Your equipment bag is one of your most important tools for on and off the court. It contains any essentials that you need for your practice, along with anything you may need for situations that may arise throughout the practice.

Ensuring that your equipment bag is fully stocked is one thing that some players overlook and underestimate the importance of. While ensuring that your equipment bag has the essentials, you also have to ensure that is all it contains, and that valuables and other items are left behind if they aren’t necessary.

While most teams provide their team with water or refreshment of some sort, it is always in a player’s best interest to ensure that they have a bottle of water or Gatorade with them in the practice bag, on a just in case basis. This ensures that the player has their source of refreshment, and that is essential to the practice.

Another highly important item is the equipment itself. You should have your basketball sneakers in the bag, along with a practice jersey, pair of shorts, and any protective equipment that you may require. This could be eye pads, knee pads, elbow pads, etc.

You may also want to carry some base items like Tylenol. Some players get headaches or minor pains, and while some condemn the carrying of Tylenol, it seems a bit silly to let a headache or minor pain derail your practice or downgrade it’s quality. Being prepared in all aspects includes thinking of the things that you will rarely use, but are prepared for just in case. Just ensure that you adhere to the guidelines on any medications that you will potentially consume, and ensure that if it is prescription based, or you have any prescriptions, that you review the use of Tylenol or other medicines with your family doctor before you take them.

A fresh change of clothes will also be a welcome addition to your equipment bag. No one wants to go home after practice, smelling like practice. It doesn’t have to be your Sunday finest, just a t-shirt, a pair of jogging pants, socks, and shoes would suffice.

Some minor toiletries are also a good idea. Shampoo, deodorant, and a little body spray are the minimums that you will need. While they seem like unimportant things that don’t matter, in the end, they will go a long way.

While some of these things may seem trivial and unnecessary, they go a long ways in ensuring that you have the most productive and pleasurable experience. These items are the bare essentials, and while there are many other items that could be included, they would do nothing but clutter up your bag unnecessarily. In the end just ensuring that you have the above items will send a message to coach and team that you are ready, willing, and able to do your part in the practice. That will go far in showing the type of person, and the player that you are!

[info_box]Picture credit: Mat HonanCreative Commons Attribution[/info_box]