HOW TO PLAY TENNIS WITH SWEATY HANDS?

What is more annoying than an easy shot missed because of a grip slipping inside your palms?

One additional challenge in playing in Singapore is the humidity combined with the heat making it very hard to keep dry hand palms, but be reassured, there are solutions TOPserve tried for you to try from 1 to 7!   

1) Grip

First you need to make sure your grip or overgrip are in good condition. In normal condition, they should absorb some level of sweat. Most professional players play with overgrip that they change every few hours while playing.  Most overgrip brands available should have special water absorption qualities. If you do not know any brands or where to look, TournaGrip products offer a good level of absorption.  I personally prefer the white Wilson Pro Overgrip, which are slightly sticky and I change every few hours. If you are short of overgrip, you might consider reusing one by removing and reapplying it starting with the opposite end of the overgrip. Once in contact of lot of water, it is possible that the grip under your overgrip is wet too, so make sure your grip is also dry.

Note: The featured grip used usually for badminton becomes very slippery once full of water and  a bit too round so reducing the feel of the bevels of the handle so, actually not recommended for tennis grips!

2) Wristband

A simple wristband can make a big difference and an extra-large is often better. Not only can it be used to absorb sweat from your forehead, but it also stops the sweat from your arm to leak into your hand palms! Make sure you change them regularly and wearing one on each arm is recommended. Sometimes we touch our grip with the other hand and, if it is sweaty, we then get water on our grip!

3) Towel/Tee shirts

A long and big towel is definitely a must for outdoor tennis. Once wet and no longer absorbing sweat, it should be replaced. The same goes for your t-shirts! I personally like having a good beach towel in my tennis bag every time I play in Singapore.

4) Powder

Here’s an insiders-only secret to success: Powder up your hands before your attack! Not only for climbers, gymnasts and sumo wrestlers, tennis players can also better grip from powder. A few options available include rosin bags, chalk powder or magnesium carbonate, which you can buy at Queensway Shopping Centre. I find powder works really well and I recommend repeating spreading powder on both hands as much as needed, probably every few games. Why on both hands? Simply because both hands and both sides of each hand might touch your palms or your racket at some point. Later, when you want to wash it off with water and soap, the ‘dry hands’ feeling goes away, which is another advantage with powder. (Side note: If you’re going to use powder to help improve your grip, it’s not a great idea to wear black clothing because it shows up more easily and just looks messy!)

5) Gel

Similar to powder, gel can help to avoid sweaty palms during tennis. There are several brands with this type of product. The PrinceGrip Plus gel is the most easy to find in Queensway Shopping Centre but I prefer UltraGrip from Mission SkinCare bought in the US. Note that after applying the gel, it quickly dries on your palms leaving the slightly unnatural ‘dry hands’ feeling that still remains a little bit even after a shower. Spread the gel on your palms and repeat as needed. Make sure to avoid touching your eyes!

6) Nerved grip/Round Grip

A friend of mine designed his own nerved grip. He used a shoe lace that he rolled on the racket handle like a grip and then covered it with an overgrip. Another option is to handle that like Gasquet, making the end of his grip much wider and preventing from sliping away!! The result seems to be working for him, but I’m personally not a big fan of the feel of this type of grip.

7) Gloves

Final words of wisdom: Gloves can also be helpful for sweaty hands and some are specifically made for tennis. However, they do change the feel of your racket. 

If nothing else works, then these might be your last resort to be able to enjoy playing tennis in Singapore!

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