Preparing for a Tournament
When preparing to play a tournament there are several things you must take into consideration, how you pack your tennis bag, interactions with tournament staff and players, bad line calls, inclement weather, and planning your schedule. This article will help you prepare properly for your next tournament and all future tournaments.
In registering for a tournament the USTA has made a couple of changes to protect confidential information. The tournament director is not given your contact information by the USTA. It is very important to give the tournament director at least your cell phone number. A tournament director will often times call a player in their opponent withdraws from the tournament, it is much better to find that out at home instead of the tournament site. There are other situations when a tournament director will call you but your contact information will not be sold for sales purposes.
A typical tournament will have 3 – 6 staff members involved. There is the tournament director, officials, and sometimes tournament desk staff. Please be very courteous to all of the tournament staff, running a tournament is a long hard job. Greet the staff members with a hand shake, eye contact, and a friendly hello. After leaving a tournament for the day or the weekend make a point to thank the tournament director for holding the event.
While wet weather typically does not affect us in Arizona, we do have that concern this weekend. Tournament almost never cancel due to rain however, tournaments are often delayed by wet weather. Tournaments typically play through temperature extremes (heat and cold) as well as high winds. It is crucial to know what the weather will be like at your tournament site. An easy way to check is to get the zip code from the tournament home page and enter it on weather.com. In my experience they have provided the most accurate and informative weather predictions.
What is in your tennis bag, what should be in your tennis bag? The answer is fairly simple yet complex. You want everything that you might need over the course of the 3 hour match. This is a list compiled from what is in my tournament bag.
Jump rope, extra water, granola bars, clean socks, clean shirts, a towel, 2 hats, sun screen, extra rackets, extra shoe laces, extra pair of shoes, sweat bands, vibration dampeners, athletic tape and extra over grips. At some point in my tournament playing all of these items have been needed, some more often than others.
Bad line calls are unfortunately a staple of competitive tennis. This is poor sportsmanship and it is not acceptable. There are tactful ways to handle opponents that make incorrect line calls.
1st time – ask if they are sure of the call politely (everybody makes mistakes)
2nd time – ask if they are sure of the call politely (it might not be a mistake but keep your integrity)
3rd time – apologize to your opponent and tell them you are having a hard time seeing the lines then go to the tournament director and ask for an official.
Only the player on court can ask the tournament director for an official. Be respectful, deliberate, and fair to yourself and your opponent.
Remember tournaments are a fun way to compete and hang out with friends.