If you’re a baseball enthusiast, you may have noticed that the game involves a lot of catching, throwing, and hitting.
This brings us to the question, why do baseball players tape their wrists? Other than to look cool, there are legitimate reasons too. Read on and learn more!
Why do baseball players tape their wrists?
Baseball is a tough game, so the wrists are key to a player’s performance. The tape provides strength, stability, and minimizes the risk of injury.
Sometimes, a wrist can get pitched the wrong way which may compromise the player’s performance.
Keep in mind that most wrist sprains are caused by an outstretched arm or a fall. This may tear the soft tissues surrounding the ligaments which allow for controlled motions of the wrist. A tape will alleviate the pain/pressure on the problem area.
Are there other reasons why players tape their wrists?
A wrist injury can occur when the hitter is unable to drive the ball. On the other hand, the pitcher may blame the change in performance for wrist discomfort. So, if a player experiences wrist sprain he can tape the affected area and continue to play with the injury.
It’s worth mentioning that wrist taping does not heal ligament tears and fractures. Instead, it provides extra support and most importantly reduces the risk of re-injuring the problem area. The tape will also come in handy when a player falls after being side tackled.
The first reaction is to put the hand down and the wrist will support any falling action.
Hitters who tend to flatten their hand early put a lot of strain on wrist joints. This forces them to use ligaments and bones to support their swings. Unlike muscles that can be strengthened, hitters with wrist problems are likely to suffer downturns in productivity. Also, because of the supportive nature of the tape, players experience a significant change in grip strength.
Generally, the wrist is taped with 1–inch strips which run just below the forearm. This ensures the ball is held more securely. Be sure to use a wider-style time to provide the much-needed comfort.
Taping also works as padding if the ball hits your wrist. This is because the game involves a lot of movements as the players perform athletic catches and throws.
Apart from that, the wrists are placed under stress during the swings. A ball traveling at high velocity will impact the wrist as it gets saved by the goalie’s hands. When you secure the wrist the tape, it will lessen the impact.
The player feels like a pro in case of unexpected bounces. Another reason for wearing the tape is to hide the jewelry. Professional leagues don’t allow players to wear loose bracelets. So, the only way to keep comfortable is to simply tape it over.
Since an athletic tape is made of cotton, it adheres to the skin and stabilizes the injured area. And because it’s designed to support the muscles as they move, it improves circulation on the affected region.
While we cannot underestimate the obvious reasons, the biggest task is choosing the right tape for a given situation. Ask any baseball player, and they will tell you that athletic white tape gives the best results.
Needless to say, it’s easy to wear and take off. Avoid using tapes made of latex as they may cause skin allergies.
Is wrapping the tape on the wrist part of players’ tradition?
Although there’s lots of debate on the importance of wrapping tape on a player’s wrist, don’t expect this tradition to go away soon. It’s part of pregame preparation. Some wrap the wrists during warm-up, and they have a strong belief in the outcome of the game. But what is even more interesting is that players are not ready to give up because it’s part of their superstition.
The way you tape the wrist also matters. First, you must clean the area and air dry. Hold the tape on the right side of the wrist and wrap it around including the lower palm.
Don’t tighten too much to allow for blood circulation – check the pressure on the veins. Although a small amount of tape may appear to have a very little function, this is part of preparation. Of course, the tape is a fashion statement for skill players.
Baseball is arguably one of the world’s popular sports. But why do baseball players tape their wrists? Taping is done before the commencement of any game to protect the wrist joints against injuries. Secondly, it works as padding when the ball hits the wrist. So, as you hit those powerful shots and home runs, be sure to protect your wrists with tape.