Everyone who plays tennis has some bad experiences with weather conditions. It happened to me many times that my knuckles were bleeding from cold.
Exposing hands to a very low temperature during practice simply makes my skin break.
Have I ever worn gloves? No, I haven’t.
Tennis players usually don’t wear gloves because they negatively affect the precision of the hit. However, gloves protect from extreme temperatures and direct contact of the racket with hand blisters.
None of the professional tennis players would even think about using regular or tennis gloves. The additional layer between your hand and a grip decreases precision and racket feel.
Gloves could be a solution for coaches, though.
They often spend long hours on the court without moving. Since their role is to instruct, feed the balls, or show technique on and off, the proper grip and control play a less important role.
If you are an amateur, and you don’t mind, you could try the gloves too. What do you need the ball feeling for while hitting lobs down the middle with a random grip?
In other cases, forget about gloves for life.
Why Don’t Tennis Players Wear Gloves?
Tennis is a game of high-precision shots. And the way you can achieve it with correct hand placement on the grip, grip force, and feel. It’s impossible to have complete control over it if there is anything in the way.
It’s like trying to catch a fly with a boxing glove. Even Rocky Balboa wouldn’t do it without a delicate and accurate touch.
Forget about perfect drop shot or serve in gloves.
Gloves simply affect your standard hand grip. As the game tempo pushes you to react quickly and adapt to situations, you have to prepare for any stroke.
You need to hold the racket firmly, and the handhold is different for groundstrokes, volleys, and serves.
An extra material between your hand and the racket handle will disrupt your game. This is exactly the reason why tennis players don’t use gloves at all.
Another reason against tennis gloves is perception disruption.
When you hold a racket handle in bare hand, you sense its shape, structure, and volume. You can adjust your grip type and force to a particular on-court situation, so you can hit the ball precisely where you need it.
Wearing gloves can cause you to misjudge the situation. Your strokes become weaker or stronger than you want, and the grips are inadequate to them.
Gloves also might slip off your hand or whip off the grip at any time. If it happens during competition, you will lose a point.
There are, however, a few occasions when you might want to use gloves. For example, if you sweat a lot. Sweaty palms are the biggest enemy of the tennis serve and a confident grip.
With the gloves on, you won’t face this challenge as they will absorb the sweat effectively.
Just have in mind what kind of gloves you wear because in many South America and Asia regions, the temperatures are always high. Some gloves will be too thick to let the air in and out, so they will make you sweat even more.
The bottom line is that gloves have certain benefits, but cons simply outweigh them.
Do Tennis Gloves Prevent From Blisters?
Let’s be honest, blisters are the most annoying injury which affects tennis performance.
It’s nothing serious medically, but even the tiniest blister can ruin the technique.
What is even worse is their psychological impact. They constantly remind themselves and create a fear of a deeper wound.
If you decide to wear tennis gloves, you don’t have to worry about it anymore. That’s a very effective method to prevent blisters.
Ironically, completely abandoned.
You will find professional tennis players barehanded at all times.
Because gloves create an abnormal feeling of the racket, a lot of pros do instead use tape to wrap particularly damaged fingers.
Just look at an example of Rafa Nadal; his hands are always taped.
Unfortunately, the tape can’t be comfortably applied to the palm.
Its biggest advantage is that tape doesn’t limit the range of motion yet still keeps direct contact of the skin with the racket.
At the end of the day, if you care about your tennis level, you won’t reach for any gloves.
Are Tennis Gloves Allowed On Tournaments?
Like with anything unusual or odd, you might wonder whether it’s legal.
Yes, tennis gloves are allowed. Although only a small number of amateurs wear them.
In some circumstances, they can be extra helpful.
For example, when it’s freezing cold and the outdoor competition continues. Players, who wear gloves, could keep their hands warmer and more coordinated.
Perhaps, I don’t have to explain how much it would influence results for the worse.
In local and unofficial leagues, the organizers set their own rules on tennis gloves usage.
Do Tennis Gloves Give You Any In-Game Advantage?
Theoretically, tennis gloves seem to be an advantageous and underestimated gear.
I can name at least three positive features which make it easier to play.
If you play in extreme weather conditions, your hands could have very decent protection. On cold days, gloves will keep your hands warm.
On hot days, your hands will remain sweat-free and protected from sunburn.
Also, it’s a great way to return to practice routine after hand or arm injuries. You can be back on the court sooner without any risk of increasing damages.
Your wounds or scars will be covered and separated from dust and external factors.
I have already mentioned the blisters problem before. Gloves are a reasonable solution in relieving pain or decreasing the probability of skin damages.
But remember, it also means a loss of feel and lowered playability.
Before you decide to use tennis gloves then, consider the consequences. If you compete at a decent level and expect high performance, I advise you to buy a tape.
I have a general impression that products are introduced to tennis for no other reason but economical.
For example, gloves were made ages ago to protect human hands from cold, wind, and injuries. You can use them in sports for the same purpose.
But labeling them with the “tennis” prefix makes them more attractive and expensive new release on the market.
The bottom line is, if you start playing with gloves on your hands, your performance will go down. So practically, they are useless in real tennis.
And you, have you ever heard about tennis gloves?
What would convince you to use tennis gloves?