Let's talk about the player first...
I'm a 50ish lifelong tennis player - except for the years before age 8 and from 20 - 40. I walked onto my college D1 tennis team my sophomore year and won an alternate spot of which I only participated in "exhibition" matches. I didn't see myself taking tennis any more seriously than I was already so, much to my dad’s dismay, my college tennis career began and ended in the same season and I put my racquet down for good. Or so I thought...
Then one day, 20 years later, I was invited to join a friend's ALTA team. Thinking she'd secured a ringer for the upcoming season (because all she heard when I told her my story was that I was a former college tennis player) and to my shock and horror, she instantly awarded me the position of line one doubles to which I reciprocated by losing each of my matches that season.
Fast forward 13 years later...I currently hold a 3.5 USTA rating and play on a B3 ALTA team and I feel like I'm just starting to understand how to play this game!
Ok. About the bag itself. It's a Djokovic 6R Combi by Head. No, I don't carry 6 racquets. It's just that I end up using my bag more like a purse or a piece of luggage depending on if I have a home or away match so I opted for a big one.
Starting at the top left, you'll see that I carry an assortment of hydration supplements. I tend to perspire significantly at times that cramps creep up on me at pretty inopportune times. I stay ahead of it with a product called Liquid IV. I start using it the day before my match and I fill a bottle to take with me onto the court. As one who has had to begrudgingly forfeit a handful of matches, I believe Liquid IV has rescued me. I have staved off all cramping since first trying this product. For extra precaution, I also pack Nunn Tablets because I like a little fizz now and again and a roll of Saltstick FastChews for emergencies.
Just to the right of my USTA League City Champion car magnet (quick ego boost comment), is an assortment of carbohydrate snacks for quick energy. I'm over 50 years old and I feel every bit of it usually after the first set. I often have a banana (not pictured here because I ate it) and an energy bar. My favorites are Lara Nut and Seed and Pressed by Kind. I try to eat pretty healthily so I like that these don't have many ingredients to them. Just wholesome. The Jelly Bean Sports Beans and Clif Gel Shots give me an instant burst of energy and only use them in place of the energy bars when I need to dig deeper to finish off the match.
Below the energy stuff is a random $20 bill that a teammate owed me for the sandwiches I bought as our contribution to the refreshments table and my "medical kit". It consists of an extra knee brace, Band-aids of assorted sizes, Blistex, Kleenex, contact lens solution, a sunscreen stick, Ibuprophen and lens cleaner for my sunglasses. See...just like my purse!
On the other side of my bag is a towel with which I use wipe my brow, 2 sets of used Penn Championship Extra Duty tennis balls because I lost my last 2 matches and ALTA rules state that the winning team takes home the unopened can of balls. As well as my Oakley Flak Jacket 2.0 sunglasses that I cannot do without even on a cloudy day. I've heard too many stories about eye injuries by line drive tennis balls. And since the net is where I'm most comfortable playing, I wear them mostly as protection. I've also heard that I look pretty badass in them too ;) I'm not proud. I will wear them for sheer intimidation if need be. Then there's some random sports tape that is too difficult to put on so it just sits in my bag to make me feel like an athlete. Last, but not least, my Head Radical S racquet. It is, by far, the racquet which has given me more confidence than any other. I also carry a back-up racquet. A Head Extreme S, the racquet I used prior to dumping it for the Radical.
So there you have it. That's everything in my bag. What's in yours? Let me know in the comments section below!
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