It is very common to find a baseball player wearing a wrist tape. There are even many players who we never see in the field without a wrist tape. Again, some of them only wear them when they are injured. But it is also true that most players don’t tape their wrists because of the injuries.
So, the question is, why do baseball player tape their wrists? Baseball players usually tape their wrists to increase grip strength, enhance performance, and prevent unwelcome injuries. There are also many other reasons that can somehow surprise you.
However, you must be here to explain the reasons behind this habit of baseball players, right? If yes, you must be in the right place. Here, we will discuss 7 common reasons why baseball players use wrist tapes.
Why Do Baseball Players Tape Their Wrists: 7 Reasons
Let’s head towards exactly what we are here to talk about- why do baseball players tape their wrists? To be specific, there are many different reasons behind this fact. Among them, the following are the 7 most common reasons.
Increase Grip Strength
The most common reason baseball players use wrist tape is that stability to the joint provides for a strong grip. When swinging a bat or throwing a ball, the wrists of a player undergo significant forces and movements. Taping helps prevent excessive flexion, extension, or side-to-side movements. And that offers a stable foundation for the hands and fingers to exert force and maintain a firm grip on the equipment.
Also, when a player uses tape around the wrists, it simply creates compression and support for the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. As a result, the grips get extra strength. This compression also increases proprioceptive feedback, which enhances his awareness of the hand position. It helps him generate the right amount of force to apply.
On the other hand, taping the wrists helps stimulate increased muscle activation in the forearm and hand. As we know, it is directly involved in grip strength. The pressure and support created by the tape simply encourage optimal muscle firing patterns. And it helps the player generate more force through their fingers and wrist.
Additionally, tape around the wrist of a baseball player can promote proper joint alignment in the wrists. When the wrist joint is properly aligned, the player can automatically generate more power and control while throwing or catching a ball or just using a bat. It also optimizes his grip mechanics, and this is how the tape increases the grip strength of a baseball player.
There is proven evidence on the fact that a wrist tape can enhance the performance of a baseball player. From the previous section, you’ve learned how the grip can increase the grip strength. For almost the same reasons, the grip can enhance the overall performance of a player. The following points will make things clear on how the grip helps to improve the performance of baseball players in many different ways.
- A secure and firm grip on the bat is essential to increase the ability of the players to generate power and control their swing. And the wrist tape simply provides added friction and traction between the hands and the bat handle.
- When it is about the fielders both defensive and offensive, the use of tape is significant too. It can improve the player’s ability to catch the ball effectively by providing extra support and stability to the wrist joint.
- A strong grip simply elevates the level of confidence in baseball players. It helps them have a positive mindset. And using tape around the wrist is the best way to improve the grip strength.
- No matter in which role, a person is playing, the grip can prevent sweaty palms. As we know, sweat on the palms or moist conditions can cause the hands to slip on the bat or ball. A sports wrist tape can minimize the risk of slippage and provides consistent grip.
Taping the wrists also helps alleviate some of the stress on the wrist joint and surrounding muscles. As a consequence, the player will have less fatigue but more endurance.
A wrist tape can do a lot and all its benefits help the players avoid joint injury while playing baseball. It simply provides stability to the joint to help prevent excessive movement. It also reduces the risk of injury with an external support system.
The tape usually covers the ligaments and tendons in the wrist. This way, it improves stability to prevent the joint from hyperextending or twisting. Thus it reduces the risk of sprains or strains.
Besides, the tape around the wrist can assist in maintaining proper joint alignment while playing baseball. The repetitive and forceful motions, a player needs to make while throwing, catching, and swinging a bat can sometimes result in the wrist joint deviating from its optimal alignment.
Taping the wrists can help align the bones and keep the joint in a more stable position. Additionally, it helps reduce stress on the ligaments, tendons, and surrounding structures.
While in long and intense training sessions or playing multiple games in a short period, players often get fatigued joints. It is another cause of injury. However, by tapping the wrists, players can provide additional support to the muscles and tendons to reduce fatigue even in a long session.
Offers Extra Support After Injury
After experiencing a wrist injury, baseball players often start using wrist tape so that it can offer extra support during their recovery process. Mostly, they use wrist tape to immobilize the injured wrist. It simply prevents further damage by limiting wrist motion.
Also, tape on the injured wrist provides extra compression that helps reduce swelling and inflammation caused by the injury. Because of swelling, a player can experience restricted movement that can resume their activities. The compression created by wrist tape promotes the removal of excess fluid from the injured area and thus, it ensures a faster recovery.
Sometimes, a high-quality clinical wrist tape can act as a pain reliever for baseball players with wrist injuries. Also, the proper use of the tape can help enhance blood circulation to the injured area.
Though it is not a proven cause, some players, especially teenagers use wrist tape as their own aesthetics. Some of them simply think that the tape helps them look cooler and thus they can have a better image in front of the world.
Besides, almost all players from both little, school, and College leagues have their ideal baseball players and inspiring models. And as we know, most professional and legendary players use wrist tape now and then in their matches. So, the young players simply like to mimic their favorite player and end up choosing a wrist tape to wear.
Covers Tattoos And Jewelry
Sometimes, baseball players use wrist tape to cover their tattoos and jewelry they don’t want to take off. Usually, there are a few reasons why players choose to cover their tattoos and jewelry with wrist tape.
Different baseball teams often have specific guidelines regarding the appearance of their players. These guidelines may include rules about visible tattoos and jewelry. So, to maintain a uniform and professional appearance, the players of the team choose to cover their tattoos and any visible jewelry using wrist tape.
Baseball game usually requires the focus and concentration of the players. A visible tattoo and jewelry can sometimes distract both the player who is wearing it and the spectators. That’s another reason, a player wears a wrist tape.
Professional baseball leagues, like MLB, sometimes have regulations in place regarding visible tattoos and jewelry. Players having offensive and inappropriate tattoos have to cover them during games and other league-related events. Similarly, wearing excessive or flashy jewelry is prohibited in some Leagues to ensure player safety and to prevent distractions. So, wrist tape is the best solution for them.
Lastly, it’s a kind of superstitious thought. When a player gets a great match where he did well wearing a wrist tape, he starts thinking that the tape is a lucky charm for him. So, being superstitious, he continues wearing the wrist tape in his next matches.
No matter how technological and scientifically improved the world is, you will find superstitious in many people’s minds in all sections. Baseball is nothing different from it and in baseball players, there’s a big tendency to copy the appearance they had in their best matches. So, this is another reason, the players used tape around their wrists.
These are the most common reasons, baseball players wear wrist tape around their wrist joints. Alongside the cause of superstition and personal aesthetic, there is no doubt that wearing the tape increases grip strength, provides an extra shield of protection, and ultimately, improves their performance. So, almost all the reasons baseball players tape their wrists are reasonable and valid in whatever sense you think.
How to Tape the Wrist Properly?
Now, let’s come to an offtopic. As you’ve read the reasons for this fact and learned that there are tons of valid advantages to taping the wrist, you must wish to do it on your own, right? Especially, if you are a beginner, you must be in a tangle while taping your wrist. No worries. We are here to hold you back. To tape the wrist, you will need an athletic tape with approximately 1-2 inches width and scissors to cut the tape. Let’s check out the easiest way to tape your wrist in the following section.
Step 1: Clean Your Wrist
First, you need to clean and dry the skin around the wrist area to ensure proper adhesion of the tape. There are different pre-wrap moisturizers available in the market. You can apply them as well.
Step 2: Anchor The tape
Now, you need to anchor the tape. For that, you need to tear a strip of athletic tape approximately 6-8 inches long. Then simply place one end of the tape on the back of the hand, just below the base of the thumb. Then, wrap the tape around the back of the hand and bring it up and over the wrist joint to the front.
Step 3: Wrap The Wrist
Now, you can simply wrap up your joint using the tape. In this case, you need to make sure to apply slight tension to provide support without restricting movement. While wrapping up the tape, you can follow the diagonal or figure-eight pattern to cover the entire wrist joint.
Step 4: Secure The Tape
Once you’ve wrapped the entire wrist, just tear it off. Make sure to leave enough length to secure the end. For that, you need to press the end of the tape firmly onto the previously wrapped layers to prevent it from being unrevealed.
Well, you’ve done wrapping the wrist using sports tape. But you have something more to do. After taping the wrist, perform some gentle movements to ensure that the tape allows for a comfortable range of motion. If necessary, make adjustments by slightly loosening or tightening the tape. Also, you can repeat the process to add another layer of tape for extra support.
As you’ve seen, there are valid reasons why baseball player tapes their wrists. However, the reason for superstition and aesthetics might seem lame and unreasonable, but the other reasons are enough to make the use of the tape so common. And whenever the matter is about protection, no player should compromise.
Hopefully, you’ve got my point. So, let us know what you are thinking about wearing a wristwatch. Thank you for your time and have a nice day.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can wrist tapes increase grip?
Yes, wrist tapes can increase grip and enhance the overall performance of a baseball player. The compassion created by the tape and the support around the joint help the player have better movement ability and ensure better grip strength.
Are wrist tapes legal in Baseball?
Yes, using wrist tapes is legal in almost all Baseball leagues around the world. Indeed, it is recommended to use wrist tape to avoid injury and also to cover tattoos and jewelry.
Is wrist tape good for the skin?
Most professional sports and medical wrist tapes are good for the skin. But wearing it for a longer time can cause stratum corneum on the outer layer of your skin. Also, there is some low-quality tape with toxic glue that can cause allergies and other skin diseases.