Athletic taping is a common practice in the sport of volleyball. It can be an effective tool to aid a player in optimizing performance. However, when it is improperly used, athletic taping can be a hindrance on volleyball performance. For the best results it is important that a trained therapist or sports trainer administer the taping. While there are a number of reasons for athletic taping, keeping a player's particular needs in mind is essential when deciding what taping job should be used.
Athletic taping cannot be a substitute for proper strengthening, conditioning and rehabilitation. An athlete who uses taping in this way is susceptible to injury and pain during play. Effective athletic taping is used in conjunction with strength and conditioning programs. In addition, any athletic taping must be approved by the game official in volleyball, who decides whether a taping job offers an unfair advantage or threatens to injure other players during the game. Finally, be aware of allergies or skin sensitivities toward any adhesive used in athletic training. A reaction to the athletic tape will negatively affect volleyball performance and athlete comfort.
Taping in volleyball is predominantly used as a form of prevention. As an example, prophylactic ankle taping is commonly used to limit excessive inversion of the ankle joints, particularly due to the athlete's frequent jumping. Preventative taping can also increase joint proprioception, or the athlete's ability to perceive ankle movement. Also, it is used to increase the stability of a repetitively used joint, like the ankle or wrist.
Protective taping is used as a part of the rehabilitation process. Once an athlete has addressed an injury and the affected area has healed, athletic taping can protect a vulnerable part of the body from re-injury. In volleyball, protective taping of the wrist is common after a healed sprain or fracture. The taping also limits movements that cause pain or discomfort during performance.
Athletic taping can also be used to increase a volleyball player's comfort during performance. For example, blisters are a common occurrence in volleyball. Taping protects and pads the affected area and allows an athlete to continue play without irritation or discomfort. This type of taping also protects the skin from further harm.