Volleyball Pads – Your Available Options

There is a lot of speculation regarding knee and elbow pads’ necessity when playing Volleyball. Numerous coaches and players have provided their opinion about this topic. People wonder if knee pads restrict the player’s mobility due to their heavy padding. Choosing the right size of knee pads ensures that the players can move freely and be protected simultaneously. As for elbow pads, they do not restrict the player’s movements or affect his technique. Therefore, it is beneficial to wear protective gear as it allows the players to perform their best without worrying about injuries.

Volleyball Knee Pads

Though Defenders require knee pads the most, all Volleyball players benefit from knee pads. There is no compulsion to wear knee pads in a match, but it is better to be careful than sorry. Knee injuries are the most common in Volleyball; cautious players wear knee pads to minimize the possibility of being hurt.

Advanced techniques requiring the players to dive and roll affect the knee. Wearing knee pads provides the necessary protection and support to the knee and helps the player play confidently. It also prevents the knee from collapsing or hyperextending (an injury that occurs when the joints bend the wrong way) during strenuous practice or a match.

Most beginners kneel to save the ball instead of diving; this can cause bruises or scrapes, which can be easily prevented by wearing knee pads. Hitting the court with one’s full body weight can cause damage to the knee. Having pads that support and absorb the shock of hitting the floor is advantageous in such instances. Good knee pads last, at least for a season. Their longevity depends on what courts one plays on and one’s style of playing. Using breathable knee pads is advisable as the non-breathable ones though durable, make movements difficult and do not absorb sweat.

Knee pads should be snug enough that they do not slip but are not too tight; those that compress the knee too much can restrict blood flow. The players should choose a pair that allows them to flex their knees without impeding their performance. Selecting knee pads that fit the shape of one’s leg is recommended. The players must also ensure they are easy to slip on and do not irritate their skin. Not wearing knee pads or wearing the wrong size may cause the players to worry about possible injuries which hinder their play; this gives their opponents an edge.

Volleyball Elbow Pads

Elbow pads are for cushioning the players’ elbows from the impact of hitting the court. Players dive to save the ball all the time, and landing at a wrong angle at high velocities will damage their elbows; elbow pads are crucial for minimizing such damage. They also reduce the risks of minor fractures, floor burns, and bruises. Those who play Volleyball without using elbow pads are more likely to suffer from Olecranon Stress Fracture. Years of damage to the elbows cause them to lose their ability to absorb shock.

Traditional elbow pads are heavily padded and are extremely good at protecting one’s elbows but may be bulky. Also, some do not absorb the sweat of the players, which causes their skin’s temperature to rise. Experienced players who do not rely much on elbow pads may opt for lightly padded elbow sleeves; these sleeves help recover from injuries like tennis elbow caused by overuse of tendons in the elbow.

Elbow pads are not only for playing Volleyball but can be used for various activities. They are invaluable for core strength and endurance training which is common for almost all sports. They are especially useful for weightlifting, deadlifts, and bench press. The players must ensure that the pads are durable before purchase so that the pads do not tear during intense workouts.

It does not mean that a Volleyball player will not be injured if he wears elbow pads. After all, they can only absorb a certain amount of shock. Players must fight their instincts to break their fall by landing on their elbows; extreme pressure will affect their elbows even if they are padded. The softer body parts have a greater chance of not being severely injured.

Hip pads are yet another option you can consider when we’re talking about all the different options available. But it is not largely popular not comfortable for most players and hence we have not included in the list.

Protective Gear that can be paired with Volleyball Pads

Wearing ankle braces help reduce the need for knee pads but using both gears is more effective. Ankle braces provide stability to the players and reduce their chances of slipping on the court or twisting their ankles. Therefore, the possibility of the players landing on their knees is minimal. But this does not mean they won’t hurt their knees when they dive for the ball or attempt a last-minute slide to save it. So, knee pads and ankle braces offer complete protection to the players’ legs.

Arm Sleeves can be paired with elbow pads to protect the players’ arms completely. The elbow pads will protect the elbows, while the arm sleeves act as compressors and aid in blood circulation. Arm sleeves also help prevent the stinging sensation of the Volleyball’s impact on the player’s hands. The sweat on their arms makes handling the ball difficult when the players do not wear arm sleeves. Arm sleeves prevent sweaty arms as they are moisture-wicking. They also form an additional layer of protection when worn over elbow pads.

Is it possible to play without Protective Gear?

Though playing without knee or elbow pads is possible, players are advised to use them for their own safety. One moment of distraction or ill luck could cause the players to suffer from a serious injury that may end their career. Why take such an enormous risk when it can be easily prevented? Even some veteran players use knee and elbow pads so they can focus on their game and emerge victorious.

Since the pads do not affect a player’s technique or style, it is worth spending one’s time searching for the right knee and elbow pads. That being said, it is entirely up to the players to decide whether they need protective gear or not. No one knows the needs of the players better than themselves. Coaches may be asked for advice when unsure about whether to use pads or which ones to buy. Most coaches are intuitive and will know what their players require.

The right pair of protective gear can decide the fate of a match. There are many instances in various sports where the team loses morale when the star player is hurt. An injury not only causes the player to stay out of the game but also shatters the focus of fellow players. Therefore, if not for themselves, players have to give knee and elbow pads a try for the sake of their teammates – their family by bond.

Whether one plays Volleyball for fun or considers it a career path, knee and elbow pads help prevent long-term injuries. People of all ages can use pads to be safe while playing Volleyball. It is up to the professional players/veterans to use knee and elbow pads. But, it is highly recommended that beginners use pads until they are past the learning process. After all, it is during the initial training most injuries occur as the players do not know the right way to hold themselves for implementing different techniques.