Unless you’ve been living in a cave in the last decade or so, the names Nadal, Federer, Williams, and Djokovic ring a bell. Even if you’re not a big sports fan, these people might sound and look familiar as they are the faces of famous retail brands like Nike, Lacoste, and Uniqlo. After all, giants deserve giants—as spoken not just by their name but also their massive payout from these endorsement deals.
Like all professionals, these tennis legends started as ordinary people. But to reach the top is not a joke. What sets them apart from the rest is that they have a perfect balance of the technical, physical, and mental aspects of the sport. Naturally, it takes years of consistency and a mindset of a true champion to make success possible.
The rest of us, the amateurs, look up to our idols in the hopes of bettering our moves and winning over our friends. Well, good news! We don’t have to invest millions of dollars to get a glimpse of what it’s like to be the world’s top player.
Play better and gain an edge over your opponent by knowing the best tennis equipment suited to your needs.
If the shoe fits
You may already have a lot of shoes in your collection, but that doesn’t mean you could use every pair in tennis. No, it doesn’t work like that. Not all shoes would serve you the same purpose. As for playing tennis, the game requires agility for sprints and frequent lateral movements, so it would be best to wear shoes that propel you to move on quick feet.
No wonder the fastest tennis player, Novak Djokovic, is undeniably one of the greatest players of the Open era. As measured by GIG using radar guns, Djokovic hits a top speed of 36.02kph as he sprints for more than three meters.
So to know what makes good tennis shoes, you must consider your feet, the playing court, and, of course, your playing style.
Your foot type is either overpronation, neutral, or underpronation. If you’re unsure which one is your foot arch, a simple wet test will do the trick.
Prepare in advance by having an ocular visit to know the surface of the court. Concrete surfaces would mean you should wear highly durable shoes, which usually feature a modified herringbone pattern to protect you from the harsh features of the field. Soft concretes let you wear more comfortable shoes. But pick a sole with full herringbone “zigzag” pattern for clay courts and look for “nubs” or “pimple-like” sole patterns for grass courts.
Of course, to play your best entails playing on your strengths. To play your strengths, you must know your playing styles. Are you an aggressive baseliner, an all-court player, a serve and volley type, or a counter puncher? Keep your playing style in mind when looking for a pair of tennis shoes to wear.
Smack it with “the” racket
To find the perfect racket for your needs, you would want to consider a lot of its features, such as overall size and weight, head/grip heaviness, head size, grip size, and beam width.
Beginners would often opt for lightweight, power-oriented rackets with an oversized head. On the other hand, advanced players are more likely inclined to use heavier rackets with lighter, mid-sized heads.
Above all, you should play with what feels best on your hands. You might play with different rackets as you progress on your tennis playing journey.
Always wear your best
Science claims that liking your appearance boosts your confidence, which results in better performance. Just look at how fashionable the pros are during Grand Slam. Anyone would agree that tennis is definitely one of the most stylish sports in history. Yet the style is just a cherry on top. The best tennis attire is designed to aid in the performance of the player.
Generally, the perfect attire enables comfort and movement. The dress code for tennis evolved throughout the years, but at present, men wear tennis shorts above the knee and a polo shirt or round neck tee. Women, on the other hand, have more options. They can wear their top with sleeves or not, and bottoms as shorts or skirts.
The common feature of modern tennis apparel is the moisture-wicking technology of its fabric. This fabric is made of high-tech polyester material that keeps sweat and moisture away from the skin. Hence, it won’t make your clothes heavy with sweat after a long day of training.
The bottom line
The right shoes, racket, and clothing can do you wonders if you want to become better at tennis. You just have to take the time to do your research and understand your needs to use them to your advantage.