A friend of mine called me last week – her sons decided they wanted to start playing junior tournaments, and she didn’t have any idea how to get them started. I pointed her to several articles on this website to give her an idea of how things work. I guess she found them helpful because her boys are playing their first ever tournament matches today!
That said, she called me again yesterday afternoon asking me more questions about how these tournaments work, and I realized I needed to provide a little more information, so here’s a list of things you and your junior need to bring with you on tournament day (see My Tournament Packing List if you’re traveling far from home):
- At least two tennis racquets that are strung and ready to use.
- A small cooler that can hold ice, 2-3 bottles of water, and 2-3 bottles of electrolyte drink. Your child will take this on the court with him/her for each match. Make sure you have extras in case your child plays more than one match in a day.
- On-court snacks to eat during changeovers such as pretzel sticks, blueberries, grape tomatoes, energy bar, energy gel. These should be packed in the racquet bag. Again, bring extras.
- Hand towel to be used on-court to dry hands between points and to wipe excess sweat.
- Frog Tog (or other similar towel) to be used on-court during changeovers to bring down body temperature on hot days.
- At least two changes of clothes, including underwear and socks. Boys especially should pack an extra shirt in their racquet bag to change on court. Be sure your child changes socks between matches or even between sets on really hot and humid days to prevent blisters.
- Between-match and post-match recovery drinks and snacks. Those little boxes of chocolate milk are great. So is Endurox (be sure to bring along a shaker bottle to mix it). Peanut-butter crackers and energy bars are staples for us.
- Bandaids, cloth tape, Ibuprofen, and any other first-aid items you might want to have on hand.
- Sweat-proof sunscreen.
- Tennis balls to use for the pre-match warmup. Some tournaments will provide warm-up balls, but it’s best to be prepared.
- Something to do between matches – a book, playing cards, a backgammon set, crossword or Sudoku puzzles are all great time-killers when there are delays.
I’m sure I’m leaving items off this list – please comment below and let me know what else to add. And be sure to check out our Newbies page for more information.