How to pack Your Tennis Bag
If you're a professional player, you'll know that packing is a key tennis skill, like serving and returning. The sport's biggest stars understand that preparing for a match doesn't just involve being physically and mentally ready to play your best tennis. It also means packing your tennis bag with care and attention.
At any level of tennis, and not just among the elite, if you pack well, you're more likely to perform well. To help you to avoid any packing disasters, here are some tips and a checklist of essentials for what you should have with you on court.
Get into a routine
Some players like to pack their bag, or bags, the night before a match. Others prefer to pack first thing in the morning. It doesn't matter what your preference is, but it could help you to get into a pre-match routine. The act of packing your bag, and making sure you have everything ready for your match, will then become a part of your preparations for competition.
Everything should have its place
Organizing your racquets and other essentials is easy with a HEAD tennis bag which has a number of compartments, which allows you to keep everything separate and to check that you have everything you need. If your HEAD tennis bag has a separate racquet compartment with CCT+ climate control technology, you should always keep your racquets in there as it will protect them from extreme temperatures. A bag with a separate shoe bag will prevent you from getting the clay dust, grass or any moisture on the rest of your kit.
Regularly clean your bag
This will help your HEAD tennis bag to stay fresh and keep your essentials in good condition for when you need them.
Checklist for your essentials:
You might want to think about taking more than one HEAD racquet on court with you, in case you break a string during the match. HEAD ambassador Novak Djokovic packs six racquets, though you probably don't need that many. You could consider copying what the professionals do and have your racquets strung at slightly different tensions.
That gives you the option of switching mid-match to a lower or higher tension, depending on the conditions and how you're hitting the ball that day. But make sure you know which racquet is strung at which tension, as you don't want to confuse yourself when you're in the heat of competition.
Spare strings, grips and dampeners
Don't leave home without spare strings for your racquets. You'll know the strings that suit your game best. If you've got some spare grips in your bag, that allows you to apply a fresh one before you play for the optimal feel, control and comfort. Packing a spare dampener is also sensible as you don't want to suddenly be without one.
You're going to be sweating on court. Towelling yourself down during the changeovers is going to help you feel fresher and more comfortable.
Don't forget to protect your skin when you're playing outside, especially in summer. You might also want to pack some lip balm.
Caps, visors and other headgear
If the sun suddenly comes out, and is getting in your eyes when you serve, you're going to be in trouble. Even if you don't usually wear a cap or a visor when you play, you should have one in your bag to avoid being blinded. You could also pack sunglasses, depending on whether you feel comfortable playing in them.
Putting on fresh clothes can make a huge difference to how you feel. Professional players sometimes pack several changes of clothing. For a best-of-three-set match, Djokovic takes four shirts on court with him, and for a best-of-five-set match, he packs seven shirts, along with spare socks, shorts and wristbands.
Keep a tube in your bag.
To keep them safe, put your phone, wallet and any car and house keys in a zipped compartment in your bag. Some players - including Djokovic - like to keep charms in their bags which they think will bring them luck on court. Djokovic has also been known to pack a Serbian flag and photos of his family.