The designers for Wilson tennis bags know that women from all backgrounds want to look stylish.  With more vivid colors and diverse sizes, these tennis bags appeal to fashion conscious athletes. But aesthetics is not the sole factor for selection. We women prefer the tennis bag to hold more then just a tennis racquet or two. Functionality is another key factor when purchasing a bag. Wilson tennis bags are durable while comfortably storing the wallet, keys, cosmetics, tennis balls, racquets and water bottles. I don’t know of any woman who wants to carry around a tennis bag in addition to the every-day handbag.

The tennis bags’ colors and designs appeal to both feminine and masculine styles.  If you are a fan of Roger Federer, you may like the Federer line which is a carbon copy to Federer’s real tennis bag. Keep in mind, that looks can be deceiving. The Federer line is perfect for not just serious tournament players but also for casual players.

For those who appreciate fine leather, check out the Premium Leather line of Wilson bags, a.k.a. “a time honored design” that will last a lifetime. The Texas steel leather uses the finest metal hardware. Bag lovers can choose from racquet bags, backpacks and duffle bags. The hot-pink Hope Wilson Tennis Bag is one of my favorites because I happen to love the color pink. For the environmentally conscious tennis player, Wilson has designed the Wilson BLX Team II Triple that is PVC-free, decreasing the environmental impact. Bicycle lovers can wear Wilson Tour large backpack and cycle over to their local court.

Accoording to Guiseppe Sella, a racquet sport expert, “The Wilson name is synonymous with quality and all these bags make the grade. Its crucial to protect your racket and carry your kit safely and these bags offer every possible option for all types of players.”




Tennis Shoes Once Favored Among Thieves

The original tennis shoes were referred to as sneakers. In the early part of the 19th Century, rubber soles were attached to shoes and boots for comfort and laces were fastened to the upper part for firmness. The rubber sole lessened the noise factor generated from the shoes and were quickly made famous among sneak thieves, thus giving these new quiet shoes the name “sneakers.”  By the late 1800s, bicyclists wore sneakers since they needed heel-less shoes for greater mobility.  Such light-weight shoes were gaining popularity from print advertisements and athletes competing in various sports activities.

The first sports shoe company was founded in the United Kingdom in the 1890s. Later, in 1958, the company was renamed to Reebok, which manufactured shoes for some of the athletes competing during the 1924 Olympic Games.  Keds made history in the U.S. by introducing the first known tennis shoes for children. The “Roaring 20s” threw tennis into the spotlight along with canvas-topped shoes for adults. But as basketball gained popularity among North Americans, Converse made shoes with the higher boot, which made it more suitable for the sport. Modern style running shoes were worn by famous athletes including Olympic Gold medalist Jesse Owens and after the first World War, there was public demand for casual, leisure shoes.

Today’s “comfort shoes” are made of lightweight synthetic soles and mesh fabric. Sneakers or running shoes do not have heels resulting in enhanced toe-spring. The first scientifically tested shoe was introduced by New Balance in 1962 – it weighed 96 grams.

Over the past century, athletic footwear has evolved and become a global necessity. The diversity of colors and styles have made some leisure shoes so fashionable that even celebrities have been spotted on the red carpet sporting such flashy comforters. Worn by the young and the old, tennis shoes are here to stay.

Bakko Backboards Have Multiple Benefits

Throughout the decades, the Bakko backboards have taught thousands of people from all walks of life how to play tennis. Not only do backboards replace a live tennis partner or an instructor, but the “green wall” helps all-level players to warm-up before a game. Famous tennis champions like John McEnroe, Pete Sampras and the Williams sisters are backboard graduates.

Handicapped individuals who are on wheelchairs can play tennis regularly against a backboard. Due to a lack of mobility and space, wheelchair players can strengthen their upper-body muscles while engaging in a safe physical activity. Let’s remember the visually impaired can also engage in tennis. According to Daniel Krieger in Wired magazine, "Tennis players swing a shortened racket at a Nerf-like ball with a rattle inside. They navigate via thick string taped to the floor of the badminton-sized court. The number of bounces allowed depends on the degree of blindness." Some visually impaired players know where to aim their shots against a backboard based on the sound pitch.

Bakko backboards can also be used not just for hitting the fuzzy yellow ball with a racquet but also for playing handball. Some elementary schools have handball courts so many children gain familiarity with a backboard and can utilize the backboard for both sports. If more public parks had backboards, more youth and adults could increase their physical activity. Furthermore, the courts can become local hot spots for people to meet and greet.

There are different types of Bakko backboards. The single curve backboard is curved from top to bottom. The logic behind this design is to control the direction of the ball after it hits the board. If the ball is hit upright, it will return toward the direction of the feet. When the ball is hit downward, it returns up or higher toward the player. The board is designed to create a realistic match between two opponents. This design is often the backboard of choice for many professional tennis players and health clubs. The professional flat backboard is the traditional tennis backboard. At 150 lbs., the flat model is made with material that helps diminish sounds.  Any backboard is well worth the investment.

The Tennis Racquet

Throughout the past century, the tennis racquet has slowly crept its way out of the backyards of the rich and elite living in Paris and London. Today, tennis is played in numerous countries and recognized as an international sport. This world-famous game has assisted youth in far away lands like Egypt and Romania.

After World War II, tennis courts were installed at suburban parks, on college campuses and on private property. With the invention of television, average citizens had the opportunity to watch and gain familiarity with the game. The sport no longer caters to the wealthy and is an economical option to paying monthly gym fees. Tennis enthusiasts can practice at sports clubs while parents can play a fun game with their children on a weekend.

But tennis is no longer played by athletes in their 20s and 30s. It has evolved into an inter-generational sport. Tennis matches are played by mothers and daughters and siblings. We have even witnessed grandparents playing the game with their grandchildren. In recent years, senior citizens have also begun playing tennis competitively. To my surprise, I discovered the elderly have the opportunity to participate in World Team and Individual championships not just in the U.S. but Turkey and New Zealand. 

Several tennis champions have utilized their game skills and high-profile status to organize charities and help raise money for the less fortunate. For instance the Andy Roddick Foundation has contributed over $1 million to assist children seeking educational opportunities. The Andre Agassi Foundation helps the public education system. According to the Foundation’s website, “The Foundation drives reform by engaging in practice, policy and partnerships that provide quality education and enrichment opportunities. We know that when children are placed in an environment where expectations are high and excellence is the standard, they embrace it.”

Tennis is such a unique game it can even be played without a partner.  Tennis backboards allow players to schedule practice sessions without waiting for an opponent. Backboards help improve serves, forehands, backhands, and approach shots while enhancing players’ physical and mental endurance.  Some tennis experts claim that players can hit numerous tennis balls on a backboard in just 15 minutes.

Tennis is a game that one can learn and play at any age. When one learns how to properly use a tennis racquet, not only are they engaging in a healthy activity, but building self-esteem by acquiring a new skill. The tennis racquet has and continues to bridge cultural divides.

For avid tennis players, tennis backpacks are a necessity and for others, they function more as an accessory. Some use their bags to hold tennis gear while some women use their backpacks and tennis bags to store necessary daily items. Carry-ons, tote bags, handbags and backpacks have evolved over the decades. From storing cosmetics and car keys to diapers and baby gear, tennis backpacks are multi-functional.

Famous tennis players such as Rafael Nadal and Andy Roddick have sported their tennis bags on and off the court. But tennis bags do not belong only to the rich and famous. Many non-profit organizations and charities use backpacks to store essential items such as food to send to military troops serving overseas. A school in the United Kingdom has used backpacks to place items like erasers, pencils, sharpeners, crayons, collected from generous donations, to give to African schoolchildren.  Another charity, Bag to Save a Life is part of Save the Children's No Child Born to Die campaign. With this organization, handbags are used as fundraising items with the funds directed towards helping underprivileged children and the victims of famine in East Africa.

The evolution of tennis backpacks is not limited to function. Style has also evolved. Some patterns are quite colorful while others maintain the traditional, conservative look. Today’s designs aim to please every character and fashion style. Take Cortiglia bags that are made of fine Italian leather. Cortiglia tennis bags are luxurious and appeal to the sophisticated woman who appreciates both athletics and high-end fashion. But in contrast, the 40 Love Courture Green Croc Betsy tennis backpack is made from sun-stain resistant fabric. This benefits the serious tennis player who plays for hours at a time in the sun.  The 40 Love Courture line of backpacks have a diverse design ranging from zebra prints to bright flowers.

Most backpacks designed specifically for tennis, accommodate two to three racquets with ample space remaining for tennis balls, towels and other small items. Another convenient feature for some backpacks is the removable shoe bag. The larger backpacks are perfectly suitable for students who need to carry their racquets and their school books in the same bag.

Travelers and airline passengers often use the larger backpacks as carry-ons.  With costly travel gear hitting travelers in the pocket book, backpacks are an economical option for a long weekend get-away. Also, backpacks are quite convenient for hikers, who can store several water bottles, ropes, towels and other essential items.

Whether you are a serious tennis player or just a weekend tennis fan, there is a tennis backpack designed to meet your needs.

Prince Tennis Shoes Improve 2012 Line

As we begin 2012, we look forward to the Summer Olympic Games in London and the upcoming presidential elections here in the United States. But for me, the newly designed Prince tennis shoes and the new rules implemented for younger tennis players is much more exciting. 

Effective January 1st, the USTA is requiring all 10 and Under Tennis Tournaments to modify the traditional tennis rules. Juniors will utilize smaller racquets and play on smaller-sized courts.  The USTA along with physical activity advocates are hoping such modifications will motivate youngsters to pick up a racquet, head to the local tennis court and receive proper tennis instruction. This may also help produce future American tennis stars while helping the federal government’s “Let’s Move” initiative to combat the country’s childhood obesity epidemic.

"We want tennis to be fun and accessible to kids as they enter the game," said USTA Chairman of the Board, Jon Vegosen. "Similar to other sports such as baseball, basketball and soccer, kids will now learn and compete on the right-sized court with the right-sized equipment, which will help us grow the game."

Prince tennis shoes have also had some modifications made to their 2012 line. The primary improvement is added ventilation. The Prince Viper VI, Prince T14, the Rebel 2LS and Renegade 2LS shoes are all more “breathable” thanks to the added holes on both sides of each shoe, in addition to the tongue and toe areas.  This is a welcomed upgrade for tennis enthusiasts everywhere because their cherished sport is played mostly in warm climate, during spring and summer. As the temperature increases, feet need to get more air. Athletic footwear providing maximum ventilation help players get through a rigorous game. When feet are able to breathe, players are more comfortable as they run back and forth across the court. With more ventilation in the toe area, the dreaded toe-dragging is avoided.  The Prince Rebel 2LS tennis shoes are lightweight and give more speed while the Renegade 2LS is close to the ground. It gives good traction to prevent skidding across the court.  Also, the PRC 1000 gives the new Prince tennis shoes a six-month guarantee for the outer sole area. For me, this puts the stamp of credibility on the shoes. 

Babolat is no stranger to tennis equipment. In fact, the Babolat Pure Drive is so well known, it was reportedly the most popular tennis racquet at the 2005 Australian Open. With its unique Woofer technology, more of the racquet’s strings interact with the frame providing a greater sweet spot. But advanced technicalities alone did not globalize the Babolat tennis racquet. A slew of tennis champions from around the world have given the racquet even more recognition and publicity.

The most famous player associated with the Babolat Pure Drive is Andy Roddick, the young man from Texas with an illustrious tennis career. There is even a line of Babolat racquets named after him.  The Babolat Pure Drive Roddick GT Plus tennis racquets weigh a little more but have a thinner beam and head balance. The racquets feature the Cortex System, which helps to decrease the negative vibration and lessen the tension on players’ arms and elbows.  The Babolat racquet has served Roddick well.  At the 2003 US Open, Roddick won the Grand Slam singles championship. He also played in four other Grand Slam finals: Wimbledon in 2004, 2005 and 2009. Roddick also played in the 2006 US Open. In 2001, Roddick founded the Andy Roddick Foundation.  According to his official website, the Andy Roddick Foundation aims “to improve the quality of life and enhance educational and economic opportunities for all children based on the principles of respect for family, education and morality.”  This Foundation has raised over $10 million.

Another world famous tennis player to use the Pure Drive racquet is Spain’s Rafael Nadal.  As the former World No. 1, he earned the title “King of Clay.” Some tennis experts claim Nadal is the greatest clay court player ever. In addition, he has won six French Open titles, the Olympic gold medal in 2008 and he won the 2010 US Open.  In 2008, Nadal also created his own charity, The Rafa Nadal Foundation, which provides education programs to disadvantaged youth. It aims to use athletics as a tool for personal integration and self-improvement.

Other European tennis players benefitting from Babolat racquets include Russia’s Igor Andreev, who burst onto the tennis scene in 2004 when he finished in the top 50 ATP rankings for the first time. That same year, he played in the Australian Open and at Wimbledon where he advanced to the second round. In 2005, Andreev performed a record breaking 81-match win streak on clay. He went on to make the third round at Wimbledon and the French Open.

The Babolat Pure Drive tennis racquet is the racquet of choice for several star tennis players. If the racquet satisfies the demands of competitive players, it must be of superior quality.

With the upcoming Summer Olympic Games in London, the world’s top athletes will once again come together to compete on the global stage. But if there is any specific sports equipment that is globally recognized, it is the soccer ball followed by the tennis racquet.

Over the decades, tennis has been referred to as the “other international sport.” The game is played on every continent by men, women and juniors. In the United States, physically challenged players in wheelchairs have tennis competitions and during the summer season, tennis camps from coast to coast enroll future tennis champions!

But where did the tennis racquet originate? Lawn tennis was born during the 1870s in France and Great Britain. Some referred to the early racquet as “jeude paume” or palm game which was widely associated with aristocrats and royal families.

The early designs were not symmetrical like today’s racquets but somewhat lopsided. The design altered when the head of the racquet became oval-shaped with a convex wedge design. During the 1960s, the tennis racquet saw the open throat design along with aluminum frames. The aluminum racquets offered greater flexibility and a larger head size then the wooden racquets. The 1980s gave tennis enthusiasts the graphite composite racquets, combining graphite fibers with glass fiber or titanium.

Over the past century, the tennis racquet has altered not just its appearance and technical abilities; it has stretched to all four corners of the globe, helping to bridge the cultural divide. Tennis Open competitions take place in numerous countries including the United States, Australia, Mexico, China and France.

Even children afflicted with poverty and living in the slums of western Kenya have the opportunity to learn the game of tennis, thanks to the generosity of local volunteers who coach and equipment donations from the international community.

In February 2011, according to the Washington Times, WTA’s CEO Stacey Allaster said, "Having 10 different countries represented in the top 10 rankings shows how truly global tennis has become."

During the last four decades, the tennis racquet has attracted an international audience. More importantly, more junior players are engaged with tennis. Let’s hope this positive trend continues as tennis specialists from the developed world introduce the game to their smaller neighbors.

According to Dan O’Connell, who works for the ITF in Fiji, "We have champions in the developing world and we need to give them opportunities to move forward in life."

Head Tennis Bags are Multifunctional

Over the years, my Head tennis bag has proudly earned the title, BFF. With two young children and a tennis-playing husband, ample storage space is a must. If we are heading to the tennis court, to the beach or just a weekend trip, I grab the Head tennis bag. This bag meets my demands. If we are going to play some tennis, we easily fit all of our racquets, towels, tennis balls and other accessories. While on a weekend road trip, I pack all of our clothes and other overnight necessities and the tennis bag easily fits inside our SUV. Carrying just one bag is fabulous and convenient. Keeping up with so many demands from kids is enough of a challenge so carrying multiple bags is not welcomed.  The average person may not think larger-sized tennis bags can be substituted for a carry-on or a mini-suitcase.  For air travel, carrying a tennis bag may be more economical. Since airlines have increased their baggage fees, a more compact bag may weigh less and cost less money. 

Another advantage to current Head tennis bags on the market is the bold color-scheme. Today’s bags are hardly dull in appearance. Both men’s and women’s tennis bags are available in a wide spectrum of colors and sizes. For someone like me with a more feminine taste, I can choose a red and white bag but my husband, who prefers more conservative styles, there are darker colors and solid white bags.  But with so many different designs to choose from, it is comforting to see tennis bags have maintained practicality and quality.  One may feel the bags may not have much durability and life-span. But speaking from personal experience, I can confirm that the tennis bag will serve as your long time companion both on and off the court.

For our home, the tennis bag is symbolic. As a stay-at-home mother, I am cautious of the activities my children experience. But tennis is an international sport that is fairly safe. So the sport is suitable for our family and it pleases the old and the young. When we watch some of the championship matches, the children see players from other countries so they get some exposure to people from other nations and other cultures.  Not only do my kids see multiculturalism, they are also actively involved in a healthy activity that can be practiced well into adulthood.

World champion, Maria Sharapova endorses one of the Head tennis bags that she helped design. The Combi Bag-6 Pak is solid black with elegant gold metallic hardware.  This bag securely fits up to six racquets without covers.  Other Head tennis bags are also quite aesthetically pleasing and easy to transport due to the extra-padded grab handles. The bag’s main compartments offer ample storage space so if you are packing racquets, there is still extra space for some snacks and bottled water. Regardless of which tennis bag you select, it will last for years to come.
ASICS Gel Resolution 3 tennis shoes for kids appeal to young athletes and help enhance their performance. During the past few years, much attention has been directed towards the nation’s childhood obesity epidemic. 

The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition has implemented initiatives throughout the country to address the challenge, including “Let’s Move,” headed by First Lady Michele Obama. One of the goals of the program is to install 3,000 youth-sized tennis courts throughout the country, in order to motivate youngsters from diverse backgrounds to play more tennis and get physically fit. 

“The USTA committed to impacting 3,000 courts in 2011, and we succeeded,” said Jon Vegosen, USTA Chairman of the Board and President. “By investing in local infrastructure, we can continue to grow the game at the grassroots level, energize players of all ages and help improve communities across the country.”

The kick-off took place in Grove Park in Atlanta, Georgia on November 30, 2011. Grove Park represents one of the 502 athletic facilities that have been constructed and renovated by the USTA in 45 states.  Youth-sized tennis courts were built in public parks, schools, tennis facilities and at local community centers such as the Boys and Girls Club. 

The USTA is working side by side with the International Tennis Federation to ensure that youth tennis courts be specifically designed and constructed for the 10 and Under Tennis play participants. This new rule is set to take effect January 1, 2012. The revised format calls for smaller-sized courts, smaller racquets, lower nets and a modified scoring system for children to follow easily. 

With tennis equipment and tennis shoes like the ASICS Gel Resolution 3 tailored to meet the needs of kids, they will play tennis with more confidence while enjoying the game.  

Many of today’s “junior tennis shoes” lack the right amount of cushion support to play proper tennis.  But ASICS Gel Resolution 3 is well known for providing good mid-foot stability due to its GEL cushioning system. Young women especially admire the color-scheme such as the black/pink and white/purple.  Let’s help America’s future tennis champions play the best match yet! 

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Celia Taghdiri
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Celia Taghdiri
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