Tennis is known for being an expensive sport. And as tennis players, we know that tennis costs can add pretty quickly. So, is not unusual for us to look for different ways to save money. As a result, I have decided to give us all a hand and make a list of ways we can save money on this amazing but costly sport.
Remember! “A penny saved is a penny earned “… These words came from, none other than, Benjamin Franklin… yes, the guy featured in the $100 bills.
Without further due, these are 40 ways you can save money as a tennis player:
1. Buy pressureless tennis balls.
For those who don’t know, pressureless tennis balls are much more durable than standard tennis balls. Unlike regular pressurized tennis balls that lose their pressure, pressureless balls don’t lose their bounce over time. Although I’ll recommend that for matches and rallying you stick to standard tennis balls, pressureless tennis balls can be an excellent option for tennis lessons, practicing against the wall, practicing serves, and/or to use with ball machines.
Besides being more durable than standard tennis balls, they are also, usually, more affordable. You can get the Tourna Pressureless 18 balls
2. Invest in a tennis ball pressurizer.
Buying a tennis ball pressurizer is another effective way to save money on tennis balls. These containers can help you extend the life of tennis balls by stopping or reducing the leakage of pressure, as well as, by forcing pressure back into the balls. As a result, tennis balls can maintain their pressure and bounciness longer. You can get the PressureBall tube for around $25; you can store up to 8 balls at the same time.
3. Buy tennis balls by the case instead of individual cans.
When buying tennis balls in large quantities, you can, also, save money. Even if you don’t play that often, it might still make sense to buy a tennis balls 24 cans case because they can last you at least a few years, as long as you don’t open the cans. So, if you think you’ll be using at least 24 cans of balls in the next 2 or 3 years, it might be great opportunity to buy a case and save some money in the process. Although you won’t be saving a lot, remember that “a penny saved is a penny earned“!
4. Use durable strings.
If you’re a competitive player and regularly break strings, you, probably, know the importance of buying durable but playable strings. However, if you’re a beginner and care about saving money on strings, next time you string your racquet, I’ll suggest you try polyester and/or Kevlar strings. Keep in mind that, although these type of strings might be more durable, they’ll most likely give you a stiffer feeling when hitting the ball.
5. Learn how to string.
Although learning how to string might not be easy, if you’re playing many times a week and are a competitive player, it might make sense for you to string your own racquets. In today’s online world, you can find video tutorials on how to do almost anything; so, did a quick search and found this great tutorial from tennis warehouse on how to string a tennis racquet (step by step).
So, if you tend to break strings often, there is really no excuse for not knowing how to string. On the other hand, if you’re just a recreational player, it’ll probably won’t make sense to go through the hassle of stringing your own racquets.
6. Buy your own stringing machine.
If you’re a high-performance player, who competes, often, on tournaments, it might be a smart decision to invest in a stringing machine. Although they can be expensive, in the long run, you’ll be saving some serious cash! It’ll probably take you around a year to get your money back, and after, that every time you string your racquet, you’ll be saving some money on labor. $10 to 15 dollars for more than a couple times a month, that’s money that you get to keep.
On Amazon, you can get the Gamma racket X-Stringer for around $250, which comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
7. Get strings reels instead of individual sets.
Instead of buying individual sets of strings, get string reels. Usually, reels can get you strings for up to 16 racquets; however, the length of the reel varies. Before you decide on which one to buy, be sure to check the length of the reel to know, exactly, what are you getting. Depending on the strings that you get, the price of a reel might be the same as a buying the same amount of individual sets. Nevertheless, most of the time is less, so, you’ll be saving money when buying strings reels.
8. Buy overgrip buckets and/or reels instead of smalls packs.
Also, you can save some money by buying overgrips in bulk. You can get either a reel and/or a bucket. Usually, an overgrip bucket comes with 60 units and a reel with 30 units. The cost per unit will often be lower the more you buy.
For example, the Wilson Pro Perforated Overgrip (12 units), currently, sells for around $20, and the Willson Pro Perforated Overgrip Bucket (60 units) sells for about $70. If you buy the 12 pack, you’ll be paying $1.66 per unit, while, if you get the bucket, you’ll be paying $1.16 per unit. In the long run, you’ll, literally, be getting around 30% discount per unit if you go for the bucket!
9. Reuse your grip by turning them inside out.
Double the useful life of your grips by re-using the backside of them. Although the backside of your grip won’t be as sticky as a brand new grip, if you’re a recreational player, you should be fine using it a few times before you get a new one. Plus, it’ll literally look like a brand new grip. This should help you keep a few extra bucks in your pocket!
10. Don’t buy dampeners, instead use rubber bands.
If you’re the kind of player that uses vibration dampeners, a.k.a. shock absorbers, you’ve probably lost count of how many dampeners you have gone through. Although useful to reduce the vibration when hitting the ball, these small pieces of rubber tend to fall and get lost all the time.
Stop spending money on dampeners and instead use rubber bands. They are much cheaper and are as effective as using regular dampeners. Just tie a rubber band in the same spot you’ll place your dampener, and Voila!
11. Buy a dampeners jar instead of buying small packs of dampeners.
If you don’t feel like using rubber bands instead of dampeners, at least try to save some money when buying them. Instead of buying small packs, buy a jar of dampeners.
For instance, currently, the Heads Pro Damp (2 units) is $5, and the Head Pro Damp Jar (70 units) is around $80. If you buy the 2 pack, you’ll be paying $2.50 per unit, while if you buy the jar, you’ll be paying around $1.15 per unit. By getting the jar, you could be saving more than 50% per dampener.
I understand that buying 70 dampeners might not make sense for everyone; however, you could get together with some friends and split the jar and the costs. Remember, that a dampener can last you for many years, as long as you don’t lose them!
12. Buy demo or used rackets.
Instead of paying full price for a brand new racquet, try to get a used or demo racquet at a discount. In most occasions, tennis stores would sell demo racquets at a more affordable price than a new one. Although, they usually don’t advertise them, make sure to ask if they are willing to sell demo racquet.
Another option is to buy used racquet; you can find them at your local tennis shop, or online, in sites like Tennis Warehouse, Tennis Express, eBay, and/or craigslist. For used racquets, I’ll suggest taking a look at Tennis Express, they have a great selection of used racquet at discount prices.
13. Take advantage of shoe warranty programs.
Some tennis shoe manufacturers offer a 6-month durability warranty on certain models. Which means that if you are able to wear out the shoes within 6 months, you’ll be eligible to get a free replacement pair. Keep in mind that most warranty programs only cover the shoes’ outsole. So, if there is damage in any other parts of the shoe that is not in the outsole, the shoe won’t qualify for the warranty. If you buy at tenniswarehouse.com, click here to find more on their warranties policies.
14. Take care of your racquets.
I’m not suggesting that you become a saint on the court and not to get mad, however, please, whatever you do, don’t hit your racquet. When I was a kid, I broke my fair share of racquets, which result in me getting grounded many times, and for my parents, another extra bill to pay. If you’re on a budget, taking good care of your racquets is a great way to reduce your tennis expenses in the long run.
15. Buy used equipment on Craiglist, eBay, or Facebook groups.
If you’re a savvy online shopper, you probably know about these sites. Nevertheless, I decided to include them for those who are not familiar with them. On sites like craigslist, eBay, and or Facebook groups, people sell almost everything, including tennis stuff. So, if you’re looking to buy something, in particular, take a look at these sites, and maybe you’ll find what you’re looking in good conditions and at a more affordable price.
16. Look for special offers, clearances and or coupon codes.
As with most things you buy, you should try to find the best deal available when purchasing for tennis stuff. Most online tennis stores have a clearances section or offer special weekly offers, so be sure to take advantage of them. As for coupon codes, you can find specific store coupon codes with a quick search; just type on your search engine “(store name) coupon code,” and you’ll be on your way to significant savings.
17. Get an affordable tennis ball machine.
You probably know what a tennis ball machine can do, and how beneficial it can be for your tennis game. However, with most ball machine prices ranging from $700 to $1,700, it’s a no-go for most people. Nevertheless, there are a few affordable and good tennis ball machines that you should consider buying. One that I found interesting is the Baseliner Slam, which is about $400; it’s one of the most affordable in the market. Check the following video to see it in action!
18. Don’t buy the expensive brands and/or latest models.
You have probably seen your favorites tennis players on TV wearing those fantastic outfits, and obviously, you know it will look good on you too. However, this will come with a hefty price tag. Instead, buy good quality but not expensive brands. Also, try to purchase outfits, clothes or shoes that are from the previous season; you’ll be able to save some money like that.
19. Use your tennis shoes to only play tennis.
I’ve seen many tennis players use their tennis shoes for different activities off the courts. For example, some junior tennis players will play soccer with their tennis shoes. This is guaranteed to wear them out much quicker. Try to use your tennis shoes on the court only. I, personally, go as far as to have another pair of (running) shoes to change to for when I’m done playing tennis.
20. Play against the wall more often.
Playing against the wall (a.k.a. the ultimate and most consistent tennis partner you’ll ever get), regularly, can potentially help you save money in the long run. Try to complement your tennis lessons or hitting sessions by practicing against the wall. It’s crucial that when you work the wall, you do it with a purpose. Otherwise, you’ll be hitting the ball against the wall with no reason and/or goal.
21. Invest in a tennis rebounder.
By investing in a tennis rebounder, you can get some extra practice from the comfort of your home. This tennis aid could potentially help you save time, gas, and, on some occasion, court fees. It’s very convenient; you don’t need a lot of space to use them. Don’t believe me? Check the video below of the XK Sports Tennis Rebounder.
Also, another good and more affordable option is the “Tourna Rally Pro Adjustable Tilt Rebounder.” I actually own one this for a couple of months, so far so good!
22. Play outdoors.
If you’re an avid tennis player, you’re, most likely, familiar with all the costs and fees associated with playing indoors. Take advantage of the nice weather, and try to play outdoors whenever you can. Besides being more connected with nature, it’ll help you maintain a healthier relationship with your bank account.
23. Take advantage of your club member benefits.
If you belong to a tennis club, make sure to know what are the member benefits they offer. In some clubs, I’ve seen members get free court time at certain times, as well as, free group and private lessons in a first come, first serve bases. However, most members don’t take advantages of these benefits because they have no idea they are being offered. If you are a member of a tennis club, do yourself a favor and find out what your benefits are.
24. Shop around for tennis lessons.
Before deciding on a coach or a tennis club to take lessons, be sure to compare prices, and see what is best and more affordable for you. By shopping around, you’ll get an idea of the costs in your area and will be able to make a cost-effective decision. In some occasions, the town recreation department offers more affordable tennis lessons for their residents, than regular tennis clubs or coaches.
25. Buy lesson packages.
Usually, most tennis coaches or clubs are willing to give you a discount if you buy a package of lessons. For example, if you buy a package of 10 private lessons, your coach might be willing to give you a discount because you are committing to take the 10 lessons. This means that the coach will get those 10 hours for sure. It’s a win a win situación. You save some money, and the coach secures the hours.
26. Sign up for semi-private or group lessons.
If you’ll like to get one on one tennis lessons, but you’re not ready to pay the price for a private lesson, you can instead sign up for semi-private lessons or group lessons. Although you won’t be getting the individual attention as in a private lesson, you’ll still have the opportunity to learn with the help of a tennis coach.
27. Find college players to teach you tennis.
During the summer, many college tennis players teach tennis as a way to earn some extra money. Usually, since they are starting, they don’t charge as much as the experienced coaches. Obviously, you want to be sure that the person is a good fit for you, and is somewhat familiar with how to teach tennis.
Since private tennis lessons are probably one of the most expensive aspects of learning tennis, taking lessons from a college student might be a good one to get one on one help, without having to spend too much money.
28. Learn tennis by watching tennis lessons on YouTube.
If you cannot afford to take private or group lessons and are serious about learning tennis, you can get some world-class tennis instruction online, especially on YouTube. Several YouTube channels have great content and can help you take your game to the next level. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced tennis player, you’ll most likely find great and useful resources. If you’re interested in finding more about YouTube tennis channels, check the following article that I wrote: “10 YouTube Channels to Learn Tennis”
29. Join a tennis league.
Joining a tennis league is a great way to play some exciting tennis matches and meet new people. If you’re someone, who works regular hours, a tennis league might be a good fit for your schedule. The best part of joining a league is that you get to meet new tennis players, which could potentially become your tennis partners. So, you won’t have to worry about finding a hitting partner or paying a Pro to play with you. Although this might not work for everyone, for some people, it might be a good way to save some money and make new friends.
30. Attend ATP& WTA Tennis Tournaments for free!
If you’re looking to watch world-class tennis from the stands, but don’t feel like spending the money on the tickets, you can attend the tournament qualifiers and/or practice sessions. In many occasion, during the qualifying tournaments, which are before the main draws, attendance is free.
For instance, the U.S. Open and Indian Wells don’t charge admission for the qualifiers. Besides, if you want to see your favorite player, who might not be playing the qualifying tournament, you can attend to their practice sessions, which, in some occasion, are also free of charge.
31. Attend college tennis matches for free.
Also, another way to watch high-quality tennis from the stands, for free, is to attend college tennis tournament and/or matches; usually admission is open to the general public. Although there is a considerable difference between Pro and College tennis, you can still find a high and competitive level of tennis, especially in D1 and Top D2 schools.
32. Play on public courts.
This one is so obvious that there is, probably, no need to include it; however, I think it’s important to mention it for the people who are just getting started on this sport. Playing on public courts can save you some serious cash. Most of them are free, and on others, you have to pay a small fee or have a town pass. Anyways, it’s most likely to be cheaper than playing on a club or a private court.
Just by doing a quick google search like “public tennis courts near me,” you can have access to free tennis courts in your area. However, keep in mind, that in some public courts, there is so much demand that it’s almost impossible to find open court time at specific times.
33. Don’t get yourself injure.
Getting injured can be expensive. Having to pay for medical bills, like x-rays, physical therapy, medications and doctor appointments, among other things, can really take a toll on your budget. And although you cannot entirely prevent getting injured, there are multiple things you can do to reduce the risks of getting hurt on the court:
(1) Taking some time off and getting proper rest (2) Having the appropriate equipment, from good tennis shoes to the adequate racquet. (3) Stretch before and after your practice sessions. (4) Be sure you’re using the proper technique. (5) Use good judgment and be safe on the court. (6) Warm up before your practice sessions and take breaks as needed. (7) Stay hydrated during tennis sessions by drinking plenty of water, or drink of choice. (8) Have proper nutrition. (9) Don’t play if in pain or injured; it can make things worst.
34. Drink more water.
By choosing to drink more water (which is almost free) during your tennis practices and/or matches, you’ll be spending less money on all sorts of drinks. However, is still vital that you get your fair share of electrolytes and minerals. Below, I’ll share a couple of ideas on how you can save a few dollars a day on sports drinks.
35. Save on sports drinks.
Although drinking water is, probably, the most obvious option to stay hydrated, sports drinks offer us the ability to stay hydrated and at the same time get the carbs and electrolytes that our body needs. So, when it comes to sports beverages, you can save money by getting the powder version instead of the actual bottles. The powder version, usually, cost less per ounce, getting you more bang for your buck!
If you want to take it a little bit further, you can make your own energy drink by mixing the right amounts of water, lemon, salt, and sugar. If you like the idea of making your own sports drink, check the following article: “5 recipes to make your own healthy sports drinks“
36. Eat healthy affordable snacks.
Instead of buying those expensive energy bars and gels, just put in your bag some bananas and apples (or your choice of fruit), and complement it with some graham crackers. There are many other alternatives for snacks, however, remember always to include some sort of complex carbohydrates because they’re crucial to have proper endurance and performance on the court.
37. Barter your profession.
Why not go back to the good old times of a cashless society? Well, although the idea of bartering, nowadays, for most things or services, might be too extreme and complicated, you can barter your profession (or whatever you’re good at) in exchange for tennis lessons. Giving that tennis lessons can be quite expensive, you can save some serious bucks.
I know a couple of tennis coaches that teach private tennis lessons in exchange for other services. For example, a colleague of mine barters tennis lessons in exchange for dental treatment. It might work both ways, as a tennis coach or as a tennis student. You don’t lose anything by asking!
If you’re a recreational player, who plays every once in a while, carpooling might not make too much sense. However, if you play multiples days a week, or you’re a tennis parent, whose kid plays many times per week, carpooling might be a great way to keep your tennis budget in balance. Besides saving money on gas or electricity, if you’re a tennis parent, it’s a time saver, as well. And as the old saying goes “Time is money.”
39. Sign up for USTA tournaments over the phone (the United States only).
If you’re a tennis player from the United States, you’re probably familiar with the USTA, which stands for United States Tennis Association. The USTA is the primary institution in charge of organizing tennis events and competitions across the country.
Every time you want to sign up for a USTA tournament, you have the option to do it online. However, when you sign up online, on top of the registration fee, you get charged a small non-refundable processing fee of around $3 or $4. Yet, not too many people know that if you sign up over the phone, you won’t have to pay that processing fee. You can literally save more than a couple of dollars by making a quick phone call!
40. Save up to $80 on the tennis Eye Coach.
If you’re interested in buying the Billie Jean King’s Eye Coach but don’t feel like paying the full price, I might have an alternative that could potentially save you up to $80. You’ll need to buy an Eye Coach replacement arm for 1/3 of the full price; and then, you’ll need to get an umbrella base, instead of using the regular base.
If you would like to find more about it, check the following article I wrote: “How to Save Up to $80 on a Tennis Eye Coach!”. If you’re not familiar with the tennis eye coach, I’ll suggest you watch the following clip.
41. Have a good relationship with your coach.
Many clubs and coaches have a late cancellation policy (usually 24-12 hours), which means that if you have a scheduled lesson and at last minute you have to cancel, you still have to pay for the lesson. Nonetheless, I’ve seen coaches make an exception and waive the lesson fee because they know you and have a good relationship with you, and are willing to give you the benefit of the doubt.
Furthermore, if you refer potential clients to your tennis coach, he or she might be willing to give you a discount because you are bringing them more business.
I’m not suggesting that you should be extra friendly with your coach, so you can get freebies. Nevertheless, I’do believe we should respect and try to maintain a good relationship with others. And when somebody sees and feels that, they usually want to give back.
42. Practice at home with a foam ball.
By using a foam ball, you’ll be able to practice against most walls at home, as long as you have enough space to move around and hit the wall. Since these balls are soft and bounce lower and slower, they’ll allow you to practice in small areas without worrying about breaking something.
This can be a great alternative to practice your tennis game and could potentially replace, every once in a while, your practice sessions on the court, saving you some money, as well as, time. Besides, practicing with a foam ball is a great way to work on the proper technique. To learn more about how can you practice tennis at home with a foam ball, check the following article: “How to Practice Tennis Without a Court“
43. Practice your game by playing TouchTennis.
If you want to practice your tennis game but don’t have access to public courts and don’t want to spend money on court fees, make your own improvise mini tennis court and play Touch Tennis. For those who’re not familiar with Touch Tennis, it’s pretty much like regular tennis but on a smaller court with smaller racquets, and played with a foam ball.
Check the video below to get a better idea.
If you’ll like to find out how can you make your own mini tennis court, check the following article: “How To Make a Mini Tennis Court”
So, there you go! These are 40 (plus) ways you can keep more money in your pocket while continue playing this beautiful sport. If you made it all the way here! Way to go! You’re a trooper!
I really hope you got some ideas from this post that can help you keep more of your hard earned cash! I’m more than sure that you guys have many more creative ideas on how to save money as tennis players, please share them with us in the comment section!
Thanks for reading!