SHAHEED ALAM – Ever wondered what’s in a tennis player’s bag? I get asked this question a lot, be it fellow tennis players or just general sports enthusiasts. Read on to find out what’s in my bag for training as well as competition day, and how different they are!
On a normal training day where I usually have double training sessions (8-11am and 4-7pm), my bag will be packed with about 6-7 tee shirts, 3 shorts, 2 caps and 4 wristbands. All of them courtesy of Asics which have been one of the most comfortable brand apparels I have had.
On top of these, I would bring along 2 rackets from Babolat every time just in case the string snaps on one of them so I will always have a backup racket to train with. (No excuses for skipping training!) I’ll also always have 2 spare grips from Pro’s Pro so that I can change it anytime if the grip gets too sweaty 😅 The best part of it? All these apparel and training equipment fits comfortably into my spacious Babolat Tennis bag!
On competition day, I would bring roughly around the same number of apparels, with the exception being an additional jacket to keep my body and legs loose and warm before the start of my match. This is important because you never know when the preceding match could drag on into a tie-breaker final set!
Another difference would be the 4-5 tennis rackets that allows me the flexibility of choice to use the one that suits me best on competition day, and also react and change my game approach if necessary.
I will also pack along a skipping rope to help me with my warm up. I usually do about 3-5 sets of skipping right before my match to get the blood flowing and legs loosened up before I step onto the court. Most of the time, the string tension will also change as the match progresses so it’s also important for me to bring a few sets of racket string so I can adjust the tension based on the conditions at the competition venue. Different countries, surfaces, and even altitude play a major role in affecting the tension of the racket. For me, this peculiarity also makes tennis much more interesting because there will never be two identical games even if the players are the same.
My go-to choice for strings are from Pro’s Pro, and I usually carry with me a reel of them so that I can string the rackets up when I reach the venue. A tennis tournament typically lasts about a week so I also have to make sure that I have sufficient grips as well, usually around 10-12. To be fully prepared to deal with any kind of situation, I will also bring along my medical kit which includes deep heat rub, ice cold spray, as well as different type of tapes like KT Tape, Rigid Tape etc. You never know when you might have a niggle on your body so it is best to be always over-prepared than under.
Now that you know what’s in a tennis player’s bag, I hope that helps you get a clearer understanding of what is required for training and competition as you go about packing your own set of training gears. That said, every individual may have their preferred method and there is no one approach to this. So be sure to test it out over time and find the optimal routine and approach best suited for you to perform best on the court!
Till next time, continue to #HitItLikeShaheed!
Shaheed Alam is a ONEathlete and Ambassador for Asics (Tennis) and Babalot. He is also supported by Grip String Sports and Pro’s Pro. The tennis prodigy had his first match at the age of 5, and progressed to the Singapore Sports School, before becoming the first male Singaporean to win the ITF Junior Singles Title.
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