If you watch MLB or other serious baseball matches, you will notice that some players wear wrist tape. When you see athletes wearing wrist tape, it immediately gives out a serious professional look. In addition to the cool baseball player looks, why do they tape their wrists?
Baseball players tape their wrists for various reasons. Wrist tape provides stability, increases strength, decreases the risk, or prevents pain from an ongoing injury. It also looks professional and can give you confidence. In addition, players use wrist tape to conceal jewelry.
As you can see, there are many more reasons to tape wrists than cosmetics. Baseball players place a lot of pressure and strain on the wrists during a game. This can happen when batting, pitching, catching, and even sliding to base.
Especially at the professional level, the power used for the different baseball skills is huge, which will take a toll on the wrists. One of the most common injuries in baseball is the sprain of the wrist ligaments, meaning the tough elastic tissue around the wrist joints. This usually happens when the wrist is overstretched or during a fall or dive.
In addition to the demanding games the players and their wrists need to endure, they need to train even more on the field, at the gym, and wherever the coaches say. So if you see wrist tape on a player during a game, they probably use them even more where the fan’s eyes can’t see.
That being said, let’s take a closer look at the reason why baseball players use wrist wraps so that you can understand the various benefits.
- Why Do Baseball Players Tape Their Wrists?
- How Do Baseball Players Tape Their Wrists?
- What Kind of Wrist Tape Do MLB Players Use?
- Can Pitchers Wear Wrist Tape?
- My Favorite Baseball Equipment
Why Do Baseball Players Tape Their Wrists?
Essentially, there are six reasons why baseball players tape their wrists. Some are more useful than others, but all are valid reasons to do so. Let’s take a look at all of them in-depth.
1. Provide Stability
Probably the most common reason any athlete tapes their wrists is its stability.
Using wrist tape protects the wrists from excessive twisting and turning and keeps them more securely in their optimal position.
The feeling you get from this increased stability is amazing as everything from batting to throwing to catch will be improved, assuming that you have taped the wrists the right way (more on that below).
2. Increase Strength
Thanks to the better stability, your strength will improve as well. I’m not talking about your maximum bench press or squat personal record or your grip strength, as the studies show.
I’m talking about your wrist strength. Due to the increased stability your wrist has after taping them will be less forgiving when batting or catching.
When your wrists don’t get affected so much by the incoming velocity, in batting, for example, the bat won’t get backed down by the throw’s power, and thus, you will swing further.
Think about it like the bat would be a wall. When the person wearing the wrist tape holds the bat, the wall is harder as it’s more unforgiving dense. Thus, when an object such as a ball is thrown at it, it will bounce back faster.
3. Decrease the Risk of Injury
Another one of the most common reasons to use wrist tape is to prevent injury. Taping your wrists will prevent or at least decrease the chances of the joints from moving too far in any direction.
Wrist injuries happen when the wrist is bent in one direction too much, spraining or even snapping the joints, which will cause pain and inability to perform.
When looking at the most common wrist injuries, a hamate hook fracture is one of the most common in baseball and racket sports. The hook of the hamate bone is located in the base of your little finger, just above your wrist.
Wrapping your wrists with wrist tape is very effective in minimizing such and other similar injuries.
4. Relieve Pain from Ongoing Injury
Taping the wrists is also very usual when an injury, discomfort, or pain is located on the wrist. Especially catchers may use wrist tape when experiencing pain on the wrist.
As the wrist tape provides stability and allows the wrist to move less, ongoing wrist pain or even an injury is slightly less painful and bothering.
An important thing to understand is that if you have an injury, taping your wrist won’t heal it even if you wouldn’t feel the pain. That’s why in case of any injury, you should see a doctor and take time off.
However, slight wrist pain is quite normal in sports. In this case, taping your wrists is a great method in addition to diving into the cause of the pain, which is usually improper form.
5. Conceal Jewelry
Using any noticeable jewelry, including bracelets, is almost always prohibited in professional sports, including Major League Baseball. In fact, jewelry is at least recommended to take off in any level of sports.
However, sometimes the players don’t want or bother to take the jewelry off for any reason, which makes them tape over the jewelry.
Wrist tape is perhaps the best method as it covers many areas from the wrist and hand, where you can easily hide jewelry.
6. Looks & Confidence
Last but not least, the baseball uniform and overall appearance are very important to the players. This is true in any sport, especially at the professional level.
Have you ever heard the saying ”when you look good, you feel good, and when you feel good, you play good” or something along those lines? Be that as it may, it couldn’t be more true.
In fact, when you feel that you look good, it will boost your confidence and self-worth, which is proven to increase superior performance.
This is one of the reasons why many players include wrist tape matching their uniforms. It will enhance the look and baseball swag. With that, performance will be improved.
How Do Baseball Players Tape Their Wrists?
Taping wrists for baseball and any sport for that matter is very simple, but you need to do it properly. The right technique will secure your wrist the right way and won’t cut off any blood flow, which would not only eliminate all the benefits wrist taping provides but make everything worse.
To tape your wrist properly, you will need the right kind of wrist tape and the right instructions.
Follow the instructions below to tape your wrists for optimal support and mobility.
- Consider the starting location: The right place to start taping your wrists is right below the carpal bones (or even slightly over) and down towards the forearm. The carpal bones are the eight small bones that make up the wrist and are located right above where your wrist starts moving. You will get the best outcome by securing these bones and down from there on your forearm.
- Tape the wrists: Start by taping one round of tape on your wrist right below or slightly over the carpal bones. Keep the taping firm and secure but not too tight. After one round, cut the tape and start a new one because it won’t cut off the blood flow as if you were to tape it in a single piece. Repeat this step 3 to 5 times towards your forearm.
- Feel the outcome: Move and wiggle your wrist around when you have completed the rounds, and don’t be shy about it. Imagine that the taping is there for several hours. Is it too tight? If it’s too tight, remove the tape and do it again. If it doesen’t feel secure enough, remove it and do it again.
For visual learners out there, check out the video below on how it’s done properly.
What Kind of Wrist Tape Do MLB Players Use?
When talking about wrist tape, the word tape is vast as it can be anywhere from ducktape to party tape. What kind of wrist tape do MLB players and other professional athletes use?
Professional athletes generally use white athletic tape made from cotton, as it’s sweat-resistant with high tensile strength. In addition, professional wrist tape always has excellent tackiness and densely perforated construction.
These features are beneficial and even necessary for a proper wrist tape because they make the user experience safe and comfortable.
Imagine a wrist tape that wouldn’t breathe, stretch, or stick at all. It would be extremely uncomfortable, unsafe, and worthless as the features wouldn’t provide what the wrist tape is made for.
A product such as Athletic Tape from MTape is a great example of a professionally used quality wrist tape that is strong, stretchy, breathable, and has outstanding tackiness.
Can Pitchers Wear Wrist Tape?
If you are a fan of baseball or a player yourself, you know that there are various rules considering everybody. However, as the pitcher throws the ball to the batter, they have more rules than other positions. So, can pitchers wear wrist tape?
The baseball rules state; the pitcher may not wear any item on hands, wrist, or arms that may distract the batter”. Generally, pitchers can’t wear wrist tape because it can distract the batter. However, this is the umpire’s decision, so you might be allowed to use a dark-colored wrist tape.
Certain baseball rules are always vague and can’t be said whether you can or can’t do it. You should ask the umpire for a definitive yes or no. Before the game, ask your coach and see whether dark-colored wrist tape would be allowed as it’s not distracting because baseballs are white.
You can also just tape your wrist(s) and remove them if asked by the batter, umpire, or the other team’s coach.
My Favorite Baseball Equipment
Thanks for reading this article. I hope it brought you great value that you can implement into your own life! Below you can find my favorite baseball bat, baseballs, and a glove that I think will take your game to the next level!
- Bat: My favorite baseball bat is the Easton Project 3 Fuze. This bat has a composite end cap, reduced post-impact vibrations, balanced swing weight for the fastest swing speed, and a carbon core that makes this bat perform very well! As I’m not a professional baseball player, I like to use alloy bats as you can swing faster and hit further.
- Baseballs: Rawlings Competition Grade Practice Balls are my choice for something to hit. I love these balls because they fit all levels of play, so regardless of who you are playing with, you can use them. They come in a 6 or 12 balls box, and you can choose between raised or flat seams! I prefer flat seams as the balls tend to fly further!
- Glove: When it comes to the glove, my choice is the Rawlings Sandlot Glove. This glove is available for both lefties and righties. The same glove is also available for infielders, outfielders, pitchers, catchers, and 1B mitt. This glove has a nice vintage look, and it’s made from oiled leather. It has palm pads that protect your hand from impact, and it is pre-broken-in, so you are good to go as soon as you have it! A glove I’m proud to recommend.
- Fan Equipment: If you’re a fan more than a player, you don’t want to miss Fan Equipment by Fanatics. You can find items from various sports that bear your favorite team’s logo, such as jerseys, gift ideas, or other surprising things.