Juniors, suit up!

Spring break is just wrapping up here in San Luis Obispo, and that signals summer vacation is just around the corner. When the final bell of the school year rings, kids will have a lot more time to hit the courts.

Kids seems to grow 2 inches when you blink, so it might be time to check out what’s in the closet or dresser for tennis and sort through what the kiddo has outgrown. Let’s take a quick look at what’s out there for boys first.

Apparel for boys

Nike, adidas and Fila lead the way for boys with full lines of performance apparel. For those guys who are fans of Rafa, the Summer Athlete Crew and Contemporary Athlete Short can be put together for a look similar to the Spaniard’s French Open look. The Clay Action T-Shirt is also a cool way to get into the spirit and support Nadal, whose clay court dominance doesn’t seem to be waning.

adidas also has athlete-inspired designs for junior boys. For guys who like the flashy personalities and games styles of Verdasco and Tsonga, the adiZero Polo and adiZero Short create looks similar to those of the pros. Andy Murray fans should check out the Barricade Polo for juniors.

Moms and dads can get plenty of bang for their buck with boys apparel from Fila and Wilson. All made of performance apparel, there are lots of great easy to mix-and-match items like the Fila Colorblock Crew and Wilson Junior Straight Sets Crew. The Straight Sets Crew is especially impressive because the bamboo fabric construction simply feels fabulous against the skin. The Fila Reversible Short can get twice the action with a solid side and a youthful plaid side.

Apparel for girls

There are a lot of options for junior girls. Even though my daughter is only 4 months old, I can’t help but pick out my favs. The junior version of Maria Sharapova’s tank makes a super cute outfit when paired with the Nike Athlete Skort. Growing up, I think I would have favored wearing the Ribbed Tank and Phantom Short, though, because I had to wear dresses or my school’s uniform (navy/white plaid jumper) every day.

adidas, Wilson and Fila also have really cute performance pieces to play with — and play in — but I want to take a look at a new brand we’re carrying for junior girls. Lucky In Love has some cleverly named and ultra fun pieces. I doubt many junior girls these days know who Gabriela Sabatini is, but that doesn’t matter. The Ms. Saba-tiny Tank is adorable either way. The tulle mesh is a perfect match with the Ms. Navata-luv-ya Skort. If that’s too frilly for her, there are the traditional pleats in the Ms. Will-i-am Skirt and lots of solid tops to choose from. Offered in basic black in white and super bright fun colors, the seamless offerings from Lucky in Love are great because they’re one size. With this super stretch material, the tanks, shorties and leggings can fit a girl as she grows. There are even bra tops from this brand for girls as they grow a bit older.

Be sure to check out the boy’s and girl’s liquidation apparel pages for some great deals, too.

Next time, we’ll take a look at junior shoes. If you have any specific questions, let me know and I’ll try to answer them.

Happy hitting!
Tiffani, TW

One Size Fits Small

Hi, my name is, Kana, and I’m vertically challenged. I’m 5’1”, 3 inches shorter than the average American female. Brittany, who stands 11 inches taller than me, previously blogged on apparel that was right for her. Well ladies, the shorty is in to reveal apparel fit for people of my stature.

Bottoms seem to be the hardest for me to find, specifically in length. I usually feel like a toddler trying on my mother’s old tennis skirts. Luckily, Roxy has entered the tennis market with a new fit appealing mostly to younger females. The Team Court Skort sits low at the hips and measures at 10.5” skort length in a size small. It comes in a variety of colors making it fun to match up with any top!

Roxy Skort

Roxy Skort

My next favorite is Nike’s Flirty Set Point Skort. Like the Roxy skort, this sits low on the hips and measures at 10.5” skort length in a size small as well. The asymmetrical ruffles give it a fun look and not to forget the fabric feels amazing!

Nike Flirty Set Point Skort

Nike Flirty Set Point Skort

As the average height of female professionals keep growing, I feel saddened when I “Ooo and aww” at an outfit seen on tour as I know it would not be flattering to my height. Luckily, Maria Sharapova’s Statement Skort comes in at 11.5”, short enough to give a flattering look to my legs. The pleated detail on the front and back give a playful look and comes in different colors.

Nike Maria Statement Skort

Nike Maria Statement Skort

When it comes to tops, I’m not the bustiest of folk. If there’s a built-in bra, I’m usually left with excess room that makes it bulky in the front, extra material at the arm holes make it look like my tank has wings, or it’s so long it might as well be a dress. Nike and Fila have joined my wardrobe becoming some of my favorite tops.

The Flirty Smash Classic Tank from Nike has a built-in bra that comfortably hugs and supports smaller chests but still offers stretch for those more endowed. The open back keeps you cool and gives it a sexy style.

Nike Flirty Smash Classic Tank

Nike Flirty Smash Classic Tank

For those who favor a lighter top with thinner straps, the Fila Spring Center Court Cami Tank is just right! It has a built-in shelf bra that is thin yet supportive, and I love the cross back style with the spaghetti straps.

Fila Spring Center Court Cami

Fila Spring Center Court Cami

There you have it. My favorite pieces that fit my body type. Spread the word if you find more articles of clothing that we offer for the smaller community.

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Is it in GU?

GU Products- Gel, Chomps, Electrolyte Brew, and Recovery Brew

Have you ever been in the middle of match and feel like you are losing that pep in your step? And no matter how much water or how many sports drinks you consume, nothing seems to work? Well, GU might be the answer for you. GU has an assortment of gels, chews and mixes that are meant to help fuel your body and give you superior energy and provide maximum recovery.

GU Energy Gel

I will start with the original GU product, GU Energy Gel. This goo (GU)-like substance comes in small packs that are easily stored in a pocket of a tennis bag and are available in a variety of flavors, including chocolate, lemon, orange and strawberry banana. These little “shots” of energy contain amino acids, antioxidants, chamomile and ginger. It is recommended to consume one packet 15 minutes before activity and then one energy gel pack every 30-45 minutes after if needed. The playtesting team has a drawer of these gels, and whenever anyone needs a pick-me-up, the GU Energy Gel is definitely utilized. My recommendation is to drink lots of water with this product and to test it in practice before using it in a match situation to see how your body reacts.

GU Energy Chomps

My favorite of the GU products are the GU Energy Chomps. These little bites are the chewable version of the gel and taste like candy to me. The small packs will fuel between one-and-a-half hours and two hours of activity and come in flavors such as orange, strawberry and watermelon. My preference in flavors is watermelon; it tastes like a Starburst or Jolly Rancher. Each Chomp contains amino acids, vitamins, complex and simple carbs, sodium and potassium. I like the bite-size portions. During one of my matches, at the beginning of the second set I was lacking a little energy, so during a change over, I opened a package of Chomps and popped two in my mouth. As I went back onto the court, I could feel my energy returning. Throughout the match, on changeovers and when in need of energy, I would simply eat two or three Chomps and be ready to get back on the court. My one word of wisdom is to be prepared, these Chomps are very chewy.

GU Brew Electrolyte Canister

When you are sweating out on the court, you need to replace all the electrolytes you are losing. The GU Brew Electrolyte Canister fulfills this need with its easy-on-the-stomach formula. Available in two flavors, orange and lemon lime, the Brew Electrolyte replacement drink is not too sweet or sugary tasting. I tried the lemon lime flavor, and it was similar to Gatorade but not too overwhelming. The directions are simple: Just fill a 20-ounce water bottle half way, put in a scoop or two, shake until dissolved, top off the bottle with water and shake well. You can also customize the taste and strength by how much you scoop in. In addition to sodium, the brew contains complex and simple carbs. It’s also gluten and dairy free.

GU Brew Recovery Canister

The best thing to do when you are finished with a hard workout or match is to replace what you have lost. With an option of two flavors, orange pineapple and strawberry watermelon, the GU Brew Recovery mix helps you quickly replenish energy and rebuild muscles. It’s packed with protein, amino acids, carbs and vitamins — all premium quality ingredients that are good for the body. I did find that the brew was a little bit hard to mix, I had to shake it a lot to get all the clumps to dissolve. The taste was on the sweeter side when I tried the strawberry watermelon flavor, and the smell was a little on the medicinal side. Make sure to drink the mix with 16-24 ounces of water.

Have you tried any GU products?

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