Volleyball can be hard on the body, especially your fingers. Keeping your fingers in top form is important, and that is where finger tape comes into play.
In this article we will cover everything about finger tape…including why it is used, how it is used, and what tape to use to make sure you are protected.
Why Do Volleyball Players Tape Their Fingers?
Many volleyball players wear tape in order to protect the tips of their fingers. The tape also keeps the fingertips moist and reduces incidences of skin cracking. Players specializing in net play also tape their fingers in order to protect them from injury while blocking.
If you watch volleyball for any length of time, you will likely notice that many of the players have taped their fingers. This might seem odd because volleyball is a sport where you need to maintain a full range of motion with your hands. That begs the question, then, as to why volleyball players tape their fingers in the first place?
For volleyball players to use tape correctly, they must first understand the various uses. When applied properly, taping provides many benefits to fingers and joints. In addition to preventing jams, the tape can help strengthen joints and keep nails and skin from cracking.
Taping Fingers to Strengthen Joints
Hitting a volleyball is not nearly as easy as it looks. Doing so can elicit quite a bit of pain if your fingers are not very strong. This is similar to hitting your finger on a table or other solid object. The resulting pain is just as intense and problematic. If you play a lot of volleyball, it can take some time for the pain of a hurt finger to subside.
Tape provides the extra strength that your fingers need to prevent injury. With pain no longer a factor, the level of play increases as well. Fingers tend to take quite a bit of abuse in the fast-paced volleyball game, but taping them together is an effective way of strengthening them. You may also hear this referred to as buddy taping.
Players who are in the front row commonly tape their fingers to strengthen joints. Taping their fingers protects them bending back and jamming. It also adds extra strength for when they are blocking.
If you want to use tape as a way to strengthen your joints as a volleyball player, it is important to do it the right way. Anything else will just give you a false sense of security and likely result in your fingers feeling pain or becoming damaged anyway.
Taping Fingers to Prevent Jams
Since one of the most common injuries in volleyball is a jammed finger, taping is often used to prevent this. It can be quite easy to bend a finger to the point of injury while playing. When you tape your fingers, you will be providing them with a certain level of stability that will minimize the risk of injury as a result.
A common way to jam a finger is by blocking the volleyball when it’s hit by a hitter from the other team. Taping the fingers can definitely prevent this from happening.
Taping Fingers to Protect a Jammed Finger
When a player already has a jammed finger, it can cause pain and be a nuisance. The finger needs to stay protected in order for the healing process to take hold. There are so many things that happen in daily life that can make a jammed finger worse, so this is simply a good practice to follow if you want to get back on the volleyball court as quickly as possible.
Buddy taping fingers together is a common way volleyball players tape up their fingers. When you tape the finger next to the injured finger to each other, it provides more stability to the joints. This allows players to keep playing in a match while keeping the injury secure.
Taping Fingers to Protect Nails and Skin Cracking
Volleyball players can also tape their fingers to protect the nails and to keep the skin from cracking. If you have ever experienced a fingernail breaking off in the middle of a game, you are well aware of the importance of taking care of this. Protecting the nail not only makes you feel better as a player, but it keeps you in the game.
A broken fingernail often involves an issue with the tip of the nail. Alternatively, it can impact the integrity of the entire nail bed. Either of these situations results in extreme pain. The simple act of properly taping your finger can minimize the risk of this happening.
Sometimes skin can become dry and begin to crack while playing volleyball. This can especially occur in cold climates and dry areas. When the hands become dry, the elasticity is reduced therefore causing the skin to crack. This can become uncomfortable while playing volleyball, so a player may want to tape up these sensitive areas on their hands.
Using the right taping procedure is key to protecting your nails. This is also how you can thrive as a volleyball player without having to worry about the extreme pain that results from a fingernail being ripped off in the middle of a match.
How To Tape Fingers For Volleyball
If you want to get the maximum benefit from taping your fingers while playing volleyball, it is important to make sure that you do it correctly. If you are fortunate to play for a team that has an athletic trainer, they can guide you through the process. If not, following these steps should get you set up rather nicely.
How To Tape Fingers For Volleyball
- Place the hand you wish to tape on a hard surface. You want something stable in order to make sure that it is easy to wrap and secure the tape to the part of your fingers you desire.
- Take some gauze and neatly fold it. You will place it between the fingers that you are taping together. This keeps moisture from wicking up too much, and it minimizes friction. If you are only taping one finger, you would just wrap the gauze around the finger to produce the same effect.
- You will want to take some athletic tape and wrap it securely around the base of your fingers. You will want to go around twice, but possibly as many as three times. More than that will cause your fingers to be too tightly wound, which can end up affecting your mobility during play.
- Wrap an extra piece of tape between the joints of your affected fingers. This will add some security and further protect the fingers in question.
Best Finger Tape For Volleyball
Finger tape is not something I would spend too much time searching for the top brand or style. It is very inexpensive and you might as well just try out a couple different kinds and see for yourself.
- Engineered with pro-grade materials and designed specifically for hands
- Offers maximum compression to bind and immobilize fingers to prevent swelling and assist a faster recovery
- Second Skin Technology adhesive keeps the tape securely in place without any irritating gummy residue left behind
Our top pick for finger tape is Hampton Premium White Athletic Finger Tape. We like the .3 inch width that allows you to keep your fingers covered without over covering them. This tape stays stuck (as much as can be expected) and allows you to retain your protection for an entire match.
If you find another brand that works for you, then by all means, go with it. No matter the product you choose, make sure you test it with your skin before your match to make sure you have no irritations to the product. On some occasions people have skin irritations to certain adhesives. We advise wearing a small amount on a finger for 30 minutes prior to game use.
How To Treat Jammed Fingers
One of the most injured parts of the body when playing volleyball involves the fingers. Fingers go through a lot of abuse when contacting the ball, blocking, or even diving to the floor. This is why a sprained or jammed finger is actually quite common amongst volleyball players.
Jammed fingers will swell up and become difficult to move. The best course of treatment is not to use the affected finger for a few days. If you continue playing or acting as nothing happened, then the problem can actually become worse. However, there are some things you can do to take care of the finger and still practice at the same time if necessary.
If you have a jammed finger, you will want to have it heal as quickly as possible. There are some things that you can do to speed that process along. Below are some tips that you will want to follow as closely as possible.
- Stop playing – As soon as you realize that your finger has been jammed, it is time to stop playing. You might be involved at a critical junction of a match, but it is not worth doing further damage to your finger. You will need to get off the court and have your finger properly attended to in order to avoid compounding the injury.
- Consult a doctor if unsure of the extent of the injury – If you have ever had a jammed finger then you are probably well aware of what it feels like. You should still be able to move your finger, and you should be able to tolerate the pain. If you cannot do either of these things, then the injury may be more severe than you think. It is time to consult a doctor.
- Apply ice as soon as possible – The sooner you apply ice to the finger, the better. You can put some ice in a towel and wrap it around your affected fingers. Do so several times a day for about 15 minutes each time.
- Reduce the inflammation – You can do this by taking some pain killer medication that is available over the counter. This will help you manage the pain as your finger heals.
- Buddy tape your fingers together – Tape your injured finger to an adjacent one in order to keep the strain off it. This will keep you from bending it and possibly injuring it even more.
- Start moving the finger slowly once it begins to heal – Do not just jump back into action the moment your finger starts to feel better. Take it slow and start to move it as you are comfortable for a day or two before resuming normal activities.
Following these tips will help your jammed finger to heal as quickly as possible. Depending on the extent of the injury, this could be as little as a few days to several weeks. You will just want to be patient. If you are, then you will be back on the court in no time at all.
As you have read, there are many benefits to taping your fingers as a volleyball player. It can help prevent injuries just as much as it does to promote the recovery process. Just remember that it is important to tape properly and manage injuries appropriately before playing once again.
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