Why Use Overgrip?
You decided to start playing tennis, so you rushed to the local tennis store to get the gear. You got the tennis racquet obviously, tennis balls and perhaps a tennis bag. This has got you covered for starters, and you have everything to enjoy your first ever session on the court. Did you forget something maybe? Yes, you did – the overgrips!
Novice tennis players take the racquet grip for granted. They assume that the base grip is not replaceable and that they should play with it until it wears down completely. The truth is that the base grip, one that comes with the racquet from the factory is not only replaceable but there are also ways to make it feel more comfortable by using overgrips. So what are overgrips?
Overgrips are thin, add-on grips that you can separately purchase and wrap around the racquet handle. In fact, when you buy a new racquet – it’s recommended that you immediately wrap a new overgrip, preserving the base grip intact underneath.
Here are some of the reasons for using overgrips on your racquet:
Keep the base grip in good condition
Using overgrips helps you keep the base grip in good condition. You should avoid playing with base grip only, as you’ll tear it up and then it’s a bit complicated and expensive to change it. Changing a base grip requires you to visit the local tennis shop for fitting service, as it’s a bit difficult to do it yourself without any prior experience. Replacement base grips are also costly, especially compared to cheap overgrips. When you purchase a new racquet, make it a habit to use overgrips on it, with regular changes.
Prevent hand blisters
Overgrips make the racquet handle comfortable to grip, and they also help prevent formation of hand blisters. This is a major benefit as your game performance will significantly drop as soon as you start feeling any pain. If you get a bad case of blisters, you’ll be out of the game for a while too, so it’s just not worth risking it. Make sure that you regularly change overgrips to keep the racquet handle comfortable. There is no better feeling than playing with a racquet that has a fresh overgrip put on it. Also, if you have never played tennis before, or you’ve made a big pause – you’re bound to get a mild case of blisters the first time you grab that racquet, so use overgrips to counter the effects of it.
Make the racquet handle slightly larger
Sometimes it’s hard to get the racquet with just the right grip size. This is especially true if you’re buying a used racquet. Usually, if you buy a racquet that has a handle that is too big – then there’s nothing you can do about it. But, if you buy a one that has a grip that is one size too small – then you can use overgrips to increase the size to fit your hand. Just wrap one or two overgrips and viola – you’ve got your perfect racquet grip size! Some people also don’t find the stock grip sizes to be perfect, so they use overgrips to get just the right size for their hand and playing style. You can find overgrips in all sorts of thickness levels so they are perfect for customizing your racquet.
Get more traction
This is the number one reason for anyone to start using overgrips. Fresh overgrips provide you with traction, lots of it. Never again should you battle with keeping the racquet from slipping, while playing a tough match. Instead, wrap a new overgrip and be sure to enjoy the famous tackiness and traction it provides. You’ll feel much more secure holding the racquet this way, so you’ll have more confidence when hitting the ball. This will positively impact your whole game. Some overgrips are more tacky than others, so make sure to check out those which are advertised as extra tacky, if you’re looking for a sticky, firm grip.
Playing tennis is the perfect fitness activity. You’re bound to be sweating a lot. Factory base grips that come with your racquet don’t have good moisture absorption properties. This means that when your hand starts to sweat, the racquet will be prone to slipping. Especially on the serve or volleys. To prevent this, look for overgrips that have enhanced sweat absorption properties. These overgrips are usually marketed with a “dry” label on them. They will soak up sweat and remain dry, allowing for peak performance in a match. No tennis player should be hindered by his gear. Good news is that if you’re playing in humid conditions, you can just replace overgrips more often to keep them tacky and dry.
Positive mental aspects
We all know that tennis is a demanding sport. It requires 100% focus from athletes competing on the court. This is why you need good quality, well functioning tennis gear. You need a right racquet, new tennis balls, comfortable outfit and shoes, etc. You should strive to eliminate any distraction that is gear related. Notice that all pros use overgrips. This is because overgrips are essential part of their tennis gear and they always have a bunch of spare overgrips in their tennis bag. New overgrip provides you with an amazing feeling, like you just bought a new racquet. This is a positive mental stimulants that can help you play better in tough matches. Have you seen pros change racquets or even just wrap a new overgrip in the middle of a match? They do it because it helps them play at the peak of their performance, without any distractions. Imagine playing with worn out shoes that are uncomfortable and that you’re losing a match. If you’d change shoes mid-match to ones that feel plush, and extremely comfortable – then you’re much more likely to change your mood and start feeling better. This will positively translate to your game and you’ll just start winning more points and eventually stand a chance of turning the match around in your favor. The same goes for overgrips! They are easy to replace, cheap and can make a world of difference comfort wise, and for your game.
Hope that this article has inspired you to check out some overgrips that are available out there. They all have different properties and come in a variety of designs to further personalize your racquet. Experiment until you find just the right one. Once you do, make sure you always have a dozen of them ready for action in your tennis bag. Make it a habit to change them regularly, at least once a week. Your hands (and tennis game) will thank you for it.