Tennis is undeniably fashionable sport and it’s a fact that tennis players love their gear. Be it accessories, shoes, outfits, racquets you name it - tennis players love upgrading their gear and purchasing cool items. There is one piece of gear that deserves more attention though - overgrips. How many times have you seen a tennis player using a racquet that has a worn out overgrip? It looks really dirty, it’s shredded to pieces and you wonder why would anyone think of touching it let alone playing with it.
This usually happens because some tennis players are just not aware of the impact overgrips can have on their performance on the courts. Overgrips aren’t just there for the aesthetics (although they rock for that purpose!), rather they can impact your game too. Let’s check out some of the ways overgrips can affect your performance on the court.
Have you ever seen a slow motion video of a racquet hitting a ball? Those videos clearly show under how much stress the racquet, strings and our body is when performing different shots. We all know that it’s important to keep a relatively firm grip while hitting the ball. Some shots like volleys require us to hold the racquet firmly and steadily in order to keep the ball under control. When the ball hits the strings outside the sweetspot, due to physics the racquet tends to twist in our hand. Quality overgrips provide us with traction that we need to prevent the racquet from slipping and moving out of control in our hands, during those crucial shots. They are made of special materials that make the grips stick to our hand when hitting the ball. This tackiness especially comes in handy in humid playing conditions when our hands become extra sweaty.
If you are playing with a racquet that only has a base grip, then you should definitely consider wrapping an overgrip to gain better traction when hitting the ball.
Playing with just the grip that came with the racquet is often not enough. Over time, this grip tears apart and becomes stiff. This often results in getting blisters after each sparring session. If you play a bit longer than usual, you’re almost guaranteed to get blisters on your hand. This is where overgrips come in handy, as they provide another layer of comfort and protection. Nothing feels more comfortable than a newly wrapped overgrip. This comfort in turn will affect your game positively as you’ll be able to focus on winning important points, rather than being distracted by uncomfortable and painful grip.
Feeling is very important in tennis. Volleys and drop shots are one of those special shots that require an extra touch of “feeling”. What is it? Feeling is when you feel connected with your racquet. The racquet feels like the extension of your arm, basically you are one with the racquet. Using thin overgrips allows you to keep the same feeling from the shots, while gaining all the benefits overgrips bring along. Benefits such as added traction, tackiness, comfort as well as many other properties. Quality overgrips can affect your performance on the court significantly, as they are the link between your hand and the racquet handle. All tennis players want to really feel the ball, and all the energy and vibrations from the impact are relayed through the strings, down through the racquet body down to the handle and finally passing through the grip and overgrip to reach our hand.
Tennis is a mental game and requires us to give our 110% on the court, especially in those tough, match-deciding points. It’s easy to get distracted when playing tennis, and gear often adds to the frustration. You can hear tennis players complaining all the times on their racquet, strings, shoes or tennis balls. There’s a neat trick that you can try in tough matches. When you’re about to play a crucial game or set, try putting on a new overgrip on your racquet. You’ll see that it makes a world of difference. Suddenly, your racquet starts to feel new, more comfortable and playable than ever. Not only does this affect our mental game, but overgrip really affects our performance in significant ways on the court. Simple action of changing an overgrip when you’re looking for a break to take the lead in a match can ultimately decide if you’re going to win or lose the match. Try out this tip next time you hit the courts, it’s guaranteed to work! Just don’t forget to bring a bunch of spare overgrips in your tennis bag.
Overgrips provide cushioning and padding. This is important as it helps us take less of the shock when hitting the ball, resulting in less physical stress on our arm and hand. Try taking off the grip and hitting a ball. There is a huge difference! Tennis players usually prefer the padded feeling overgrips provide. It just feels easier to hit the ball with a racquet that has an overgrip (or several of them), as each hit is absorbed and cushioned by it. This feeling gives us a sensation that we can hit the next ball even harder, just because it feels so good!
Regardless how small this piece of gear is, it is a piece that can really make a difference. When you combine the benefits the overgrip provides, including comfort, better traction, cushioning, you ultimately get better performance as you’ll feel more confident on the court. Most tennis players invest a lot into new racquet, sneakers, etc. but overgrips are an investment that is really going to help you boost your game. Overgrips are affordable, yet make so much difference overall. There are also designer overgrips available and besides the performance benefits mentioned earlier, they also help you stand out on the court. Using overgrips allows you to both boost your game and personalize your racquet.
Hope that this article has inspired you to grab a new overgrip and put it on immediately as you probably haven’t changed the one on your racquet for a while. You must have seen it on TV that tennis pros change overgrips all the time and often do it several times during a match. This is because overgrips do affect the performance and our game on the court. Why would you miss out on this, after all - overgrips are the most affordable part of tennis gear out there?