There is often a very thin line between competitive success and failure. A poor start, an initial lack of focus, or a bout of wavering confidence can cause a seemingly winnable match to quickly slip away.
The will to properly prepare for competition usually makes the difference. For players to achieve consistently positive match results, their preparation must include ritualistic, inflexible routines.
Readiness breeds confidence. When players know that they are fully prepared for an upcoming event, their belief in their chances of winning skyrockets.
Nothing has been left to chance—equipment is ready, game plans have been rehearsed, pre-match routines have been followed—and all their focus can go to the task at hand.
A serious competitor's tennis bag should consist of:
- two or three racquets—freshly strung and regripped if the player is starting a tournament
- extra sets of string and grips
- can of tennis balls
- a first aid kit composed of Band-Aids, athletic tape, elastic bandage, aspirin and plastic bags for ice
- extra shoelaces, socks and shirts
- a towel
- water, sports drink, fruit and energy bars or gels or nuts to be used as a bridge between meals
- Match notes and cheat sheets and match logs for post-performance analysis
- If in a tournament, past opponent notes to possibly assist with matches in future rounds