It’s a humid summer morning, and she’s 9 games into her match. The racket slips in her grip, causing her to miss-hit what would have been a winner. It happens a few more times, and she spends the rest of the match, waiting for it to happen again, and ultimately losing.
Yes, we all sweat, like when we’re nervous or excited or hot. It’s a normal, sometimes annoying function of the human body. But when we’re in summer-time match conditions, we’re usually nervous, excited AND hot! And while that salty liquid rocks at regulating our internal body temperature and helping prevent heat stroke, it can totally kill a tennis match. It can be the difference between hitting a winner and sending the ball straight to the opponent’s sweet spot.
If this is you, there are things like positive self-talk to help with your nerves, and these which you can do that will help minimize the wetness:
- We don’t have towel girls and boys to hand us fresh towels after every point, so wear wristbands! They can take care of the sweat on your palms as well the extra sweat that runs down your arms to your hands, and the sweat that drips down into your eyes. I hate when that happens! One thing to know – the more you sweat, the less absorbent the wrist bands will become, so bring several pair and change them often during changeovers!
- Change your racket overgrip before your match to ensure that it’s at its most slip-proof. Overgrips can help to keep the racket handle from sliding around in your hand. This becomes even more important during excessively hot days. Depending on the particular grip, it may lose its friction after several matches.
- Use resin powder or another type of grip enhance which will make the racket feel less slippery and easier to grip.
- Bring plenty of towels to the match. Towels are one of the most effective ways – and at times the only way – to control and mop up the sweat on your hands, arms and face during a match. Use the towels during changeovers, and place a towel behind or to the side of the baseline for easy access between points. I’ve even seen ladies tuck one end of their hand towels into the waist bands of their skirts so they can use them between points. Whatever works!
- Prior to your match, eat foods that contain sodium. This will help you to retain more water and release less sweat. And instead of going for potato chips or french fries, have a V-8 or a cup of broth instead. Sodium doesn’t have to be unhealthy :-)
A NOTE: If you decide on using wristbands, and you’re not familiar with them, you should wear them during practice a few times to get used to them. They aren’t tight or anything, but you can feel them on your wrist. My favorite wristbands are from Wristpect Sport. They’re the prettiest, most comfortable, best absorbing sweatbands. EVER!!!
Don’t let the summer heat put your game on ice… Do one or more – or ALL of the above – and get a grip on the summer heat!