A look inside the viral TikTok ASMR trend

The 2024 Paris Olympics are only a few months away, and many fans are preparing to cheer on their athletes. 

One particular way people worldwide are getting excited is via TikTok. The social media app is where millions of users are learning more about the sport of handball and, more specifically, the sticky substance players put on the ball and their hands to play. 

It’s called resin, and as explained by Handballshop.com, players use it to get a better grip on the ball. 

Multiple videos on TikTok show handball athletes grabbing a small amount of resin with their fingertips out of a jar. They then spread it on the ball and use their hands to rub the ball to ensure grip. 

The trend of resin used in handball is the latest of viral autonomous sensory meridian response videos, also known as ASMR, popping up on the social media platform. In these videos, athletes put a ball close to the camera while dabbing resin on it, making the sound of applying resin very loud and clear.

To keep resin on the ball throughout a game, handball players also put a small amount of resin on the side of their shoes to easily access it and reapply on their hands and the ball. 

Athletes must make sure the resin is always spread evenly over the ball to prevent large amounts of the product from sticking to one spot, which can possibly lead to marks on the floors. This can cause a player to walk over it and have their shoes become sticky.

The resin looks like a thick, glue-like substance. Many people who have seen the TikTok videos have asked if the product can affect a player’s ability to do a simple task that might not be part of the game, such as grabbing a water bottle or touching their hair, but luckily, athletes can use baby oil as a way to clean the resin off their hands.

As for the ball, players use different methods to take the resin off, as shown in the videos below.

On some unfortunate occasions, a player’s hand with resin on it can get stuck onto things that are not the ball. 

Handball fans can see more players using resin to help their team win games this summer at the 2024 Paris Olympics. 

The women’s tournament begins on Thursday, July 25 – one day ahead of the Opening Ceremony, while the men’s competition starts on Saturday, July 27. 

Although the Olympics are taking place in Paris, the knockout stages of both handball tournaments will be played outside the city at the Pierre Mauroy Stadium in Lille.

The French men’s and women’s teams are the reigning Olympic champions after winning gold in Tokyo three years ago. The host nation will once again be favorites to retain both titles.

As for the United States, the men's team has one final chance to play in Paris during a qualifying tournament in March. It will feature three separate contests, each with four teams competing for the final two spots in the Olympics. So far, 10 teams have already booked their tickets to Paris. 

The U.S. women’s team did not qualify for the Olympics.