Jason Boucher-What’s In Your Bag?
James Maimonis, Communications and Engagement Coordinator | December 19, 2017
BEDFORD, NH- Jason Boucher is a junior at Bedford High in Bedford, NH. He is currently in his third year as a member of the NH Rogues, an 18U Junior Team Tennis (JTT) team out of Bedford. Jason also competes in USTA New England tournaments, and in the spring, he will be playing his third season of varsity tennis for Bedford High.
This past summer, Jason helped his NH Rogues team capture a JTT New England Sectional Championship and reach Nationals in Orlando, FL. At Nationals, he was given the Sportsmanship Award for his age division, an honor that is voted on by opposing players and coaches.
Jason is also the recipient of the 2017 USTA New England 18 and Under Boys’ Sportsmanship Award, which he will be recognized for at a ceremony in January.
Jason took the time to give USTA New England a special look inside his tennis bag, which to some, might be full of surprises.
Hand warmers in a tennis bag? These are very important. High school tennis starts in early March. Sometimes the temperature is 35-40 degrees with snow on the ground, so you don’t want your hands to freeze off. During matches, I’ll keep one in each pocket to keep my hands warm. Only in New England, and specifically in New Hampshire, do you need hand warmers to play tennis.
I heard there was a good story about the visor- There are quite a few jokes with this. The first day at JTT Nationals, we were all looking in the store, and I said I wanted a visor. Everyone told me visors looked stupid, and I said “no way,” and ended up getting the visor anyway. I feel like I started the trend because three other people got them and wore them. So from there, I was the co-founder of “Visor Gang” and everyone else that didn’t have one wasn’t in it.
What is the significance of the tennis notebook? This is big for me. I always need to have this or I’ll be in trouble. This is full of notes that my personal coach gives me. It includes tennis terms and tips I need to remember in a match, so I’ll look at it in case I need to refocus if I’m not doing well. I remember the first time my teammate Zach Suozzo and I went to this coach, we didn’t know you were supposed to have a notebook, so we got there and he asked where is was. We panicked and ran outside to look for paper or something from our backpacks to write on. Turns out he had something and I didn’t, so I ended up getting in trouble.
What is the newspaper clipping from? This was from my first match and win in the starting lineup for Bedford High. It was my freshman year and my first time in the paper, so it was pretty cool. My JTT coach Deb LaPress made it for me, and it’s something that always makes me think of the upcoming tennis season. It also reminds me where it all started for me and being around so many of my friends.
Talk about the Hawaiian shirt- The shirt was given to me by a good friend and reminds me on the court to always be happy and enjoy myself. It helps me stay focused and brings me back to reality on the court whether I’m losing or winning.
Is this just an ordinary tennis ball? No, this is from my run last year to the state semifinals with partner Zach Gould. It was my first year in the state tournament for individual or doubles, and it was awesome to have him as my partner.
What’s the deal with the extra laces? I always carry them to be prepared. In one of our biggest matches of the season last year, my teammate Ricky Salvatore blew out his shoe. Luckily I had the extra pair of laces, and I also let him use my shoes to finish out the match. That was definitely a fun moment for us, and especially now I always keep an extra pair of laces.
Is this your lucky dampener? Yes! It was given to me by teammate Nick Michaud the day of singles state finals freshman year. I’ve been playing with it the past year and paying well. I’ve kept it and he doesn’t know that I still use it, and it’s something I will never lose.
Jason also has a number of items from JTT Nationals this past fall, including a lanyard with his credential, a towel, a water bottle and balls form the USTA National Campus.
Why do you keep the lanyard in your bag? If there is ever a moment in a match when I’m struggling, I’ll think about it or look at it and say, “I can do this.” It was really amazing to make it to Nationals, so I try to think about how I played there, and it motivates me to try as hard as I can. It makes me realize that I myself control my own actions, and if I can make it to Nationals, I know I can get through whatever I’m trying to get through at the moment.