5 Must Haves For Your Pickleball Bag (Plus a Free Checklist)

pickleball bagIt would be pretty tough to play pickleball without a paddle, balls and a net but what do you need after that?

The answer is no simple answer. Are you playing indoors or outdoors? Is the facility staffed or are they public courts with few amenities? Is it a casual game with friends or are you playing in a tournament? My pickleball bag changes depending on where and who I am playing with and so should yours.

A couple of courts don’t provide water, others have snacks for purchase, one is tucked back in the foothills in Reno and I feel a lot better knowing there is a little emergency kit in my car. A day at a tournament will have me packing differently with more attention paid to nutrition and comfort between games.

What are the 5 must haves for your pickleball bag?

1.   Water

You would think this goes without saying but I’ve played with some people who believe they are camels. Web Md says it doesn’t matter if you are an elite athlete or a weekend warrior and recommends you drink 8 ounces of water for every 15 minutes you exercise. My stomach can handle more water when mixed with an electrolyte powder. Gatorade is an alternative but be wary of the sugar content.

2.  Court Shoes

Why risk rolling an ankle or a fall by using shoes that are built for a different sport? Court shoes are designed to provide lateral stability for the side to side movement of pickleball.

3.  Food

Ever been playing and suddenly your mental focus disappears and your muscles seem sluggish and unresponsive. If you have been hydrating properly you probably just need a little something to eat. A couple of bites off a healthy energy bar or a small handful of nuts should do the trick.

4.  First Aid

Has an ill-timed blister or a sore arm had you exiting the court earlier than planned? Even if you are playing at courts that have staff and resources, it doesn’t hurt to have a couple of first aid items with you, band-aids, an anti-inflammatory maybe even a chemical ice pack.

5.  Recovery

The athlete who recovers the quickest gets to play more often. How many times have sore muscles or overuse injuries kept you off the court? It’s time to take your recovery seriously. Beyond the cooldown and the stretching, there are some products that have helped me. Vega Sport Recovery drink is one of my favorites. It has 23 plant-based ingredients, including glucosamine, that help restore energy, replenish electrolytes and support post-workout carbohydrate recovery.

Another one of my go-to products is Overdrive. It’s specially designed for people who are physically active and it’s loaded with B Vitamins, antioxidants and electrolytes to assist the body with post-exercise muscle recovery.

Recovery products should be used within an hour of completing your last game for maximum benefit.

Not sure what else should go in your pickleball bag?

 Pickleball Bag Checklist
Never forget something you need at home again!

I shot this video on Facebook Live while playing in a tournament a few months ago. There is usually time between matches and that calls for a couple of more must have’s in my pickleball bag!


Disclaimer: I am an independent representative for a couple of products in the post and on the checklist. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. This post is not intended to diagnose or treat any ailments.

Did I forget the favorite item in your pickleball bag? Let me know in the comment section below.

cj "cathy jo" johnson





CJ Johnson’s Fitness Transformation Blog
Train Smart · Live Bold · Age Well

Email: CJ@betterpickleball.com
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