Practical ways to avoid slippery grips when playing tennis

slippery tennis gripWhile 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 grips would become easily 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 the 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 ones 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 favourite one).
Wipe the palms against the court’s windscreen (your call 😉 – risking to get 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 afterwards; and yes, avoid shaking your opponent’s hand at the end of the match. 😉

Use your judgement when applying the before-mentioned tips. Slippery tennis grips are annoying and sometimes we do whatever it takes to avoid it in order to play our best tennis.

Have fun on the court!

Cosmin Miholca
WebTennis24.com

 

The Tennis Grip – based on feel

As a tennis coach, I noticed that the simpler I keep the instruction for my students, the better.

One of the aspects of teaching tennis is knowing the correct grip for every tennis shot.
This subject has always puzzled me and the reason is that some tennis coaches tend to explain it in a too complicated way.
(Video Tennis Lessons)

We have many names for the grips: semi-western, western, full-western, continental, eastern forehand, eastern backhand etc. Some coaches insist that the certain parts of your palm should be positioned on specific areas of the racquet grip (base knuckle on the bevel 3, etc.).
Ask most of the tennis pros and they will tell you that they don’t even know nor care what grip name they use. They will tell you they use the grip that FEELS RIGHT for a particular shot.

What RIGHT means?

The grip should be something that feels comfortable for each player individually. The proper grip should be the way a player holds the racquet to give her/him a good combination of control and comfort which can translate into ball speed, consistency and accuracy.

An easy way to understand how to hold the racquet is to recognize what happens at contact with the ball… Considering that at contact the racquet should be facing (more or less) the target and the hand/racquet is at a considerable distance from the body, begin understanding the grip by positioning the strings where the contact should be and hold the racquet in the most comfortable way at the grip. Then ask yourself: even though this feels right, will I be able to impart power and desired spin on the ball?

In conclusion, the proper tennis grip is based on the FEEL, which means the way you hold the racquet should provide you with effortless power and control.

 

Cosmin Miholca
WebTennis24.com