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Sweat bands often replace towels for in-play cleanup.
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Tennis matches can require hours of intense activity outdoors on a paved court and often in the sunshine. Put these factors together and you get sweat -- lots of it. Sweat bands aren't required tennis apparel, but they can be helpful tools to keep sweat out of your eyes and off your hands, improving your vision and grip.
Sweat Band Style
Two main types of sweat bands help the most while you're playing tennis: a headband and wide wristbands, usually made of absorbent cotton terry cloth fabric. Some players choose a bandana-style headband instead. Available in a variety of colors, these can match your ensemble or stick to standard white -- if you're playing in a tournament, check the rules to see if only white sweat bands are allowed.
It's No Sweat
Sweat bands are designed for one main purpose, which is to catch your sweat and keep it contained. Headbands go around your forehead, stopping sweat from leaking into your eyes. Since sweat has a relatively high salt content, it can cause your eyes to sting and obstruct your vision -- not helpful during a tennis match. Wristbands provide a similar service, keeping excess sweat from running down your arms onto your hands. Your hands might sweat all by themselves, but you don't need extra moisture leaking down and making the grip slippery. Wide wristbands also function as towels, allowing you to wipe your brow or eyes without leaving the court.
The Yuck Factor
With the amount of sweat many tennis players produce during a match, keep several on hand to swap out while you play. Soaked sweat bands can be worse than having none at all; they are no longer effective at holding back the moisture and can make you feel heavy. Former professional tennis player Justin Gimelstob can go through 12 wristbands during a match, according to the ESPN website, which helps emphasize just how much sweat can accumulate.
Sweat Bands Aren't Sexy
The downside to sweat bands is that they aren't exactly sexy. If you're not digging the look, use alternatives to help control your sweat while maintaining top play form. Visors help catch sweat and block the sun from your eyes. Towels, of course, wipe sweat efficiently, but they normally stay at the sideline. Waterproof grips on your rackets help keep them from becoming slippery as your hands and arms sweat.
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