Volleyball players often use finger tapes to protect their fingers. Finger tapes reinforce the strength of one’s fingers and protect them from easily bending or breaking. They also aid in pulling off specific techniques used in Volleyball to score and help to prevent the fingers from bleeding. Since the hands and fingers are what the players rely on the most, they need to choose the right finger tape.
Types of Finger Tapes
The buyers should buy a finger tape type that suits their needs best. Choosing the wrong type may cause unnecessary discomfort. The various types of Finger tapes are:
- Tearable Elastic Adhesive Bandage (EAB): Fondly nicknamed Chicken Skin due to its wrinkled appearance, tearable EAB is flexible and strong. The flexibility of the tape makes it easy to reach normally elusive spots. There is no risk of the bandage sliding off or loosening as the adhesive ensures that the bandage stays where it is. These can also be used for compressions to reduce swelling.
- Kinesiology Tape: Kinesiology tapes lift the skin on which they are taped, creating a space between the outer layer of the skin and the tissue underneath, which helps in reducing the pain caused by swelling and helps the players recover speedily. Also, they do not restrict the hand movements of the player using them.
- Premium Sports Tape: Premium Sports tapes are the best choice if the player wishes to immobilize muscle joints as these tapes are rigid once taped and have a firm grip which aids in the rapid healing of injuries. Similar to tearable EAB, these tapes, too, can be torn by hand.
- Zinc oxide Tape: Zinc Oxide Tapes are extremely strong and offer protection to hands, wrists, and knuckles. These tapes can also be used to treat blisters. They are also more durable than the other types of finger tapes and are made of breathable material that ensures that the player is comfortable while using them.
- Cohesive Bandage: Cohesive bandages are highly flexible, and the player can vary the pressure with which they are taped. Cohesive bandages can also be used multiple times and are helpful in securing a wound’s dressing. Some players use them to tape hands and wrists too.
What to look for while buying?
While buying finger tape, one needs to check whether the tape is easy to tear. Finger tapes that are easy to tear save a lot of hassle as they can be used in a hurry and can be torn merely by using one’s hands. It is also necessary to ensure that the tape is not sticky. Non-sticky finger tapes that do not leave any residue are ideal for players. Sticky tapes could cause a mess as the player’s sweat and the stickiness of the tape combine, resulting in discomfort to the player.
Volleyball Finger tape techniques
- Buddy Taping
Buddy taping is done to protect an injured finger by taping it with an uninjured finger. Due care must be taken while taping the injured finger to another finger so that it does not restrict the mobility of the player’s fingers. While taping two fingers together, the player needs to start from the base of the fingers. A piece of gauze may be used to avoid friction between the fingers being taped together. The taping must be done without too much pressure to not adversely affect blood circulation.
- Criss-Cross Technique
The Criss-Cross technique is used to keep the fingers from bending. In this technique, the taping starts on the outer side of the finger, just above the knuckle. Wrap once around the finger and cross it diagonally and wrap it around the finger again and cross it diagonally one more time and wrap it downwards to reach the starting position. Wrap the tape in a circle one last time. This process prevents the finger from bending.
- Finger taping to protect fingernails
To protect their fingernails, the players have to start taping from where their fingerprint is located. Next, they have to bring it over their nail, press the tape down firmly on their fingernail and end the tape at the outer finger. Then they have to wrap a three-inch-long piece of tape around their taped finger to keep the taping in place. Players need to be careful while removing the tape after the match.
Myths related to Finger Taping
- It Helps Hit the Ball Harder
Although many people believe this to be an actual fact, it is merely a myth. Finger tapes do not help a player hit the ball harder. If the players hit a ball hard, it is probably due to their skill and technique, not the tape.
- White Tape Causes the Opponent to be distracted
A few people think that the bright white color of the finger tape distracts an opponent during crucial moments of the game. This opinion is a myth, and there is no proof to indicate any such psychological advantage of using a finger tape.
- It facilitates a better grip on the ball
Although many agree that it is a somewhat credible myth, this belief remains a myth. Some people think that finger tapes offer a better grip on the ball and thus aid in serving the ball using the Topspin technique. While this may be true at the beginning of the match, the finger tape gets dirty during the progression of the match and cannot provide a better grip anymore.
Benefits of using Finger tape
The impact of Volleyball on the hands of the player hurts for a long time. To protect their fingers from this pain, Volleyball players use finger tapes. Finger tapes also prevent the skin from cracking. Buddy taping lends additional strength to a player’s fingers and thus minimizes the pain incurred from hitting the ball. Taping one’s fingers also helps to prevent knuckle sprains, minor fractures, or dislocation of fingers, which are common injuries in Volleyball. Buddy taping also helps treat jammed fingers.
Volleyball players tape their fingers to protect their fingertips. A broken finger gives one a glimpse into hell, which is something everyone wants to avoid. Finger tapes effectively prevent that incident from occurring. Most importantly, they reduce finger injuries, make sure that an existing injury is not aggravated, and help players heal quickly.
Possible drawbacks of using Finger tape
Improper finger taping or failure to use gauze to prevent the fingers from sticking to one another will result in many discomforts. The sliding of a finger against another one with which it is bound causes friction which may cause the player to be distracted while playing. Selection of the wrong type of finger tape can aggravate an existing injury, so it is better to consult a coach or the doctor before taping one’s fingers. Taping one’s fingers with too much pressure may cut off blood circulation.
Of course, not all Volleyball players use Finger tapes. Some prefer to play without them. Maybe they got used to the feeling of hitting the ball hard, or maybe it does not anymore, as they have been playing for years. Others are cautious and want to offer every bit of protection they can muster to their hands and fingers. Whichever category one belongs to, there is nothing wrong in checking whether a finger tape will be helpful or not.