There is one piece of gear that tennis players surely neglect the most - overgrips. Grips usually get replaced when racquets are brought in for service or strings replacement, and that doesn’t happen so often. Truth is that a lot of recreational tennis players don’t even know how to replace a grip, although it’s super easy! This is because they rarely do it themselves. This is worrying as overgrips aren’t designed to last as long as tennis strings for example. Overgrips lose their effectiveness and properties way sooner than that.
Why would you bother changing overgrips? Overgrips enhance your performance. Tennis technique requires you to both have a firm grip, but not to squeeze the racquet handle too tightly. You need to allow room for movement and have a relatively relaxed grip. This is impossible to achieve if your overgrip is slippery for example. What happens is that if a ball hits your racquet head off-center, the whole racquet will spin in your hand. Result? Mistake or a poor return at best. Additionally, you’ll get blisters on your hand due to this unwanted slipping of the racquet handle when playing.
This is where overgrips come in handy, they have different properties such as moisture absorption, cushioning and tackiness, all designed to enhance your performance on the court.
There is really no reason for you to skip replacing overgrips as they are much cheaper than tennis balls for example, yet they make so much difference.
If you’re a regular, recreational player that plays tennis from one to four hours a week, then you should change your overgreep on weekly basis. Even if you don’t play as much in a given week, you should still change your overgrip. As soon as you wrap a new overgrip on your racquet, it starts loosing its properties. Stretching a thin overgrip and exposing it to air and moisture sure affects it. Even though it might look fine, you’re much better of changing it regularly. You can get overgrips in packs of dozens, and consider making it a habit to change them at the end of each week. This way you’ll always have a fresh grip on your racquet and be ready to hit the courts.
If you’re a tennis player that has a club membership and you play tennis several times a week with fellow club members, then you should consider changing overgrips at least twice a week. This is especially important if you enjoy playing local club tournaments and league matches. You’ll be using up your overgrips much faster at this rate and level of tennis so you need to change them sooner. Fresh overgrips are tacky, comfortable and slip-resistant. You’ll need those benefits badly in those tight matches! Also, having neat and clean gear is important in order to feel good when you go out to play a session. A good trick to make yourself change overgrips sooner is to buy ones in white or other bright colors. Those will get dirty fast as a reminder they need replacement.
If you’re a junior or aspiring pro, training rigorously 6 days a week, then you should consider changing your overgrip at least 3-4 times a week. Players at this level train at least 4 hours a day and that kind of routine takes a toll on the overgrip condition. If we add the warm climate factor, the sweat will accelerate the process in which your overgrip deteriorates. It’s amazing how much a new overgrip can improve your game. Junior players that train hard need to have a fresh, quality grip on their racquet. Not only does this affect their game, but long training hours also mean increased chance for getting blisters on the hand. If you develop painful blisters, you’ll be out of the game and won’t be able to train until they heal. Overgrips help you avoid this.
Truth is that pros change overgrips all the time. They do it before each session. You must have noticed pros changing their grip in between the sets or every few games. In preparation for a match, pros have fresh overgrips on all of their racquets in the tennis bag. Even if they didn’t use a particular racquet previously, the overgrip will most likely be replaced. Pretty much same as for the strings, though overgrips are much cheaper to replace. Pros never compromise when it comes to their gear and they know how much a quality and fresh overgrip means for their game.
Overgrips are affordable and every tennis players should count in the cost to change them at least once a week. Overgrips cost much less than a can of balls or the court fee, yet they can affect the game significantly and improve the experience and comfort on the court. If you have never seriously thought about overgrips, now is the time to make regular overgrips replacement a habit. Your body (and your mental game) will thank you for it!
It’s a good idea to buy overgrips in bulk packs, and always have them in your tennis bag. This way you’ll be ready and always have one at hand. Here is one tip for those hard and exhausting matches: try changing a grip in between sets or even games when the match doesn’t seem to be going in your favor. Simple change of overgrip will make you feel better holding the racquet. You’ll also be able to enjoy the maximum overgrip performance in terms of comfort, tackiness and moisture absorption. The simple act of changing the overgrip can mean a difference of winning or losing a tough match. Not only does this kind of action affect us physically in terms of feeling we have when holding the racquet, but it also affects our mental game. Sometimes we all just need that one extra push to break the match in our favor.
What is the last time you changed your overgrip? If it visually looks good it doesn’t mean that it didn’t loose it’s performance qualities. Remember to change your overgrip at least once a week or sooner if you’re playing often. Don’t forget to change the overgrip on your spare racquet as well, in case you break the strings on the main one. There is nothing more frustrating than breaking the strings only to find out that your spare racquet doesn’t feel or play as good. Changing overgrip and playing with a brand new one feels amazing. All tennis players just love the feeling of playing with a new overgrip, don’t you?