Volleyball is one of the sports that is gaining worldwide popularity among millions of fans worldwide. If you have been to a volleyball match, you’ll know what I mean. It seems like a low-key sport, but you can’t get enough of it once you get the hang of it.
If you’re a volleyball fan, you definitely know great volleyball players, the likes of Sheilla De Castro, Misty May Treanor, Kerry Walsh Jennings, and many more famous competitors. And, if you are a true volleyball fanatic, answer this question. What common things do they have in their fingers?
If you answered that they are often seen with tapes on their fingers, you are correct. They do wrap the tape around their fingers, but not with regular tape. So, what kind of tape do they wear on their fingers, and why do they do it? This post will fulfill your curiosity.
Why do volleyball athletes wrap their fingers in tape? There are several answers to this million-dollar question. Let us discuss each of these reasons.
Players need extra strength in their fingers. After all, these are the parts of the body that will make or break their game performance. When fingers are taped, they are strengthened and, as a result, players can hit the ball harder than without the tape.
Imagine how many attacks, counterattacks, blocks, and spikes your fingers do in one set, and even more so in three straight sets. And if it gets lucky enough, they’ll get to reach five sets.
This is why so many volleyball professionals wear tape to better protect the edges of their fingers. Net blocking specialists typically wear this type of tape to protect themselves from injury while blocking.
Whether they like it or not, volleyball players are prone to injuries. So, if you want to join your workplace's or school's volleyball team, be prepared to suffer a finger injury.
One kind of finger injury is called jammed fingers. This happens when the fingers are forcefully bent. Blocking the volleyball from a strong hitter on the opposing team is the most common reason why players get their fingers jammed.
If you put tape on your fingers, you may be less likely to get one. Aside from looking cool, you get to save yourself from a likely injury.
Keep Your Fingers Moist
The skin on the fingers frequently cracks and becomes dry because of intense stress and pressure. It is most common during the cold season. Every time their fingers come into touch with the volleyball, the friction causes their fingertips to dry.
A cracked and dry finger might cause unnecessary discomfort and interfere with the player's ability to concentrate fully. Taping the fingers holds moisture and keeps the fingertips from drying out.
The term "dig" refers to the technique of passing an attacker's ball close to the floor. To dig a volleyball up, you stretch your arms and hands beneath the ball being attacked by the other side to deflect it before it touches the floor, keeping the ball off your court.
Digging into volleyball requires skills and stamina. Taping fingers might help the volleyball player perform this act. That is why one of the reasons for taping the fingers is to strengthen the joints, which are needed for this skill.
Keep Your Fingernails Protected
Getting the nails manicured is one way to care for them; taping them is an entirely different story. Fingernails may sound like a trivial issue for volleyball players, but they are as important as the fingers.
A broken fingernail can be inconvenient for a volleyball player. Imagine playing volleyball with a broken fingernail. I bet just imagining it makes your fingers hurt already.
Protecting them protects the fingers as well. In turn, protecting the fingers means performing well in the game.
If you think these are the only reasons volleyball players tape their fingers, you're wrong. There's one more. Bear with us because it is a bit technical.
Over time, great players developed essential skills. This skill is called topspin. As implied by the name, the ball's topspin causes it to swiftly drop down toward the earth after clearing the net. Aiming for the back with this "serve" may be highly successful. Because of its consistent velocity and spin, a topspin serve is the most popular competitive serve.
But what does taping fingers have to do with the topspin serve? Topspin "serve" requires finger friction. Some volleyball players believe that taping the fingers increases the friction in their fingers. On the contrary, expert players who constantly do topspin without taped fingers cause their fingers to crack. Hence, the use of finger tapes.
Now you know why volleyball players tape their fingers. Taping the fingers is more than about looking cool or trendy. But is there no exact science to putting tape on the fingers? The answer is "Nada!" However, the most common way is to use specialized finger tapes.
Although there is no set method for taping the fingers, one popular method is used by volleyball players. It is called "buddy taping." They tape their fingers together (specifically the pointer finger and the ring finger) for added support and strength. To effectively tape the fingers, (not too loose nor too tight), players ask each other’s help to tape their fingers.
Just like the famous volleyball legend, Jiri Popelka, said, our fingers are the most used and abused in volleyball. We exercise them because we want to make a perfect overhead hit or be able to receive an overhead hit.
In blocks, our fingers are also highly exposed since we force them to be firm as we block or slow down the ball. Therefore, to give our fingers the proper care, they deserve the best finger tapes. For the best results with finger tapes, Hampton Finger Tapes is one that specializes in kinesiology tapes.
So, the next time you see a volleyball player with finger tape, consider the sacrifices they make in order to deliver a power block or epic hit.