While I was practicing with one of my tennis friends, he showed his frustration for not being able to control his racquet – due to the humid air, his grip would easily become slippery while playing.
He asked me what should he do about it…
Not only did I share with him my personal ways to keep the racquet grip dry, but I thought it would be a good idea to ask some other tennis friends too and find their secrets in this regard. So here are some of the practical ways to keep your hands dry while playing tennis (warning: some of these you might find disgusting or unhealthy :)):
Before the match:
– Consume salty foods (stay away from junk foods like french fries or chips). I once saw a friend of mine eating from a bag of pretzels before a tennis match; he said it helped him to not sweat too much during the match.
I would not recommend that and never tried it. Find some other sources of foods that contain sodium like vegetables or chicken broth.
– Get a fresh new grip or over-grip.
During the match:
– Use special cream that keeps hands dry (you can find them on the internet or local tennis shop).
– Blow into the palms after every point you play (my favorite one).
– Wipe the palms against the court’s windscreen (your call (; – risk getting your hands dirty but it actually works very well in drying the palm (I tried it many times).
– Use a dry towel that you have placed somewhere close to where you are (put it on a chair next to the back fence just in case there is no other support for the towel).
– I know this next tip might be disgusting for some but I’ve seen players wiping their hand/palm on the sole of their shoes. I admit I tried that a few times too and it works very well – you’ll just have to wash your hands and grip afterward; and yes, avoid shaking your opponent’s hand at the end of the match. (;
Use your judgment when applying the before-mentioned tips. Slippery tennis grips are annoying and sometimes we do whatever it takes to avoid them in order to play our best tennis.
Have fun on the court!
Certified Tennis Coach
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When I first moved to Florida, I played a tournament and had trouble holding onto the grip and also my eyes watered every time I tried to serve into the sun. I have worn a glove and worn sunglasses ever since. As far as the glove is concerned, I had a tennis shop in DC for 22 years and had seen every glove ever manufactured and found the best glove is a high quality cabretta leather, golf glove. If you make sure your hand is clean before you put it on, no sunscreen or moisturizer, the glove will last quite a while. It works the best when damp or wet and it only takes a few strokes to get totally used to it. It gives you so much more confidence when you put it on after having had your grip slip a time or two. Fortunately for me, I’ve found a golf shop that has a great glove that normally retails for $17, that they sell for $5, so I stock up every time I go by the store.
Fred, thank you for the information. I’m sure many people will take your advice. I did have several students who also experimented with different gloves and they said it worked. I, on the other side, did not have to deal with excessive sweating. Little tricks worked for me. 🙂
There are a few sticky cloths on the market that really work. The same outfit that makes the Louisville Slugger baseball bat makes an excellent tennis glove. Here in South Carolina where the heat index is usually over 100 in the summer, we have to know all the tricks.
Golf gloves will also keep your hands warm in very cold weather.
I have the same problem with the heat and humidity while playing in the summer. Of course sweatbands keep the sweat from rolling down your arm onto you hands. But, my secret is applying roll-on deodorant to my palms about an hour before I play and then before I play, and between sets if necessary. (Of course there is always the “go to ” rosin bag if you need a little extra). It’s worth a try ?
Thank you Donna! I’ll try your method too. 🙂
I use a little hand towel attached by a large safety pin to the back waist band of my tennis shorts. I can quickly change the towel during the match if necessary. I have tried all of the other suggestions and found this one works the best for me.
It’s always very humid here in NC , so for my grip I use a rosin bag and or sawdust as I’ve seen baseball players and tennis players use, works really well. My real problem is condensation on my glasses. I’m still searching for a solution???
Motorcycle Racers use this product: http://www.salclear.com/contents/en-uk/d36.html
Google, “Condensation on SCUBA masks. Several great ideas there, including the most useful… spit. Spit on the glasses, spread with your fingers and then use a clean cloth to wipe the extra off. Yes, it’s gross but it works GREAT.
Many thanks for sharing your invaluable experience, skills and knowledge.
My club has giant coolers of ice water between the courts. I rinse my hand at changeover, towel dry it. Also, often tuck a small fingertip towel in my waistband.
Great tips but my favorite solution is to carry a rosin bag in my tennis bag.
I live and play in the desert heat but often the sweat evaporates before it becomes a problem.