I’ve been reading Winning Ugly: Mental Warfare in Tennis by Brad Gilbert. This part stuck out to me.
The player who understands the significance of gaining a small advantage (and of doing so repeatedly) might still underestimate the role that tennis equipment can play in helping you win more matches. Yes, you can bring the bare minimum, but any player who is serious about winning will go beyond the bare minimum.
I decided to make a quick list for my old high school team. I did some extra research and found this explanation from Gonzo Tennis very satisfying. Answering the question. Why even care?
If you’re heading over to the public courts for a quick rally or match with a buddy then don’t worry about what you bring with you (apart from a racquet and shoes) as there is no consequence for quitting early due to equipment malfunction or injury. However, if you are going into battle, so to speak, where winning might actually matter to you, you should have your tennis bag packed with these just-in-case items. Obviously, preparing for every eventuality is impossible so don’t bother trying. Keep the following basics in your bag and you can feel comfortable that you have taken reasonable measures.
10 Essential items
- Water, drink plenty before, during and after your match. Hydration is the key to good performance. Sip water on every changeover.
- Energy food: bananas, oranges, mangos, apples, cliff bars, granola bars
- Rackets, at least 2 rackets, in case you break a string
- Towels, 1-2 regular size towels to keep you dry
- Medical kit: Different types of bandages, neosporin, athletic tape, blister specific bandages, body powder, small pair of scissors, sunscreen, lip balm
- Dry tennis clothes: 1-2 spare TC tennis shirts, 2-3 pairs of dry socks, extra shoelaces, extra pair of tennis shoes, sweatbands
- Hat with a visor and sunglasses
- Over grips, in case yours get soaked or unravel
- Extra Shock absorber, in case yours flys off and you can’t find it
- A plastic shopping bag, for wet clothes, or for a makeshift cold pack
Credit: Winning Ugly: Mental Warfare in Tennis by Brad Gilbert