, the net isn't right! The only way to be sure is to measure it and the only way to measure it is if you have a measuring tape. So I carry a small one with me from my tennis officiating days just in case I need to do some net measuring.

Well, those are all of the items that I think you need to have in your tennis bag to make sure you are playing your very best tennis. That's my four absolute necessities plus my ten really, really nice to have with you items. As I said at the beginning of this episode, you may have a completely different list of things that you carry around in your bag to make sure you're playing great tennis. And that's fine. Just make sure that you've thought this out and you have all of the gear that YOU need to play winning tennis.

And if you think there's something missing from this list, some crucial item that EVERY tennis player should be carrying with them, just let me know by sending an email to me at [email protected]. I'd love to hear from you.


Check out these other great Tennis Quick Tips episodes mentioned in this episode by clicking here:

If a Tennis Trunk subscription sounds like something you need in your life, just visit their website to see all the details about this fun tennis subscription box:

And if you want to check out any of my holiday gift guides, just click on the links below:


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What You MUST Have In Your Tennis Bag To Win – Tennis Quick Tips Podcast 173

© Kim Selzman 2019-2020 All Rights Reserved

Ad Disclosure - The folks at Tennis Trunk were nice enough to send me a free one-time Tennis Trunk to try out. Also, some of the links in this post and in my Holiday Gift Guides are affiliate links. I make a very small commission if you purchase any item using my affiliate links. Your cost is the same all of these items whether or not you use these links. My opinion on Tennis Trunk and items I recommend in my gift guides is not influenced by this and I always tell the absolute truth about every item that I recommend and/or review. I usually do not review items, and I never recommend items, that I don't like.

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